[Scribus] Re: WP vs DTP

Nik scribus
Mon Dec 20 01:54:03 CET 2004

On Saturday 18 December 2004 11:00, 
> I may as well throw in my 1.5c worth.
> This argument is fairly complete, with one addition. WP tended to change
> the output--sometimes radically--depending upon the printer driver. DTP
> were supposed to be very controlled, and make, at most, very minor
> changes. This is one big reason why the ealry versions of MS Publisher
> were little more than "let's pretend" toys.

Ah, very good point. I had completely overlooked the issues regarding output 
format and control.

> Your last item surprises me, though. I think that most people who
> understand the difference well enough to know they want a DTP would be
> aghast if their DTP started showing too many signs of being a WP.

I'll try to explain my view here:

One of the reasons that WP is so popular is that a generation of computer 
users found Word ready-installed on their computers, and learned to use it. 
For better or worse (and I believe, much worse, in fact) this is the default 
way most users create a computer document these days.

The problem I see is that the WP model is broken, and getting more so. What I 
want to see is a better, simpler way to create, exchange, and store documents 
on a computer. I think the DTP model is much less broken than the WP model, 
and therefore it would be much simpler, and ultimately yield a much better 
result, to modify a DTP to fulfil this role than to modify a WP application.

So what I want to see is the next generation of computer users using Scribus 
as the default way to create a document.

For this to happen, the existing generation of users needs to be able to move 
from what they know now (WP) to a new, (better) tool: Scribus. This requires 
including into Scribus a simple enough way to create content that most simple 
users no longer need WP. This would actually be the reverse of the current 
situation: most simple users use WP because they see no need for DTP.

In fact, I too would be aghast if my favourite DTP starting exhibiting WP-like 
failings. However, a single simple tool that didn't require me to use both a 
(broken) WP, and a DTP to produce useful output would be a very desirable 

(Presuming people don't want to explore this here, I won't go into detail 
about what I see as the manifold failings in the WP model, but in summary 
they centre about the fact that formatting can be (and most often is) applied 
directly to sections of text, with no intermediate meta-data.)


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