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 Post subject: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 09:27:07 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Ok, I'm sure this has discussed ad naseum in these forums, but I wanted to make a post with a list of software and comments, just to make it easier for people to find the information they need when they do a search.

So here is what I have:

First piece of software is called Stamp Page Creator. It's open source and written in Java. You can find it here: http://stamppagetor.sourceforge.net/

The other one I found is Album Easy and can be found here: http://www.thestampweb.com/

The third I just discovered is web based. I have not tried it out yet, but I figured it was worth mentioning: http://stampalbumpro.com/

That's all. Comments, opinion and flames welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:34:22 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 3!

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:53:08 am
Posts: 130
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
I've used AlbumEasy a fair bit, and for simple layouts it's pretty easy to use. It is a bit limited, and the fact that you have to create your page definitions in a text editor, run them through AlbumEasy to make the PDF, then check the PDF by eye to make sure you didn't make any blunders all gets a bit tedious after a while.

I've just come across StampPagetor a couple of days ago and I'm very interested to give that a go as soon as I get some spare time. Initially it looks quite good, and begin open source (and being a programmer it's got potential to do pretty much anything I need.

I'm going to wander over and have a look at the Stamp Album Pro web page right now

Cheers,

C.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:40:58 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 3!

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:53:08 am
Posts: 130
Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
OpusMcN wrote:
I'm going to wander over and have a look at the Stamp Album Pro web page right now

Interesting. It's US stamps only as far as I can see, but has a full writeup of all stamps and can layout pages in a number of ways. Not much use to me as US is low on my interest list, but it's definitely worth a look for someone who's interested.

Cheers.

C.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 05:04:46 am
 PLATINUM Star Mega Stamp Poster

Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 23:38:28 pm
Posts: 409
Location: Sydney, Australia
I use MS Publisher to design my own album pages. IMO it is unbeatable because of its versatility - you can use it to make the standard black & white album pages or get as colourful and complex as you like.

Each page is a separate file so that changing one page does not alter the whole document. In one easy click of the mouse you can insert duplicate pages and then just change the parts you need to change for different issues.

You can import images by just pasting them and then re-size, increase transparency etc. at will and very simply. Page sizes are almost unlimited.

I haven't even touched the surface of it's full capability.

alex

_________________
Focus on the positive

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 05:32:31 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Old Yeti wrote:
I use MS Publisher to design my own album pages. IMO it is unbeatable because of its versatility - you can use it to make the standard black & white album pages or get as colourful and complex as you like.

Each page is a separate file so that changing one page does not alter the whole document. In one easy click of the mouse you can insert duplicate pages and then just change the parts you need to change for different issues.

You can import images by just pasting them and then re-size, increase transparency etc. at will and very simply. Page sizes are almost unlimited.

I haven't even touched the surface of it's full capability.

alex

All that would be great, if I wasn't on a Mac!

I need to find a good Mac or Linux solution.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2011 20:10:04 pm
 AQUA Star Stampboards Enthusiast

Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 02:52:31 am
Posts: 39
Location: Essex, England
Anyone have a good solution sorted which would be suitable for GB pages then?

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 15:01:39 pm
 I was online for our Birthday Number 5!

Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:09:10 am
Posts: 34
I use MS Publisher as well. More costly than some of the other software available but worth every penny.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 15:37:56 pm
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Why spend money on MS Publisher, when you can use an open source product instead.

I am using Scribus for my page design now. http://www.scribus.net.

Best part, besides being free is that's it cross platform: Mac, Linux and Windows.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 01:54:41 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 08:57:12 am
Posts: 167
Location: Hamilton, Scotland
I use MS Word for all my pages.

Open source software such as LibreOffice (formerly Open Office) isn't too bad either.

Andy

_________________
If it ain't broke.....fix it 'til it is!!

http://www.lanarkshireps.co.uk

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 15:14:34 pm
 AQUA Star Stampboards Enthusiast

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:40:22 am
Posts: 25
Location: West Chester, PA, USA
I have also taken to making my own pages and have created an Adobe inDesign template for U.S. stamps. I just wasn't happy with the free software out there.

