[Scribus] insert lorem ipsum: back to context menu?

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Thu Jul 21 02:21:26 CEST 2005

Hi Cedric,

> Trouble with usability is that its success will depend on user habits. 

That's definitely true. Personally, one of the reasons I like scribus so 
much is the context menu. I came across this intriguing approach years 
ago when I switched from MS Office to StarOffice 5.x and, along with the 
easy use of styles, found very compelling. It lets you work much faster, 
as long as it is implemented in a reasonable way, as it currently is in 
OO.o/StarOffice and scribus.

> For example, Louis seems to think of Xpress usability as a nightmare.

No, it is me, and I'm not exactly sure if Louis would agree with me ;)

> I 
> think it is much better than InDesign.
> I think InDesign is not usable because everything is in menu, everything 
> is in windows, everything is everywhere. Of course, anybody can find his 
> solution with that. But when you want to work fast, it is becoming harder.

Now we're back to personal habits and taste. Most professionals are used 
to applying shortcuts, be it in QXP or ID. I almost hate myself for even 
mentioning this in my previous post, because we don't need a discussion 
on the advantages of QXP or ID but on how to improve scribus' usability, 
which is excellent in general, IMHO. For flame wars, other forums are 
more appropriate.

> We have to keep in mind that those concepts don't follow precise rules 
> even if some ideas can be followed.

OK, contradicting myself, I'll give you two examples from QXP. One of 
the generally accepted ideas/rules is: avoid redundancy as much as 
possible. Now, let's have a look at QXP 6.5's "Item" drop down menu. The 
first three entries: "Modify", "Frame", Runaround". If you click any of 
these items, exactly the same dialog appears, just with another active 
tab. This is what I call bad UI design.
Another example from the same drop down menu: "Duplicate" and "Step and 
Repeat" are in row 2, whereas "Super Step and Repeat" is in row 6. Do 
you call this approach reasonable?

Anyway, you are right in stressing individual habits and preferences. 
What is important, however, is to discuss usability issues here (as has 
happened before). This is also important to convince current QXP/ID 
users that scribus is/will be a viable (and better) alternative. The 
ability to have shortcut sets for former QXP/ID users available, is an 
important step in that direction, especially from the usability point of 

In general, the wizards probably need user feedback as much as their 
programming skills to make the right/best decisions on implementation. 
Hope you join in :)



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