On how to work on someone else’s file

For the CanvasCollectie exhibition I asked Ludivine Loiseau from OSP to design the adjoining texts. I also asked her to try and capture the way your code looks in a simple code editor (it colour codes certain commands).
I sent her this screenshot (click to enlarge):

To get the code in these colours she had to whip out her scripting talents – because it’s not easy to extract these colours from the text editor. For the rest of the text she worked in Scribus“, this pdf is the result: Softwearables text file and code

This was all done last April. In the meantime I got an invitation to show “Do(n’t) stand so close to me” in Middelheim. As Ludivine is in Iceland at this moment, I had to accept the challenge to work this lay-out software myself.

OSP (including Ludivine) design with only free software tools. The free-ness – as in liberty – goes further than that. From the first .pdf she has made, I also got the .sla scribus files, the workfiles to make the pdf., which enables me to edit these myself. (I use Ubuntu 10.04)

A few obstacles were encountered whilst trying to edit the .sla file (Scribus salad).

– The regular Scribus did not like the file -> I had to install the NG version (the unstable version, luckily also in the regular repositories)

– Missing fonts! where to get them?
— Four fonts were missing, Droid Serif Regular was available through Synaptic (easy!)
— Two other fonts come from the OSP foundry
— This font I did not find anywhere:
LMTypewriter12 Regular Regular

For this font I had to dig around a bit: whereby I found the history of the latin-modern font.
— lmtypewriter12-regular.otf changed name and became::: lmmono12-regular.otf
— .otf’s are not easy to install
— .ttf’s are easy to install ——->
fontforge changes otf’s into ttf
— (and lmmono12-regular is part of teX fonts – which are in the regular repository)

Then I could start working in Scribus. There is one very basic aspect of the programme which was very frustrating, the lack of the undo button in the text editor.

One wrong move and…

<< BLAM >> all text + styles gone…
(luckily there was “revert to original” where you still lose quite a lot but not everything…)

Here are the results:

This file is just a regular translation of the text in English, keeping Ludivine’s design as much as possible:
Softwearables text in Dutch
Here I made a little poster with instructions:
Softwearables mini poster

If you want the .sla files, drop me a line – they were to big for this blog.

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