Linked by Mike Reed on Tue 22nd Apr 2003 19:02 UTC
Red Hat I keep reading all these tales of woe of people having bad experiences with Linux. Sure, I've had my own bad experiences, across many an OS, but just lately I've been running a Red Hat Linux 9 desktop full-time at home and have yet to run into any major issue. What follows is an overview of my personal experiences with Linux. But first, a bit about me.
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RE: screenwriting - LaTeX?
by stopdabombing on Wed 23rd Apr 2003 19:40 UTC

Adam W wrote:

I'm not really familiar with any of the document formatting systems (or indeed screenwriting, so be gentle :>), but couldn't you set something like LaTeX up to do screenwriting stuff?

It would be almost trivial to set up LaTex or even OO or any word processing program to do screenwriting if ALL that a screenwriting program did was format and lay out the output.

The problem is that the format/layout - the way a screeplay looks is just the final RESULT, and the most trivial aspect of screenwriting programs.

To begin with, a professional screenwriting program has a special interface different from a word processor - you type into a window that has a bunch of other information displayed interactively - there is a running series of reports at which you are constantly glancing. So, right off the bat, you'd have to program a special interface with database capabilities - a complete distinct set of programs to add onto your word-processor. Other things, like extensive auto-complete features for things like recurring character names, location, scene headings, text behavior (f.ex. automatic transitions from action to dialogue or sluglines etc.), could be built into an OOo, but it would be a considerable enterprise. Other aspects of screenwriting software would also be impossible to duplicate in just OOO (or LaTeX etc.) - for example scene-navigators which allow you to look at the script in a completely different format where the software connects different scenes according to set criteria, or for example "text to voice" where you assign voices to your characters, and then get to hear your screenplay read out of the computer speakers as if actors were actually doing your play. Other issues: built in exporters to editing or production software for commercials or TV.

Bottom line, a professional screenwriting program is a lot more than a formatting wordprocessor, and so it immediately disqualifies anybody who claims that OO is "just fine" for this purpose. It is fine only if you don't work in the industry and don't have to meet tight deadlines and interface with other software - in other words, if you are not a professional. If you are aunt Millie doodling on a hobby screenplay, OO is fine, but then again, so is a pad of paper and a pen.