[Scribus] exchange data between Quark, InDesign, etc

Craig Ringer craig
Fri Apr 29 04:59:36 CEST 2005

On Thu, 2005-04-28 at 21:08 -0400, Gregory Pittman wrote:

> The faults here lie not with Scribus so much as 
> illustrating the problems associated with proprietary, closed data 
> formats.

If you mean PDF, then (a) It's not closed, though it is proprietary, and
(b) it being proprietary isn't the problem re editing.

The problem is that what PDF is designed for is a final presentation
format. It's not designed to be editable. It does its job *extremely*
well, producing very accurate documents in many different viewers on
many platforms, with few problems with fonts, etc etc. Part of how it
manages this is by sacrificing editability.

Lobbing Scribus documents around would suck for what PDF is needed for.
We'd be back in the dark ages of the years when PageMaker then Quark
were dominant, when you had to have a particular version of a particular
program to open a file, and the sender had to collect up all the fonts
and other resources. You'd then often have to convert some of the
resources to your platform's format (eg fonts) before being able to work
on the document, and *EVEN THEN* there was no absolute guarantee it
would be the same.

Stuff that; I'm keeping PDF :-) . It's been the biggest pain-saver in my
work for a long time, even despite the problems the ancient software we
use at work has with it. Accepting Quark documents was a nightmare I'm
glad is over.

Now, it would be nice to be able to edit PDF at some level or import
text and images from it. It can be done, as tools like PitStop show, but
it's evidently not at all easy to do it well or comfortably. That's a
limitation of the format as much as anything, and one I think is well
worth it for the benefits of the format when used for what it's designed

> Because Scribus files are open and text-based, they allow 
> transparency of the contained information.

That doesn't hurt, though the fact that the format is structured for
continued editing - not a "final" document format - is probably more

> A very important additional 
> advantage, much like the situation with tex/latex is that the files are 
> so small that the most efficient way of saving them will always be as an 
> .sla file, even in addition to the subsequent PDF.

Probably not always when you consider font subsetting, images, etc.
Still, frankly I don't think the file size even matters.

(If I sound a little brisk, it's not intended, I'm just writing quickly
and trying to be succinct.)

Craig Ringer

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