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From Thorsten Scherler <>
Subject Re: InDesign PlugIn
Date Thu, 07 Jul 2005 19:00:19 GMT
On Thu, 2005-07-07 at 08:58 +0200, Ferdinand Soethe wrote:
> Thorsten Scherler wrote:
> > I will answer in English and to the list, see below why.
> Thanks. That has indeed become a topic for the list now.
> > Actually if you are willing to help, I want to develop an inx-plugin in
> > forrest that has nothing to do with the plugin code I wrote for the
> > client.
> I'm sorry, but we are already way behind our schedule. So this is not
> really an option at the moment.
> But just in case one of us decides to go for it some time in the
> future, let me ask you a few questions:

I am definitely keen to write one. 

> Looking into output for InDesign I found two other options that
> seemed(!) to be a bit simpler to understand and implement:
> - Strait XML with a few InDesign-specifics
>   If you translate xdocs to uniquely named xml-elements, you can
>   import these into an InDesign-document and format them with
>   predefined ID-styles automatically.
>   Doing a bit more research I also found ways to import images and
>   tables with very little effort.
>   So if I wanted to implement a simple solution, I'd probably try that
>   route (and actually have to for a client very soon)
> - RTF
>   Knowing RTF a bit from previous work, I created a basic empty
>   RTF-template that InDesign can import w/o problems. Since RTF is
>   comparatively well documented and InDesign can export a given
>   document as RTF, this to me seems a much easier way to create an
>   advanced output-plugin that can create formatted tables and lots of
>   other options.
> What are your reasons to go for the totally undocumented and
> proprietary inx-format instead? Having a look into it, it seemed
> fairly complex and not exactly self explaining.

Both of your alternatives makes it necessary for the designer to import
data into an existing indesign document (which takes time). That is okay
if you deal with a couple of files each day but if you start using it on
a professional basis (>100 complex documents each day) this import step
cost to much time.

Besides that in my usecase the indesign documents have been highly
dynamically where I could not predict the position of certain elements.
That was the reason why I could not use the first alternative. 

The last point is that you do not need a forrest plugin for that because
for your import you can directly use the xdocs. ;-)

I have to have another look into the second alternative RTF, I remember
darkly that this was to limited for my usecase.

Anyway I will definitely create one in the future or help to create
one. ...if I can get a paid job around it earlier, if not it has to wait
till I finished integrating views into the core. That has highest
priority right now.


"Together we stand, divided we fall!" 
Hey you (Pink Floyd)

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