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

Fridrich Strba fridrich.strba at graduateinstitute.ch
Tue Mar 18 04:18:13 PDT 2014

Hello, Matteo,

Un piacere di vederti interessato in questo progetto.

On 18/03/14 06:23, Matteo Campanelli wrote:
> - /"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?

Yes, it is possible to specify the colour of the text box itself, but it
is not possible to specify the background of the text itself. The
problem can be seen in import filters, where in the original
applications the text, that has non-transparent (i.e. white) background,
is describing lines (like in technical drawings). Because the background
is transparent, the text is basically unreadable because of the line
that is under it.

>     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)?

Exactly, including different degrees of transparency.

> - /"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:
>     [TF2.text]
>     Ut enim ad minim...
>     """ 
>     Here, the macro TF2.text would expand to whatever text is contained
>     in the other frame.

In the ODF file-format, there is a possibility to specify a sequence of
frames where text, when arrives at the end of one frame overflows into
the next one.

>     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?

Not in Draw yet. We have in LibreOffice already this feature implemented
for Writer, where you can do this kind of "linked frames". The goal
would be to implement something similar in Draw. What exists in Draw is
a code that actually detects whether a text overflows beyond a height of
a frame. This code is used for frames whose height is (in the
file-format) specified as a minimum height and where if the text does
not fit, you have to grow the frame. Ideally, it would be possible to
reuse that code, but I am not sure completely.

> - /"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 ([2]
>     <http://docs.libreoffice.org/editeng/html/classImpEditEngine.html#a6163e18b8db452f3324561f933332542>)
>     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 happens?)

This is something that Thorsten or Kohei could answer better, since they
are more conversant with the edit engine.

> - /"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 would in the first time look what is possible to specify in the Style
and Formatting in Draw and what is possible in Writer. The first goal
would be to bring them at the same level.

Now, be aware that we might discover that any of this task is more
complicated then what we think. Therefore, the work could be done from
the highest to the lowest priority. The priorities go roughly in the
order of your questions. First the text background, then linked frames
and then the other two in whichever order. Even though the hyphenation
is slightly more important since having it would allow Draw to start to
function as a simple DTP application.

Thanks for your interest. I hope that I answered at least some of your



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