[GSoc 14] On "Improve Text Boxes in Draw" - towards a more specific description and starting directions

Matteo Campanelli matteo.campanelli at gmail.com
Mon Mar 17 22:23:58 PDT 2014

Hi all,
I'm Matteo, I'm planning to apply for GSoC and I'm wondering if anyone
could answer a few questions on the GSoC idea proposal in the subject
Some specific tasks that would be involved in this project are not totally
clear to me yet.
Simply enough, the general problem seems to be that of enhancing text
frames in Draw.
Quoting from the official description, some missing features of text frames
(my personal comments and questions right indented below each item)

- *"text background color":*

It seems to me that it is possible to specify a text box background in
color in Draw. Are we then referring to background color of the text only?
Would that be, in other words, some colored rectangle around only part of
the text in the box (a bit like text background color in Writer)?

- *"flow of contents from one frame to another":*

I am not sure I know what we are talking about here, but I would imagine it
as "The text in a frame may (dynamically) constitute part of the text in
another frame".
Let me illustrate this: Alice has two text frames, named respectively TF1
and TF2. The text in TF1 may look like:
Lorem ipsum...
As illustrated in the box above:
Ut enim ad minim...
Here, the macro TF2.text would expand to whatever text is contained in the
other frame.
Is this in any way close to what the project description is talking about?
Is there already something like this in Draw or LO in general, i..e ways.
to reference other objects' properties explicitly?

- *"hyphenation":*

About this point, I wanted to ask a more technical and at the same time
general type of question:
from the documentation on the class ImpEditEngine
I see that there are getters and setters for "hyphenators" and a method
called ImpBreakLine. This suggests to me that ImpEditEngine may be involved
directly in how or whether hyphenation is done in text frames.
How does this class actually works?
What are its responsibilities (since it seems to deal with a LOT of stuff)?
Could anyone exemplify or point how this class affects hyphenation in, say,
Writer or any other parts of LO? (or alternatively could anyone redirect me
to some semi-digestible snippets of code in LOI see  where this magic

- *"support of style":*

I see that Draw already has a "Style and Formatting" dialog offering
several options. What would be the specific enhancements for this point?

I had a hard time finding which source files in sd/ are strictly related to
text frames, could anyone please give me a direction for that?
(textapi.{hxx,cxx} by any chance?)

I'm still a little bit confused on the specific scope/aim of the items
above, does anyone have an opinion on how much/which parts of this project
idea would be sensible to incorporate in a concrete proposal for the summer?

Thank you for your time.

[1] Original GSoC idea description
[2] Reference documentation for ImpEditEngine
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