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Lover, you should've come over

It's done! Finally! It's only taken me about 8 months to get it completely done. Of course, I could have downloaded all the comments and entries and then tried to hack something together that might have converted it all quickly into a PDF or something similar. In case you're wondering, that picture is of all five books - about 540 pages - of this journal printed on good paper and bound. (The majority of that 8 months was spent not doing this; this was a spare time thing)

Reason why I didn't take the hacking route: I foolishly started with copying/pasting into Word. In the process, learned some new things about Word (styles, sectioning, macros, page numbering) and also learned quite a bit on using Scribus (the open source DTP program!). If you're interested in Scribus, have a look for the portable version - much less footprint, but you need to add your own image editor.

The other reason I didn't just try and shortcut it is because I wanted to go through and check links, pictures, track down old pictures and add them in etc etc. Basically make it as complete as possible to the casual reader (as unlikely as it might seem that anyone might just pick up a copy of my journal and start reading). And general quality control with regards to editing (page breaks in the right place, page numbers in the right place, certain text using the correct style, comments that didn't belong etc)

If I had to do it again how would I do it:
I'd probably download the XML files and hack up something to import into Scribus or something. Of course, you'd still have to go through it and make sure its all edited properly. I'd also add in date/time for each comment. And make a separate file for each year. Sectioning sucks. One thing I wanted to do was better headers/footers. I just couldn't be bothered going to all that trouble for something so simple (having the month and year at the top of each page).

The handy thing is, the binding I used (unibind for anyone who cares) is designed so pages can be added pretty much anytime (and the glue will still hold everything together). So I'll be able to add the rest of 2006 next year before I leave here =)

Ok, thats all.


Steve P
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