Typesetting a commented game
Typesetting a commented game in easy to read way quickly is not trivial. Using this workflow it typically takes total of 2 hours to typeset 8 pages (A5) of commented game. If done reasonably carefully, results are in par with the best game commentaries in books. Commented game in http://gowrite.net/bulletin/bulletin5_web.pdf (5MB) is done using this workflow.
This workflow uses scribus (1.3.7) and gowrite (2.3.31) to produce a print quality PDF. GOWrite produces EPS files in workflow, and scribus links to these EPS files.
Older versions of these programs do not support this workflow well. Use of different tools probably changes workflow in some ways.
Have clear, unambiguous and readable comment text.
No more than 100 moves a diagram, except in yose diagram(s).
Comments are no same page as the diagram with the commented move.
Comments should be possible to read and understand without putting stones in board. Ko fights may be particularly difficult.
It should be intuitively reasonably clear which comment refers to which diagram, even if diagrams are numbered.
Typically actual game diagrams are named with one name (“Diagram”) and alternative (speculative) sequences with another name (“Variation”).
Usually original material is commented game in SGF format. SGF has actual game as mainline, comment text, letters in the board and multiple variations. Comment text may refer to move and board positions by move numbers, letter in board or coordinates.
Context of comment texts and variations should be clear.
Text in SGF usually refers implicitly to board position it has been added to. However in printed game commentary this position is not similar to position in SGF viewer. Following lists typical modifications needed to comment text and letters in board.
Often same letter may be present in multiple comments in one diagram. Usually avoiding this requires changes in labels.
Often some of labels are covered with moves in game diagrams. This requires changes in comment text.
Following is the workflow as done in EGC 2010 congress bulletin. Workflow mostly avoids multiple iterations.
- - Add initial diagrams to game (using wizard).
- o Maximum number of moves is set to 50.
o Let GOWrite guess variation areas.
o Move numbering should start from 1 in variations.
- Check that Viewing option “Show Move before variation” is selected.
- Do export all to create HTML comments and EPS graphics into desired diagram export directory. After this, export all should be done as often as necessary. After this comment text in SGF are not modified, but comment text is modified in scribus only.
- Copy comments from HTML to scribus text frame. Edit game start text for proper content and formatting. It is also possible to do desired formatting changes to comment text here.
- - In scribus add first game diagram to correct position. EPS diagrams should be added into graphics frames. This way scribes file does not embedded graphics, but links to EPS file.
- In scribus add first variation diagram to correct position. Check that variation diagram includes sensible part of board area; Note that best area depends on comments relating to variation.
- Continue adding variation diagrams in scribus until flow of comment text and diagrams fill first page nicely. Remember to leave sufficient white space, as it improves readability.
- Now move next diagram so that comments in first page belong to first diagram, and remaining comments are not in first diagram. This can be done using drag’n drop in gowrite move tree, so deleting and re-creating diagram is not necessary.
- After changes in gowrite, do export all to update EPS files. Scribus will notice and apply updates automatically within few second.
- Continue to second game diagram to process next page in scribus.
- - After all comments and variations are in scribus, start to process comment texts.
- Check that variation diagrams and comments are in correct order.
- Verify that it is clear to which game move each variation refers. Edit text to clarify unclear.
- If variation contain multiple comments, ensure it is clear that variation is referenced in all cases and not the main game moves.
- Check comment references to moves and board positions. Typical changes (in no specific order):
- o Modify coordinates to refer to moves or letter.
o Check that each letter is used only once in each diagram, and letters are used in order. Modify letter is SGF and scribus comment text to correct any problems. Do export all often enough to prevent confusion.
o Modify references to labels hidden by moves to reference the move.
o If same label is used in multiple locations close to each other, it may be good to add diagram name to clarify like “A (Diagram 5)”.
- In rare cases changes in comment text may increase length of text so much, that division to pages changes.
GOWrite (2.3.31 and later) allows adding empty margins to diagram. Adjust these margins so that text flows nicely around (variation) diagram. This way it is usually not necessary to make adjustments diagram by diagram in scribus.
In scribus PDF export select (experimental) “Export PDF and EPS as such” [CHECK]. This creates small vector graphic diagrams into PDF.
If you use this workflow, I would be happy to hear your experiences!