Writing and drawing tools in Linux

Subject: Writing and drawing tools in Linux
From: KMcLauchlan -at- chrysalis-its -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 10:24:50 -0400

G'day Whirlybirds.

I've been fiddling with Linux, and though I'm still not ready to
stake my livelihood on it (the OS is fine, it's the apps I'm
worried about), I'm feeling more comfortable. StarOffice 5.2 seems
quite decently capable, mostly stable (save often, save often...)
and plays nicely with Word files. GIMP is good for image stuff.
XV is fine for screen captures and for any manipulation that
doesn't demand the GIMP.There are some vector-draw programs with
some good points, though I haven't really settled yet.
I'm really hopeful that Adobe will go GA with FrameMaker, but I
can't count on it (anybody know how their Beta is going?). So...

What are you Linux-lovin' tech writers using? WordPerfect? LaTex/TeTex
stuff? Other?

Also, and this is as much for a private project as for the salaried
tech writing:
Can anybody suggest some programs that I could use to create and
manipulate 3-dimensional architectural objects?

OK, it's like this -- I want to achieve what you get with those
little Windows programs(available in WalMart and office-supply
stores) that let you "build" your dream house or your dream garden,
then walk through it onscreen, tripping over the coffee table,
seeing the light switches and kitchen sink, etc.

BUT, I want to begin with (effectively) engineering drawings that
I create myself, and the "house" would actually be a boat (from
the frames up).

Now, there are some 2D CAD programs available for Linux (Q-CAD
comes to mind), but there's no path (that I can see) to 3D.
I want to be able to specify a complex object to measured
tolerances, and bring it to life onscreen, making the components
fit together. The 3D creation programs that I've seen have been
"world-maker" programs that are geared more toward gamers (lotsa
canned objects and fractal backgrounds).

Free stuff is nice, if it works, but I'm prepared to pay for
software that does the job. If two, three, four programs are

needed, that's fine. What have you got? What have you used?
What programs would you string together to achieve the goal?
Where would be a good place to enquire next?

I'll summarize to the list.

Thanks for your time,


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