I have guides configured for different column and row layouts. That way everything will line up 100% across all pages (even if I go back 6 months later ). It can easily be adapted for other countries and page sizes.

I have done U.S. 2009-2011 (and 2012 as I get the stamps are released) and am going backwards in an ambitious endeavour to create and entire US album, then off to other countries.

I would eventually like to offer these for free (or trade for stamps - but not for sale).

I know that the Scott numbers are copyrighted, but can the images of the stamps themselves be distributed?

To overcome the numbering issue, I can export my files to a PDF with blank spaces for the stamp catalog numbers. Adobe will allow the end user to then fill them in with the numbering system of their choosing and re-save the file to print at any time.

I have opted for a simple layout since I just want to show the stamps and not background pictures, etc. It is in color, but I print black and white.

I am currently looking for some ISO 9706 paper to print these on and decent binders with slipcases that don't cost an arm and a leg (if anyone has any suggestions or sources, please post).

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 15:20:39 pm
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Bindertek.com has some nice binders with slip cases. I bought their Barrister binder with slip case and am quite pleased with it.

If you have a Mac, the software Pages does a really good job of laying out pages. I started there and ultimately moved to scribes so I was OS independent.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 13:35:51 pm
 AQUA Star Stampboards Enthusiast

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:40:22 am
Posts: 25
Location: West Chester, PA, USA
apastuszak wrote:
Bindertek.com has some nice binders with slip cases. I bought their Barrister binder with slip case and am quite pleased with it.

Thanks for that, with all my searches, I actually never came up with that site's slip cases. I'm actually going to order one and have a look.

Thanks apastuszak!

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 03:25:50 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 5!

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 02:57:18 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Chicago, USA
Spidery,

Like your pages...one thing (not that you asked for any opinions) but I think your page would look cleaner if the # were placed within the frame so it would be covered by the stamp once placed on the page.

Timbres

_________________
"Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully." - Scott Alexander
I collect Souvenir Sheets postally used on cover, WW used stamps up to 1957 except everything of Brasil and Argentina.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2012 04:12:40 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Spidey2048 wrote:
apastuszak wrote:
Bindertek.com has some nice binders with slip cases. I bought their Barrister binder with slip case and am quite pleased with it.

Thanks for that, with all my searches, I actually never came up with that site's slip cases. I'm actually going to order one and have a look.

Thanks apastuszak!

Bindertek sizes are little different that other binders. I bought the 2" binder with slipcase, and the slipcase will not hold an Avery 2" binder. But the Bindertek binder fits like a glove.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 23:35:57 pm
 AQUA Star Stampboards Enthusiast

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 11:40:22 am
Posts: 25
Location: West Chester, PA, USA
Timbres wrote:
Spidery,

Like your pages...one thing (not that you asked for any opinions) but I think your page would look cleaner if the # were placed within the frame so it would be covered by the stamp once placed on the page.

Timbres

Hey Timbres, Anyone who speaks without listening, should speak, right? .. lol

I've created PDF's where you can turn the numbers (ar any other element) on or off based on your liking. The boxes are to the exact stamp measurement from the USPS Postal Bulletins, so a stamp (with mount) would be slightly larger than the box. I needed enough space because of the variations of mount sizes.

I personally like having the reference to go back to and visible, but see your point. I am trying different spacing options to see how they look.

So far, there are 47 pages for 2011 alone (I've added postal stationary ). 2012 is halfway done.

For those who may be interested, I've also settled on a paper. Resume Paper by Southworth RD18CF http://www.southworth.com/product/?group=57&ID=238

100% Recycled, 100% Cotton, Acid Free/ Lignin Free, archival quality and a firm 32lb. (120g/m2) And you can get it at Staples or Office Max for about $13/box, but I have seen it online for$10/box.

Also, printing these on my MagiColor 7450 printer, they look incredibly crisp and detailed.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 04:52:29 am
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Well this thread so inspired me, I went out and wrote my own album page generator application (I have been using Page Maker 6.52 running in a virtual XP for nearly a decade). I took a look at Album Easy and had a few emails with the developer and it looks pretty good as a generator, but the format didn't match my other 22 volumes of pages. But alas, I was bored and not feeling well one day so I wrote a XML -> PDF generator and have thrown a little user interface around it to pick the input / output files/directories.

