[Scribus] 1.1.2

Peter Linnell scribusdocs
Sun Nov 2 06:01:43 CET 2003

On Sat, 2003-11-01 at 23:06, Gregory Pittman wrote:
> Well, after spending the day trying an "upgrade" of RH9 to clear up the 
> mess affecting not only Scribus but a whole lot of other programs, I 
> ended up doing a whole reinstall of RH9, then getting updates, then 
> compiling v. 1.1.2 -- WOW!  Now I can see what it's supposed to look 
> like.  Really works well, even though I don't have the absolute latest 
> Qt (3.1.1-6), but I will probably get 3.1.2 and recompile.

Go straight to 3.2.2 and reset your QTDIR environment specifically for
Scribus and other compiled QT apps. 

Keep 3.1.1 or 3.1.2 to make Redhat's KDE happy. 
> All the units/values problems are gone, everything much smoother.  There 
> is still the issue of having to manually change line spacing when you 
> change font size; also all the lines have to have the same line spacing 
> even when you mix up fonts and sizes -- I think the spacing should be 
> automatic (by % according to font size) with the ability to manually 
> adjust.  All sorts of ad layouts (for example) mix up typefaces, sizes 
> and line spacing, so I think it's something a good DTP program must have.

> I've just started reading Eric Raymond's new book, "The Art of Unix 
> Programming", and one thing that occurs to me as he talks about good or 
> elegant programs is that Scribus's user interface is too complicated: 
> too many menu items, too many different ways to do the same thing.  
> Here's an example: there doesn't really seem to be a need to have two 
> separate buttons on the toolbar for text boxes and picture boxes, 
> especially when a right click in the box allows you to switch the type 
> of the box anyway.

> It seems there should be some arbitrary goal set to reduce the number of 
> buttons and menu choices by 1/3 to 1/2 while maintaining all the 
> functionality -- I think it's doable.

Yes, but its arbitrary ;):

DTP apps *are* complicated.. They have lots of menu choices because they
can perform lots of functions. Just think about printing. A DTP user
expects and needs far more control over print options than someone using
a word processor. 

In my opinion, Scribus UI is far cleaner and in some cases more rational
than any other DTP app I work with. I'll note I work with all of the
major DTP apps daily, professionally. The only thing missing is more
keyboard shortcuts for the menus.. but those will come in time.

Compare the PDF exporter in Indesign (the export dialog from hell) and
Scribus. It is far faster and easier to accomplish the same task in
Scribus than ID. Quark's exporter is equally messy with two different
places to make settings (not even in the same app - on Macs, supposedly
superior for UI) Windows 2k/XP is equally bad. You set the PDF export
settings both in the app and in the system settings, otherwise PDF's
from PM or Quark won't distill properly. Fun for beginners!

Many different ways to do different things is an attempt to accommodate
users with different working styles. I personally like lots of menu
choices with keyboard shortcuts. Some like right-click context menus.
Some like palettes. I dislike palettes, but what other way is available
to offer quick choices for repetitive tasks or present info on the
current state of an object. 

That's just me and if you like them, well that's fine too. I feel
cramped on a 19" screen with some DTP apps and dual monitors are only a
partial and distractive solution. 

More than most applications, DTP users invest far more time in learning
the subtleties of commands and program functions than other
applications. Page layout apps like Scribus give you far more control
over the appearance of your document than a word processor. Do not hand
cuff your user because of some arbitrary wish to simplify the UI.

ESR is smart and I agree with him on many things. However, DTP apps are
a corner case and both users and system admins make the mistake of
either expecting them to either behave or make them like "normal"

My 0.02 USD


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