[Scribus] Re: Ideas on collaboration

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Sun Jun 26 04:16:02 CEST 2005

Hi Asif,

> Don't you think that "Editable" (or EditableEntity!) would be a much
> closer term for abstraction (or interface name, for that matter) if
> you are trying to find out abstractions?  This is just my two bit.

I don't think it is necessary, at this moment in time, to have a name 
for what is needed (my preferred name would be "container", because it 
is user friendly and doesn't require too much abstraction on the user 
side of what it is technically). It is, however, important to define the 
"entity" on the file format level. The collaboration features won't be 
available in the near future (my prediction, but I never expected 
scribus to mature in such a speed, if at all). If you look at the 
roadmap, 1.4 will allow scribus, to translate a German saying, to 
"piddle with the adults" (sorry, couldn't resist), which it already does 
when it comes to PDF output quality. Once that happened (and presumed 
inkscape and GIMP have finally solved the CMYK problem), it will be 
possible for many small shops to switch to FOSS. But if you want to 
provide solutions for large houses, the collaboration features are a 
"must". BTW, that's exactly what Quark is doing right now to compete 
with Adobe. But the file format, which is under way, will be essential. 
So I think malex is right in keeping the focus on it.

> In addition, though I am still reading the thread, I wonder if any one
> has worked with M$ Publisher (sorry!) 

Seen it, laughed, deleted. But to be honest, Publisher is a nono in 
professional publishing. Microsoft tries to sell it as a serious 
publishing software, but that's simply not a field where MS has the 
necessary expertise. It's fine as an enhancement to the MS Office 
nightmare, but from what I have heard it is also as reliable as MS 
Office (not). If you need a professional grade "office publishing 
software", your choice would be RagTime (BTW, free as in beer for 
personal use). You can go to many printers with collected output from 
CorelDraw, Adobe software or Quark, but I don't know any printer who 
will accept publisher files. That's true with scribus as well, of 
course, but for reasons other than quality.

> - it has the kind of on-the-fly
> layout and on-the-fly changes features that you guys are talking
> about.  

Maybe, and I bet you need a Windows server and nothing else to use these 
features. We need to be as flexible as possible.

> Don't you think it's functionality can be taken (after
> reasonable modifications/enhancements by you guys, of course) as a
> working/live specification?

No! I would recommend not to take a single look at it. Publishing is not 
a business segment well suited for Microsoft right now (too small, 
quality matters, "good enough" is *not* good enough). And please don't 
forget that Microsoft is probably one of the biggest law firms on earth. 
Once they discover publishing as a field of interest, expect law suits 
and cease and desist letters en masse!

> Further, I worked with Oracle 9i database about a year ago and the
> database server had the functionality to hold a particular (most
> heavily used) part of the database completely in the memory (I am
> talking about the in-memory database).  Though I haven't used SVN yet
> but I do know that its data store is based on "Berkley DB" which is
> also being used by MySQL now which (MySQL, that is) also supports
> in-memory databases.  So, don't you think Subversion's "Berkley DB"
> data store could be modified/configured to hold everything (DTP/.sla
> files, that is) in-memory to keep the disk-contention to the minimum? 
> This just my two bits again!

It's more than two bits. Once collaboration features will be on the road 
map, I expect the developers to appreciate your experiences! Keep on 
listening and contributing! All this is *very* exciting.

> --
> Best regards
> Asif
> p.s.  I checked my e-mail after a long time and this thread is simply
> terrific.  I have really learned a lot about the term "workflow"
> specifically.  Previously, I would throw a blank stare to anybody who
> talked about "DTP Workflow" !  (I am new to the DTP/Design stuff!). 
> Thank you all guys!  Keep it up!

After messing up an xx 000 EUR/$ print job you will never forget the 
word "workflow" ;-) But to be serious, DTP workflows are extremely 
sensitive. Sometimes it's only a small mistake in the process that will 
ruin the whole work of others or cause damages. And, as Louis Desjardins 
has pointed out correctly so many times here, the human factor is 
extremely important in almost every stage of production. You can use 
technology to eliminate as much failure points as possible, but in the 
end, human beings will proofread, take care of typography, impose files, 
create the plates, fill in the ink, put the right paper in the machine 
... Despite all the progress we have seen in the last years in all 
fields of publishing, in the end it is -- in many ways -- still a 
traditional way of production. And if we are talking about aesthetics, 
publishing is an art, a craft, and a science at the same time, not to 
mention the "taste" factor. Modern technology provides lots of 
facilities, but in the end, the human factor is what matters.

OK, I'll stop here, and I hope it didn't sound too pathetic ;-)



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