While visual layout it nice (and between this thread and the other there are some gorgeous designs) I figured I have created enough pages (well over 2500) to instinctively know the layout I want... I just need to do the data entry and avoid the math (figuring out positioning in absolute coordinates)

The collecting tools/supplies have changed/advanced even in the last decade (even while they have regressed - take Lighthouse's binders now made in China). If I had to do it again, I would likely use a A4 (8.5"x11") size paper and a three ring binder (there are some nice ones now). When I started making my pages I was thrilled with Lighthouse binders and so my collection is housed in 22 turn-bar "red" binders. But their paper is expensive (~ $0.50+/sheet) requires a wide track inkjet printer and manually feeding (do you have any idea how long it takes to feed 2500+ pages through an inkjet!) -Jason _________________ Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/ [*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 05:18:36 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA Are you going to release this software for others to use? I'd love to give it a try. And while I am at it, what is Stamp Web Editor? I see it in your signature, but the Google Code page has no downloads. Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 05:29:14 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2010 08:57:12 am Posts: 167 Location: Hamilton, Scotland Interesting comments you make about pages sizes & printers Jason. I used to use Gibbons "Senator Medium" albums whose pages are slighly shorter than A4 but slightly wider so they had to be printed, manually fed, on an A3 inkjet. Result was the "polish" on the print side quite often caused the pages to skew. Ended up settling for standard A4 paper which goes through my laser beautifully (and consistently). End result, a hell of a lot less waste paper!! Andy _________________ If it ain't broke.....fix it 'til it is!! http://www.lanarkshireps.co.uk Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 08:25:34 am  WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am Posts: 382 Location: Hugo, USA apastuszak - The Stamp Web Editor is not a "end-user" application per say. It is a web technology platform of services I use for managing my stamp collection. The front end to it is the StampWeb web-browser client (although I have mobile applications as well). I wrote it when I was disappointed with the SG My Collection tools online (3+ years ago) and I wanted to learn some new web technologies on the J2EE technology stack. It is primarily used not only to track what I have, but provide cross-referencing between catalogues, provide cost basis and total catalogue values etc. My test application with non-authentication support is here: http://drakeserv.dyndns.org:9000/StampWebMVPTest if you want to look. The data in it is junk (based on some demo data loaded for my automated test suites). Each server "restart" causes the database to be flushed and reloaded with demo data (so you can't junk it!). My production system (which is authentication protected) has ~ 5200+ stamps (10K catalogue numbers) etc. (Note: it is best viewed with Firefox (Google Chrome has some display issues)). The main reason why it is not available for download is simply - You need to have computer administration skills to set it up (Java App Engines, Databases, authentication etc.) - it is simply not something the average user would be able to run on their own - nor do I want to support people in running it. My image bursting application was actually written to help break out the images I reference in this application (for practical reasons I do not store the physical images in the database - but through a separate "image location") Cheers -Jason _________________ Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/ [*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:48:53 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA Jason, I happen to be an IT professional with a lot of Linux experience. I run a Linux server in my house. I would love to take a crack at it, if you have some instructions. If you have a HOWTO, could you contact me off list? Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 08:12:37 am  I was online for Post Number 3 MILLION! Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:30:07 am Posts: 1553 Location: Livingston, Scotland Old Yeti wrote: I use MS Publisher to design my own album pages. IMO it is unbeatable because of its versatility - you can use it to make the standard black & white album pages or get as colourful and complex as you like. Each page is a separate file so that changing one page does not alter the whole document. In one easy click of the mouse you can insert duplicate pages and then just change the parts you need to change for different issues. You can import images by just pasting them and then re-size, increase transparency etc. at will and very simply. Page sizes are almost unlimited. I haven't even touched the surface of it's full capability. alex Open Ofiice Writer does the same. It is free and multi-platform. http://www.openoffice.org/ _________________ With kind regards, Jim Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 08:26:53 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA I haven't tried OpenOffice.org writer as a desktop publishing app. I should give that a try. OpenOffice is pretty much dead at this point and has been replaced by LibreOffice. Same developers, much newer code. Http://www.libreoffice.org Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:27:52 am  Black Ninja Star! Board Posting Addict. Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 00:05:55 am Posts: 70 Location: Quakers Hill, NSW, Australia Hello, I have been wanting to design my own pages for some time. Tried a number of free programmes from the web but had no success. They seemed to have too many limitations. I had MS Publisher 2007 on my computer and started to learn how to use it. Although time consuming it was great, easy and could be saved as a PDF file. I have now completed an Australian Decimal Stamp Album and started on a New Zealand Decimal Stamp Album. Not sure what I will do next but am open to requests. I am selling these on CD on Ebay to finance my revival in stamp collecting now that I have retired. Best wishes Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:55:38 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA Post some pictures of the pages! Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 13:29:28 pm  Black Ninja Star! Board Posting Addict. Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 00:05:55 am Posts: 70 Location: Quakers Hill, NSW, Australia Here are some sample pages of my Australian Decimal Stamp Album on CD. Please let me know what you think. http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/81246349?access_key=key-d8pjovngap47o976w9t Best Wishes Robert Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 14:06:07 pm  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA Very nice pages! Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 23:32:06 pm  Black Ninja Star! Board Posting Addict. Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 00:05:55 am Posts: 70 Location: Quakers Hill, NSW, Australia Hello, As I previously mentioned I am using MS Publisher to design an Australian Decimal Stamp Album. This is to sell and finance my return to stamp collecting during my retirement. Where can I obtain images of stamps to incorporate in my album? I intend to use some image editing software to make them black and white and smaller than the original so they would be covered up when a stamp was collected. Any help would be appreciated. Many thanks Robert Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 01:06:42 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA I get most of my images from images.google.com Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 02:49:25 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 14:38:30 pm Posts: 150 Location: India Mods - I wrongly posted something here - can someone delete this post of mine. Sorry Thanks Top  Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 06:59:41 am  Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm Posts: 208 Location: Bensalem, PA USA jadrake wrote: Well this thread so inspired me, I went out and wrote my own album page generator application (I have been using Page Maker 6.52 running in a virtual XP for nearly a decade). I took a look at Album Easy and had a few emails with the developer and it looks pretty good as a generator, but the format didn't match my other 22 volumes of pages. But alas, I was bored and not feeling well one day so I wrote a XML -> PDF generator and have thrown a little user interface around it to pick the input / output files/directories. While visual layout it nice (and between this thread and the other there are some gorgeous designs) I figured I have created enough pages (well over 2500) to instinctively know the layout I want... I just need to do the data entry and avoid the math (figuring out positioning in absolute coordinates) The collecting tools/supplies have changed/advanced even in the last decade (even while they have regressed - take Lighthouse's binders now made in China). If I had to do it again, I would likely use a A4 (8.5"x11") size paper and a three ring binder (there are some nice ones now). When I started making my pages I was thrilled with Lighthouse binders and so my collection is housed in 22 turn-bar "red" binders. But their paper is expensive (~$0.50+/sheet) requires a wide track inkjet printer and manually feeding (do you have any idea how long it takes to feed 2500+ pages through an inkjet!)

