DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Software

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2009, 05:56 PM   #1
wexfordpress
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Default Open Source publishing software

It is possible to run an entire publishing operation using only Open source software. I do just that. My Operating System is Linux Slackware. My prime text layout software is TeX, specifically the pdftex variant. For image manipulation I have Gimp. To translate material from format to format I use Ghostscript utilities, PSutils, and most recently IMageMagick. For cover creation I find Scribus a very able tool. I have others avialable such as Inkscape (like Illustrator) but haven't had time to learn them. I do indexing using a combination of tools centered around the Makeindex program included with the Tex suite. I edit text files, including TeX native files, with the powerful editor Vim, descendent of the orginal VI.

The only paid for publishing software I use is Mup, a shareware music typesetting program.

Many don't realize that Unix, the grandfather of Linux, was heavily developed as a Desktop Publishing System in its earliest days. The secret of *nix DTP is the use of a plain text file for all programs. The venerable text processing tools of Unix can still rival its comercial rivals for flexibility and ease of use.

I never pay an upgrade fee, or worry about a license key.

John Culleton
Wexford Press
wexfordpress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2009, 09:47 PM   #2
iamback
Member
 
iamback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 4,894
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wexfordpress View Post
It is possible to run an entire publishing operation using only Open source software. I do just that.
Thanks for posting that - great story!

Do you have a more detailed write-up on a website or blog? I'd be interested, and I'm sure many others would be.

Quote:
Many don't realize that Unix, the grandfather of Linux, was heavily developed as a Desktop Publishing System in its earliest days. The secret of *nix DTP is the use of a plain text file for all programs.
Actually, the "secret" of *nix is plain text files for all programs and - especially - for program-to-program communication. And everything is a file.

I have never used TeX, but have recently started using Inkscape, and I love it. It's powerful (in my not-so-professional eyes, anyway), and easy to learn and use. And of course it keeps getting better.

   
__________________
Marjolein Katsma
Look through my eyes on Cultural Surfaces (soon!), My ArtFlakes shop and Flickr.
Occasionally I am also connecting online dots... and sometimes you can follow me on Marjolein's Travel Blog
iamback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2009, 03:32 PM   #3
imatt
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Leeds
Posts: 163
Default

I tried Scribus a couple of times. Actually one was as part of a university project looking at DTP and cmparing the different DTP progs available. I am sorry to say I founf Scribus hard work. Too used to InDesign I guess....
imatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2009, 07:15 PM   #4
wexfordpress
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by imatt View Post
I tried Scribus a couple of times. Actually one was as part of a university project looking at DTP and cmparing the different DTP progs available. I am sorry to say I founf Scribus hard work. Too used to InDesign I guess....
Scribus is excellent at some things and poor at others. I use it for book covers
where it is very efficient. I don't use it for text heavy book interiors where it lags behind TeX badly. What kinds of applications did you use Scribus on?

John Culleton
wexfordpress is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2009, 06:49 AM   #5
imatt
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Leeds
Posts: 163
Default

I used it along with INDesign, Quark, PM, Publisher etc to create a simple test peice. A flyer with a photo, txt, graphic and so on. Don't get me wrong, Scribus produced the test piece okay. It was just difficult for me to get to grips with in some areas.

Perhaps if I had the time and inclination to really test it over a few of weeks, I'd change my mind....
imatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2009, 05:26 AM   #6
Benwiggy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: London
Posts: 451
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by wexfordpress View Post
The only paid for publishing software I use is Mup, a shareware music typesetting program.
Computer Music engraving is about the hardest graphical task there is. The leading exponent of notation algorithms, Donald Byrd, has demonstrated that fully automated music notation is generally impossible, without human-level artificial intelligence.

I use Finale, which is for Mac or Windows - though some have got it to run using WINE on Linux. It's the professional level engraving program, akin to InDesign. Sibelius, the other contender, is considered by some to be the "Word" of music notation. It's far easier to use, does a lot for you without asking, but does not have the flexibility or control of Finale.

I'm surprised you paid for Mup. There is a free Unix notation package called Lilypond, (also another called abc..?). It does have problems with some aspects of notation, and elements cannot be adjusted - though I imagine Mup would be no better nor worse.

Like the setting of moveable type, "old school" music engraving was a highly skilled craft, with 9 years' apprenticeship! A great deal of that knowledge and skill set has been lost, as people assume that the computer will do it all for them. Some of the scores coming from OUP now would make an old engraver apoplectic!

Slightly more on track, my father typesets books using only his own PostScript algorithms in a text editor. Hyphenation, headers, pagination, footnotes, and placed images are all made with no DTP software at all!
http://www.cappella.demon.co.uk/psfiles/pracpost.html
Benwiggy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2009, 06:40 AM   #7
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benwiggy View Post
… my father typesets books using only his own PostScript algorithms in a text editor. Hyphenation, headers, pagination, footnotes, and placed images are all made with no DTP software at all!
A long-time forum member sets type in PostScript — mostly directories rather than books.

His business card from 1986 or so (which I still have somewhere) was set purely in PostScript, and had some features then impossible to achieve with PageMaker, which was the popular layout app of the time (not that it took much to outshine PM 1).

Very interesting comments about digital music engraving — thanks.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2009, 08:08 AM   #8
Steve Rindsberg
Staff
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,742
Default

Thanks for the link ... I've just had a quick look at pracpost.pdf and have put it aside for when I've time to give it the time it deserves. Very nice work.

   
__________________
Steve Rindsberg
====================
www.pptfaq.com
www.pptools.com
and stuff
Steve Rindsberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Essay on open source software development ktinkel General Publishing Topics 4 03-24-2009 02:17 PM
LGM Montreal -- Open Source graphics Howard White The Corner Pub 0 02-21-2007 03:04 PM
Eudora going open source ktinkel General Publishing Topics 25 10-13-2006 02:22 PM
Ill-behaved open source software LoisWakeman Web Site Building & Maintenance 6 09-22-2006 10:19 AM
open source directory Bo Aakerstrom Web Design 1 07-20-2006 03:27 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.