Loud ramblings of a Software Artisan

Thursday 10 March 2005

AbiWord UI

There have also been some debate about AbiWord UI and its customizability. Martin suggest modifying the code which is a starting point, but I'm convinced that we should provide the infrastructure in AbiWord to customize the UI on the use side. Luis Villa provide some insight about Pages from Apple (that I haven't yet had the time to play with), notably comparing toolbar clutter, and how to handle text formatting, points on which dom seems to agree.

Havoc also talks about Pages and how it handles styles; interesting too.

Looks like for 2.4 there is work to do, or to start.

AbiWord Equation Editor

There have been a debate about equation editing. Martin implemented LaTeX editing while Ben Maurer suggest looking at TeXmacs for a WYSIWYG editor. On the other side James Henstridge suggest to look at the OpenOffice equation editor that Martin is not familiar with.

Looks like there are two approaches to equation editing, and I think we should implement both:

  1. The first is the formula approach like LaTeX and OpenOffice, that has a steep learning curve, but it probably much more efficient in the long term. I think that if carefully chosen, mathematicians and physicist can easily get into it. And I'm sure that supporting both syntax (OOo and LaTeX) should be supported in AbiWord to user of both package no problem switching over. AbiWord already implements the LaTeX syntax (screenshot)
  2. The other approach is the WYSIWG approach as offered by MS-Word, and that TeXmacs implements, that we should offer, as a frontend of the native equation format we use: MathML. It has a low learning curve, but is not really for productivity as in that case keyboard input is way faster.

Bonus point by implementing direct MathML edition which should be quite easy.

Chateau de Beynac - Picture of the day, March 10th 2005

Still in Perigord, en route to visit Beynac castle, a view of the castle from the road.

Provia 100F slide film, around September 22nd, 2001, still using my Canon Elan 7 film camera.

This castle has been a shooting location for a few movies, including Jeanne d'Arc and Les Visiteurs.