-Jason

Jason,

Will this software ever be shared with the world at large?

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 08:00:32 am
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Not sure. I guess that is really a question of does the world need yet another album generator tool? I am already supporting the image bursting application. I have my internal DB application which is nearly 50x more code and larger and now I have written an XML to PDF album generator. At some point you have to ask yourself... how much effort on evenings and weekends with a young family you can expend (afterall this is not my business). Can I make the application available for download and use.... sure, I just need to provide the ability configure the page size and margins in the user-interface. Would anyone want/need/use it? That is the real question (because as I learned with the image bursting application... once it is out there.... you need to maintain and nurture it). I received several "incentives" from dealers on the image bursting application for features. That is unlikely here - so it would literally be for goodwill.

So the real question becomes... do we need another album creator?

I'd be willing to post an example XML and the PDF output if someone is interested. I have produced about 40-50 pages so far in a few albums. If people show interest (other than saying let me try it - because to get there I need to invest time to provide the application) then I might be willing to provide it. Since the format is matched to my style - in theory I could have an album exchange of XMLs on a google site or other.

-Jason

_________________
Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/
[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 08:07:28 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
I need album creation software that will let me add multi-line descriptions under stamps and a title over them If your app allows that, then it fills a void I have with all the other album making software out there now.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 08:20:19 am
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Yeah it does...... I'll put a couple of .ZIPs on the google site tonight when I am home that contain the XML and corresponding PDF so you can see

-Jason

_________________
Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/
[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 08:29:46 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
You rock. I'll be looking for a link tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:17:34 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 5!

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 02:57:18 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Chicago, USA
Me too! Me too! I'm definitely interested.

_________________
"Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully." - Scott Alexander
I collect Souvenir Sheets postally used on cover, WW used stamps up to 1957 except everything of Brasil and Argentina.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 03:30:19 am
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Didn't get to it last night, but I threw three examples into a .zip this morning you can see here: http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/downloads/detail?name=albums-examples.zip

This includes my complete album definition for:

Kenya Uganda and Tanganyika
South Africa (just the mini-sheet)

The south africa shows the ability to have text below a set.
Kenya on page 3 shows some of the more advanced formatting, and page 22 shows horizontal set-tennant pairs (vertical is having some rendering issues currently)

Basically - you define the boxes based on the size of the stamp, and it currently adds 4mm to the width and 5mm to the height (which is the spacing I use for mount I cut). Images will be scaled to try and fit based on the text in the box.

The border is added at generation time (not in XML definition). This is because my paper is pre-printed with a border, but when you get you can add it (good for viewing the layout in "debug/verificaiton" mode)

Let me know if this would be of value and time on my part to put out there.

-Jason

_________________
Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/
[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 05:14:13 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Can the <s> tag take a description and comment property?

How many lines can the comment property display under the stamp box?

I'm looking for a way to do something like this, which no free software allows me to do right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 05:35:57 am
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
A row-set can have a secondary description (under the stamp row). If your row-set is 1 stamp, then it is under the stamp. You can add \n to the description and make it as many lines as needed. A set can be a composite set made up of multiple row-sets (Page 3 of Kenya shows this I believe)

There is no border support. The border you see I dump out there based on the margins of the page to visually see the layouts (I have a flag in my generator that can output the border). My actually PDFs I print don't have a border. I suppose you could print a page with a border first using page maker/publisher etc. and then output the borderless PDFs.

I noticed your fonts are different too. This was the single reason why I didn't/couldn't use Album Easy (and why I wrote this)

Anything can be added... it is just a matter of time, coding and testing. My incentive is not particularly high to advance this but I am open to ideas.

-Jason

_________________
Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/
[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 06:12:13 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Fonts I don't really care about. It's being able to place two different stamps side by side and each have it's own heading and description underneath. That's where all the other free software fails me.

Lack of borders in fine, and probably even better. I can easily make borders in another piece of software and print them out.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 06:38:06 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 5!

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 02:57:18 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Chicago, USA
I don't see border as a big deal either. But I would like to be able to have some facility with font selection and what the flexibility to add descriptive lines as has already been mentioned by apastuszak

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"Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully." - Scott Alexander
I collect Souvenir Sheets postally used on cover, WW used stamps up to 1957 except everything of Brasil and Argentina.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 06:57:54 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
Descriptive lines is what would differentiate this software from everything else out there.

Every other software I tried, either does not support descriptive text, or will only allow descriptive text for a row, and not an individual stamp.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:31:58 am
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Guys - I don't want to sound rude, but I probably would have at least 8+ hours of development to make the application "releasable" and any features would entail further investment on my part.

I personally wrote it in with the fonts I use (because other applications didn't conceptually support mine) - doesn't mean I can't make it configurable but would need to add that feature (call it another 4+ hours minimum - likely 8 if I am going to add automated tests to ensure no regressions)

Adding text under the stamp box is a smaller effort, probably on the order of 4 hours total (with tests). Plus what if you have a 21x24 sized stamp (like a definitive US Flag stamp?) would the text be as wide as you make it or wrap at the bounds of the box? Right now, I try not to auto-wrap (although in most cases I keep the text less than the box width(s) - talking set wise here) and state where I want new lines.

