Re: Using Dia for book illustration

On Mon, 2004-02-16 at 01:36, Alan Horkan wrote:

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
I looked at 0.37 and found no such support. You can, I think, specify
arrow heads directly by modifying the XML. But even then, the lack
of EPS output makes it unsuitable for book illustration. For web
publishing png output is fine. Anyway, I like Dia much better
for the task.

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.
Yes, I know autotrace but my figures were not so complex, and I think
it would cause more trouble than it is worth.

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.
That would be fine. I myself have not much knowledge about this sort of software.
I think, however, it would be better to generalize Dia itself than to

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.
I don't know the rules here in Europe, but indeed 70 years is long. It
may be suited for writers of novels, but technical books have usually
a quite short lifetime anyway. A shorter copyright time would also allow
publishers like Dover to reissue a book, that the original publisher
doesn't want or cannot afford to.

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.
In fact, the complete content of the book will be available in an online
version. The online version is built from XML sources and features Java
applets and MathML and quote a few navigational niceties.

I can put some dia examples with its eps output online... 

Gérard Milmeister
Tannenrauchstrasse 35
8038 Zürich
gemi bluewin ch

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