[Scribus] Scribus in the Art Lab
Mon Apr 3 23:51:52 CEST 2006
pixelnate a ?crit :
> Craig Bradney wrote:
>>100% agree. Uni should be teaching you how to think not what to think... or in
>>this case.. what design is about, not what a program to *help* you design
>>(it, not design for you) is about.
> They should be teaching you what you _need_ to know not what they would
> _like_ you to know. He forced his agenda upon them, even though the
> commercial apps, while more expensive, are currently the better more
> fully featured tools.
I disagree. If I would teach DTP, I would use Scribus in the classroom.
And first of all, I would turn off the computers and ask the students
take a pencil and a sheet of paper (recycled paper ? hey, let's save
those ancient forests) to make sure they can first "download" their idea
of what the page would be in their view before ever trying to realize it
using any tool.
I would also make sure they get all relevant information of what is
graphic design, what are the components, the basic parts, and the
fioritures. You do not need a computer to explain what margins are, what
bleed is and what kerning is all about. Once they know, I would turn on
I have seen so many young people asking for a job and telling me they
were actually "experts" on such and such software... When it came to
actually do the job, they sure did know what were the hot keys to get
the dialogs on board... But most of them, right out of school, didn't
have a clue on what to do first, and why, and what they were going to do
to meet that deadline anyway. But they were fast and quick at trying
different things. All of them needed a real life ride of a few months
(for the more talented), and some simply couldn't cope with the graphic
art industry's demanding life. Details. Details. Details. And strategy.
Now when it comes to the software, well, maybe you will find it will
sound surprising but it actually doesn't matter that much... If you know
what you want to achieve, you'll get the job done. Now, some tools might
be better than others to achieve a specific thing. But really, there is
nothing like a knowledgeable human being...
The way you look at it is more like saying: "We're sorry, our great chef
will not be able to achieve his famous coq-au-vin providing he cannot
cook on an electrical outlet and that's all there is in the house". Is
it the chef or the oven? Skills, someone? Ingredients? Capacity of
It might be interesting to mention that Adobe people have thouroughly
made the demonstration that it is easy (very easy) for a professionnal
to switch from Quark to InDesign. This tells it all doesn't it? It took
me a week-end to be fully productive (and much faster) when I let go my
old parallel ruler and drawing table for Quark nearly 20 years ago.
(Quark at the time didn't have a "lock to baseline grid" feature nor
multicolumn text frames. Did it prevent me to achieve any of my
professionnal work back then? No.) It took me only a few hours to get my
hands on Scribus, 2 years ago.
I don't know if I am convincing enough to make you think that this
teacher is actually not fooling any of his students nor is he taking
risks with their future and to the opposite is in fact helping them
build self confidence in their own skills and knowledge instead of
telling them that since they "learned" Quark (or InDesign) they have
only access to jobs that will ask for this particular software?! I do
believe that Scribus, even though we all know is far from perfect, has
its place in a DTP classroom, and at any level.
Considering the fact that many professionnals using computers nowadays
don't have a clue of just how the simple Search & Replace function can
really help... Or how lots of pros don't use so many great features that
are already in the programs, such as Stylesheets, for instance. And how
many people know just what the H&J dialog is about in Quark? And what's
the big fuss about all those versions subsequent to 3.32... all the way
to 6.5 ... (oh! and what about version 5 ?!?!?) and all the quirks we'd
discover in the super developping series Quark 4 had to offer...
Robust?! C'mon! You must be joking! :-)
I disagree also with the poster you mentionned at
I cannot talk for the teacher but on my part, I think it is too much a
shortcut to bring down the whole issue to money. Of course, the licences
have a cost. And of course, if a college or a university can cut into
those expenses it is a good thing. But one must consider that when a
school is using open source software it also means that that school can
participate to the project and can help the project go further. It is
not even a matter of "taking control" of the teaching tools... it is a
matter of "taking care" of them. And in turn, this class and lots of
others can help develop a piece of software that is better suited for
people's needs. This is "sharing" and this is what education is all about.
I am taking the time to answer you because I think lots of people when
they look at software just fall into that marketing trap, fully
concentrating their attention on the tool itself and just forgetting to
think about what they are using it for, what they want to achieve in the
end. The "full-feature" thing is much about speaking so loud nobody
remembers exactly what he/she came for. And I think this is worth
answering so we can get people to understand that there are other ways
to look at software.
Scribus, by the way, is improving everyday. A few people make sure of
that, everyday. And you know, DTP knowledge among Scribus users is
improving also everyday because we care... and we share. Docs, tutorial,
wiki and this list tells a lot about it. And it is for all to read as
well, no matter wether they use other programs or not. It's free. As in
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