Re-editable LaTeX objects: making (seemingly discontinued) addon textext work in v0.91 is a nightmare!

Asked by Josef on 2015-08-17

Dear developers,

as a scientist I (and several of my colleagues) have been using inkscape for a couple of years now predominantly to create scientific posters that include Latex objects. A re-editable functionality is absolutely essential! Unfortunately, only the addon textext provides that (as compared to LaTeX... under Extensions -> Render in version 0.91).

Unluckily, it has become a burden to make textext work with the current inkscape version, as can be seen in several forums, e.g.:
https://bitbucket.org/pv/textext/issues/102/textext-inkscape-091#comment-None
http://yeknan.free.fr/dc2/index.php?post/2015/02/12/Textext
https://answers.launchpad.net/inkscape/+question/269994
https://laconsigna.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/fixing-textext-on-inkscape-0-48/
Especially under Windows 10...

Given that it is an important feature for scientists (at least !) it would be really great to have that feature incorporated in the built-it Latex input option.
Meanwhile, as a workaround, a solution to the issue posted here (not by me) would help a lot:
https://bitbucket.org/pv/textext/issues/102/textext-inkscape-091#comment-None

Question information

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Inkscape Edit question
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Last query:
2015-08-17
Last reply:
Hachmann (marenhachmann) said : #1

Hi Josef,

it looks like that extension is no longer maintained - and, just like you, I couldn't find the right person's (the author's) mail address.

There are several bug reports for this, see https://bugs.launchpad.net/inkscape/+bug/1405129

It seems we would need to find a new maintainer for that extension, or to improve the included one.

I will link this question to the bug report, please make sure that you are subscribed to it so you can get updates, and we have someone who can help and test any developments on Windows (most of our devs don't even have access to a Windows machine).

Kind regards,
 Maren

su_v (suv-lp) said : #2

The core trouble with TexText extension is that - in order to work around a known basic limitation of Inkscape's current design of the extension system - it has been implemented using an external Gtk+- or (optionally) python-based GUI (a modal dialog which blocks access to Inkscape's main window). Since Inkscape already has a built-in auto-GUI (dialog) for the extensions' options, there are not really plans at the moment to include the required special modules for TexText's external GUI in Inkscape packages for Windows and OS X (pygtk and other python modules which include compiled libs are often a pain to package and support in fully relocatable Inkscape packages for proprietary OS like Windows and OS X, and may increase the download size noticeably, for a feature used by one externally developed and in this case even by now unmaintained extension. Sozi was another example of an Inkscape extension which chose this type of implementation (external GUI) - the project lately has moved on to a standalone application, and no longer maintains the inskcape extension actively, AFAIK).

Ideally, Inkscape's extension system will get a redesign in a future (distant) release, and an implementation of the necessary features to store/reuse/edit extension parameters with objects of the current document, as e.g. described in these blueprints:
* https://blueprints.launchpad.net/inkscape/+spec/persistent-render-extensions
* https://blueprints.launchpad.net/inkscape/+spec/render-extension-wand
Once such features are supported natively by Inkscape's extension system, a merge of new/prior options to embed/edit LaTeX-generated output in Inkscape documents - maintained by and distributed with the project - is much more likely to happen.

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