About Travels of Baron Munchausen | osp blog

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About Travels of Baron Munchausen

[This is the about section of the the Travels of Baron Munchausen publication :-)]

How should I disengage myself? I was not much pleased with my awkward situation -- with a wolf face to face; our ogling was not of the most pleasant kind. If I withdrew my arm, then the animal would fly the more furiously upon me; that I saw in his flaming eyes. In short, I laid hold of his tail, turned him inside out like a glove, and flung him to the ground, where I left him.

On January 3 2011, the first working day of the year, OSP gathered around Scribus. We wanted to explore framerendering, Scribus bootstrapping and to play around with the incredible adventures of Baron von Munchausen.

The idea was to produce some kind of experimental result, as a follow-up to our earlier attempts of turning a frog into a prince.

One day we asked Scribus team-members what their favourite Scribus feature was. After some hesitation they pointed us to the magical framerender.


The Framerender is an image frame with a wrapper, a GUI, and a configuration scheme. External programs are invoked from inside of Scribus, and their output is placed into the frame!

By default, the current Scribus is configured to host the following friends: LaTeX, Lilypond, gnuplot, dot/GraphViz and POV-Ray

Today we are working with Lilypond. We are also creating custom tools that generate PostScript/PDF via Imagemagick and other command line tools.


LilyPond is a music engraving program, devoted to producing the highest-quality sheet music possible. It brings the aesthetics of traditionally engraved music to computer printouts.

We wrote a small wrapper that produces two facing pages. On page 1: text is manually selected. On page 2: every letter from the selection is replaced with musical notes; and a musical score with accompanying lyrics is generated by Lilypond.


We typeset the first 5 chapters of the stories that Rudolph Erich Raspe wrote in the voice of the legendary Baron Munchausen. In a rudimentary English, he relates about incredible adventures that happen to him in rapid succession. We started reading them because the passage where Munchausen brings himself out of the swamp by pulling his own boots is often brought up when talking about the Bootstrapping of a computer. Some say he was pulling himself out by his own hair. We have yet to find this exact reference in the Project Gutenberg text. Maybe someone can help? :-)


The shapes of Univers Else are obtained from scanning printed textpages that were optically composed by cheap phototypesetting machines 30 years ago. With it's round angles, floating baselines and erratic kerning it has the kind of delirious brashness necessary for typesetting stories of half horses, wolves turned inside out like a glove, fifty ducks destroyed by one shot and fighting lions with crocodiles.

I recollected that Turkey-beans grow very quick, and run up to an astonishing height. I planted one immediately; it grew, and actually fastened itself to one of the moon's horns. I had no more to do now but to climb up by it into the moon, where I safely arrived, and had a troublesome piece of business before I could find my silver hatchet, in a place where everything has the brightness of silver...

Pull all files from our repository at: http://git.constantvzw.org/?p=osp.git