As far as I'm concerned, my comments only pertain to the output that Scribus can currently produce from the latest stable version. I'm only interested in PDF output here.
I agree that just changing the pointer isn't enough to mark a hyperlink. If the author didn't remember where they had created links - or they are getting the document from someone else - they would have to mouse over all of the text to find the links. Links should have some kind of persistent - on-screen, but not in preview mode - visual marking to show the user where they are.
Thanks for clarifying that. There's probably still the issue of URLs that are in the text itself - I.e. "Go to www.scribus.net
for the latest news" - but that might be taking things a bit too far at the moment.
As I said previously, I would advise against using automatic
styles to mark hyperlinks. Doing so would create one of two situations:
1. A single "standard" hyperlink style that was applied to all hyperlinks. This would mean that all hyperlinks were formatted in the same way which would spoil any text that wasn't formatted in the same way as the style. Since hyperlinks can be anywhere in any piece of text - formatted by either styles or not - forcing them to all have the same formatting would not be a good way to go.
2. Multiple hyperlink styles. This would be horrible for both the developer and the user. The developer would have to make sure that Scribus updated the styles on-the-fly to conform to any formatting the user applied to the text and the user would have multiple styles to manage. Again, not a good situation.
This is why I suggested that the "look" of the hyperlinks would not be connected with any formatting that the user could apply. Personally I don't really have a problem with how hyperlinks look, as long as they are visually distinct from other formatting. This could be (see attached examples):
* a box (like I've suggested but I'm thinking that this is a bit too "in your face" now);
* a squiggle under the text (a simple underline may confuse the user if their text is already underlined or they might confuse a link for an underline and try and remove it);
* a little icon next to the text;
* a mixture of two of the above;
* or something else entirely.
As long as it's clear what a hyperlink looks like and it can't be confused with user formatting then that's fine by me.
To the clear: I have no problem with the user creating styles to manually format links but I think it would be a mistake for Scribus to be creating and applying them automatically
I think the preflight verifier could be used to highlight:
* hyperlinks that are not manually formatted differently - by either a user style or other formatting - from the rest of the text - e.g. there's a link there but no way for the reader to know about it;
* hyperlinks that have no valid target, e.g. a link was created to a text frame that no longer exists.
I'm not sure what you mean by having "hyperlink areas as part of previously defined ones". I can't remember seeing such an embedded link anywhere, either on the web or in a document. Do you have an example? As I understand it, it would be confusing to the user unless there was a way to show that there were multiple links active in the same bit of text. If absolutely necessary the user could define three links, the outer two to one target and the inner one to another. As you said, I don't think this is a big issue though.