Add Math Support/Abstract

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Revision as of 23:13, 20 March 2007 by Herm (talk | contribs) (typos)
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I often wanted to have a tool that allows complicated layouts but still
is easy to use. This is exactly what scribus does. However for scientific
papers it lacks one main capability: Formulas. So I want to add these
as my summer of code project. Interest in this improvement is expressed
by many people in the bug tracker [1][2], by Debian users [3] and it's 
also in the projects roadmap [4].

The goal of this project is to add a easy to use math support to scribus.
As the task of writing a complete math typesetter is too large for SOC a 
different approach is used. It is inspired by the Quark XPress(tm) plugin 

o Let the user enter LaTeX source either directly or more user friendly
  via an graphical editor
o Apply a LaTeX template on this so the user only has to type the formula
  and not a whole TeX document.
o Run LaTeX on this source.
o Display LaTeX's output in a frame while still keeping the 
  (LaTeX-)formula as a property so the whole things stays editable.

Use cases 

o Scientific posters 
  It is very hard (if not even impossible) to create good-looking posters
  with LaTeX but it's easy to add formulas to LaTeX documents. On the other
  hand it's very easy to create good posters with scribus but a complicated
  process is necessary to add just a single formula. The ability to use LaTeX 
  for typesetting the formula and the post-processing it in scribus (easily
  possible, after all it's just a vector graphic from scribus' point of view)
  would greatly simplify this. 

o Math/Physics teachers 
  At school I've seen a lot of teachers that created their tests with Microsoft
  Word and relying on its formula editor or even on basic text formatting
  (sub-/superscript) and adding any "complicated" math symbols (vectors,
  integrals, etc.) by hand in the printout. Obviously the full power of
  latex is something they are unwilling to learn (and it is probably not 
  required for them). So I believe they would be happy to have a WYSIWYG
  tool that supports embedded formulas.

o Math support
o integrating an external GUI editor
o Python bindings