Yesterday, at DHAN Foundation’s “Foundation Day” celebration, the students from PDM 11 of the Tata-Dhan Academy and others were able to have–after a really long break–a new issue of Spectrum: Colours of Development in their hands to look at (and hopefully read). Spectrum is the student newsletter of the Academy; students contribute articles, solicit articles from faculty, and do the shortlisting and preliminary editing before passing it on to me for further polishing.
One of the things I’m happiest about is that we were able to do this issue entirely using open-source tools. In the past, PageMaker and CorelDraw have been used. These programs are good, but in the long run, we would like the students to create (including design) these newsletters entirely on their own, and seeing that we don’t have copies of these programs for the students to use and that I don’t encourage the students to use pirated software (see Am I inconsistent?), I thought it would be good to experiment with this issue and do the design entirely using open-source programs.
So, for that, we used Inkscape and Gimp for all of the graphics, and Scribus for the layout. Since there were a couple of tables in this issue and Scribus has terrible support for tables at the moment, we used OpenOffice.org Writer to design the table, copied the table into OpenOffice.org Draw, exported the table as an EPS file, and imported that as a vector graphic into Scribus. Kind of a roundabout way, I know, but then again, as far as I remember neither PageMaker nor CorelDraw are that great for tables either. For the fonts, I decided to use the Linux Libertine font family both because it is open type and because it is a really nice font. And, for hosting online, we decided to use WordPress (though we are using the .com variant, rather than the .org variant–for now at least).
Overall, I’m happy with the results! Check it out for yourself: Spectrum – Issue 4.