For that 16-24 hours of work I get more fans (yeah) but also users - and users love to quibble over things (like fonts and text under boxes).... so much so that I end up spending 24-48 hours more addressing issues in the first month.

While I'd love to make this contribution to the hobby's software libraries, I am a little burned out right now (and my lack of sleep proves it) - not to mention I am about to start a major renovation on my basement for a month. At the moment I don't think I can provide anything short-term (next 30-45 days). Beyond that, with the right incentive I could be motivated to kick this into a higher gear.

(I know not the answer you wanted to hear)

-Jason

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[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:42:02 am
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
I guess you have just given me incentive to improve my coding skills.

I want to see if I can hack together something quick and dirty in python just so I can learn how to render PDFs in python and read xml files.

Perhaps you should start a Kickstarter page, and see if you can get some people to throw a little money your way. Maybe it would be worth it then.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:59:48 am
 I was online for our Birthday Number 5!

Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 02:57:18 am
Posts: 1328
Location: Chicago, USA
Jason,

I wouldn't expect you to drop everything to do this. Just expressing my wish list but I feel where you're coming from. Do it for yourself and if others want it, they can pay for it. That's fair.

_________________
"Making money is a hobby that will complement any other hobbies you have, beautifully." - Scott Alexander
I collect Souvenir Sheets postally used on cover, WW used stamps up to 1957 except everything of Brasil and Argentina.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 14:27:22 pm
 Senior Member Advanced Stamp Board Guru

Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2011 23:57:09 pm
Posts: 208
Location: Bensalem, PA USA
So, now I am playing around with LaTEX to try and layout what I want. It's extremely powerful, but it not a WYSIWYG program by and stretch of the imagination. It take some work, but it will give you VERY consistent pages.

The following code:

Code:
\begin{figure}[ht!]
\captionsetup{width=38mm,justification=centering}
\caption*{\textbf{Ukrainian Cossackdom}}
\centering
\setlength\fboxsep{20pt}
\setlength\fboxrule{0.5pt}
\fbox{\includegraphics[width=18mm,totalheight=30mm]{cossack.png}}
\captionsetup{width=38mm, justification=justified}
\caption*{\scriptsize{This stamp celebrates the 500th anniversary of the founding of Zaporoszka Sich.  Hetman Dmytro Bajda Vyshnevetskyj is featured with 2 fellow cossacks.}}
\label{cossacks}
\end{figure}

produces the following output

It might take me a while, but I may be able to create something that can output a LaTEX file and then use LaTEX to convert that file to PDF.

LaTEX is totally new to me, but it looks like it's pretty cool. Scripting this could take quite a while. I think I am just going to try and actually lay out one year in pure LaTEX first and see how it goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Free software to design album pagesPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 16:32:50 pm
 WINNER! Stampboards Poster Of The Month

Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 06:29:13 am
Posts: 382
Location: Hugo, USA
Yeah LaTEX has been around a long time. I used it briefly back in the early 90s for an essay/report for my CS classes. It is very powerful, but as you see not particularly friendly to parse or write. Personally XML is nice because you can validate the XML file for issues with a DTD.

That is one box. What about a row of boxes? You may find you end up in the world of math arithmetic that I was in with Page Maker.... need to shift box to the left x mms.....

Also - where did you get google app engine and perl from? I know the app engine but there is no way you could generate a page with it. The GAE rules only allow you to consume a few flops of CPU cycles per transaction. (I think it is 2-5 seconds or something). To parse a page stream like Hyderabad takes at least that. No it is written 100% Java. I know many languages (computer written - not spoken) but have likely written close to a million lines of java code.

Timbres - glad you get my drift. Assuming I survive the next couple of months, I might be able to swing something for those two features (but I certainly encourage others to explore new and fantastical worlds with LaTEX, or GhostScript (another favorite from the olden days) - just don't make any typos!)

_________________
Development Owner of - [*] Stamp Image Bursting Application - http://www.drakeserver.com/
[*] Stamp Album Page Generator - http://code.google.com/p/stamp-pagegen/ - [*] Stamp Web Editor

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