Ragtime (Free, Public BETA)
Based upon the paradigm of opendoc containers there is a long time player RAGTIME. Starting as a Mac only program it now is available for Mac and Windows alike. Version 6 is right now in (public) beta-testing. Ragtime 5.6 private is free
for anyone to use, within the limits of the free license.
What is RagTime?
First of all it is based upon the opendoc (CORBA) paradigm, meaning all files are containers whose content depends upon the program that acts upon it. In short RagTime is the complete office suite in one program, or the AppleWorks program for that matter but with qualities to stylesetting more compatible to QuarkXpress. To create a document you have to create a frame of a certain dimension and assign a content to it. Afterward you can manipulate the frame and the content as wanted, or even create a frame from a collection of line and bezier tools. Just do not forget to – after closing a frame up so it has one boundary – assign a content to it. Each file belongs in a so called container, each container can contain information of a particular nature: text/drawing/bitmaps/spreadsheet/movie/sound et-cetera.
RagTime completely supports AppleScript, there is a somewhat minute version on the windows platform but they will have to do with what that is. Ragtime also has built in scriptability so you can define on a frame a button to start certain actions, or connect to some remote ODBC-database. One press on a menu-item provides you with a presentation of your screen without ever leaving the program. Did I mention RagTime was the first program to allow you multiple languages on a single paragraph? Or different letter- directions for that matter? Left-right/right-left-bottom right-
top left. It will be supported. You like to rotate frames to create one A4 or a letter page two half size pages? Create the frames and rotate them and place them specifically with a precision to .01 inch and cm, and 0.01 degree in rotation. The best feature for creative people is the possibility to create a frame consisting of several bezier curves and close them, afterwards changing their shape to your liking and then making them contain a certain content: text/picture or what else you would like. It makes for nice decorative uses, and just your own imagination is the limiting part there. In short for a free program, this is a very well designed all in
one information processor. For a paid solution it gives you the best between word and quark, no more hassle to place a picture at a certain position, it is there and stays there and you can tell your text what to do: flow around it or skip below it. In short it starts to deliver where word stops and quark seems needed.