Re: Using Dia for book illustration

On Mon, 16 Feb 2004, Gerard Milmeister wrote:

Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 01:07:48 +0100
From: Gerard Milmeister <gemi bluewin ch>
Reply-To: dia-list gnome org
To: dia-list gnome org
Subject: Using Dia for book illustration


I am the coauthor of the book "Comprehensive Mathematics for
Computer Scientists" that will appear by the end April
at Springer Verlag.
We tried to use only open-source software to create the book,
i.e., LaTeX2e ... I created some 70+ illustration, and Dia
was the only open-source program adequate for this task.

I know it is only new and didn't exist when you were looking for suitable
software but have you heard of Inkscape yet?

I think they would be interested to hear your comments about what is was
bad about Sodipodi.  I haven't played with it myself yet but I believe new
the new release of Inkscape, version 0.37 has some more arrow head

as a picture in a separate layer in Dia, and then traced the lines
of the pixmap. This was a lot of work, but the quality it
generated justified it.

You may already be aware of it and it might not produce the kind of
results you were looking for but there is some sort of an autotrace
program that I have encountered from my use of Sodipodi and reading its
mailing lists.

I know that Dia has been designed for diagramming, but up to now it
is the only program for Linux that is suitable for technical drawings at
all (there being no Illustratorm and Sketch for example
is awful at handling fonts). So I would like Dia to be extended
to a full-featured illustration program, I think the potential is

Most commerical technical drawing programs end up being very good for this
purpose.  Similary programs like Adobe Illustrator have quite good support
for techincal drawing file formats and I'm sure we (as users of open
source software) would all benifit if there were developers willing and
able to take the time to take some of the parts of dia and generalise them
for use by other vector graphics applications too.

If there were more developers willing and able to work on Dia I expect the
improvements want would come in due course.

Well, that's all I can think of now.
So, thanks for the great piece of software, and continue
with the development.

I think Dia is great too and I probably dont thank the developers often


Alan Horkan

PS As an author/co-author have you considered that 70 years is a
ridiculously long time for copyright?  I just thought I would suggest it,
50 years sounds to me like more than enough for anyone and I recent read
that O'Reilly publishing was looking at having shorter copyright terms on
all its books.

Also if there are any extracts of your book online we would love to be
able to see some of the illustrations you produced and perhaps point to
them from the website.

DISCLAIMER:  As a user I like to get a quick response and so on this list
I try to return the favour.  I am no expert.  The developers know Dia best
and will respond with clarifications and corrections if you are patient
and I am just doing what I can to help out.

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