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Re: [BKARTS] InD vs Q

> "The question I hear most often these days is "Which is
> better: QuarkXPress 6 or InDesign 2 ?" Of course, while
> everyone wants a definitive answer, any honest reviewer must
> respond: "It depends." It depends on who you are, what your
> workflow is, and what you need to accomplish in your work.
> That said, I will make one (more or less) definitive
> statement: Comparing the two programs in a vacuum, all things
> being equal, it is quite clear that Adobe InDesign is the
> superior program. It incorporates superior technology, is
> written using a superior programming methodology, the
> features it has in common with XPress are implemented in a
> superior way, and while XPress has a few important features
> that InDesign does not, InDesign clearly has the superior
> feature set in toto ."

This "un-biased" statement makes one smile a bit... :)

I have worked for a decade with QuarkXPress and with InDesign since the
first, rather shaky, version was released. Nowadays, I only use InDesign
- for one single reason: InDesign uses a superior line-breaking
algorithm which is based on the work of Donald E. Knuth of Stanford
univesity in the 60's.

Mr. Knuth developed a completely new line-breaking algorithm that took
into account the whole paragraph before finalizing the line-breaks,
rather than breaking the lines on a line-per-line basis. He also
developed a computer language called TeX, which was designed to be used
for typesetting. Not until the release of InDesign, a paragraph-based
line-breaking algorithm had been used in such DTP programs.

Admittedly, I don't know if now deceased high-end typesetting platforms
like Penta et al did use paragraph-based algorithms - but seeing how
much they charged for even a minimum implementation, I suppose few of us
had the opportunity to work on those platforms anyway.

For those of you who spend endless hours in your attics fine-tuning
hyphenation & justification, a look at Samuel A. Bartel's "The Art of
spacing" from 1926 will indeed give you sleeping problems... :) This
beautifully set 110 page book was handset, with no hyphenations, no
widows or orphans, and with the last line in each paragraph being more
than 60 % of the line-length. Well... those of you who are interested in
statistics have already guessed that such an even setting of an
arbitrary text is virtually impossible. What Bartel probably did was to
re-write the text at the same time as the typesetting - although this
has not been clarified.

So, the rest of us mere mortals will have continue fine-tuning H&J
during late nights in our attics...

All the best,
Mats Broberg

Stockholm - Sweden

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