[Scribus] Scribus in the news again

Steven Boothe steven.boothe
Wed Apr 19 17:56:10 CEST 2006

This whole article was actually a very worthwhile read (mentioning lots 
of stuff about workflow, JDF (xml job definition format), and PDF-X/A, 
etc), but here is the relevant excerpt related specifically to Scribus.

Of course I disagree with some of the notions offered by Mr. Ranasinha, 
but it was interesting to see his perspective none the less. I wonder 
whether it would make sense to publish some information on the website 
or wiki in response for clarity... For instance a listing of how many 
commercial printers are currently receiving and printing PDF's from 
Scribus, and how well Ghostscript is performing, etc... What do you think?



Open Source Arrives at 'The XML IPEX' - OhmyNews International
"During a break from IPEX [1] I experimented with the open source desk 
top publishing software Scribus. Originally this was only available on 
Linux but there are now versions for both Macintosh and Windows. It 
lacks the modern features of Quark or InDesign but compares with most of 
what was possible with earlier versions of Quark. I found it installed 
easily and that it produced a PDF-X as easily as saving a file. I sent 
an email to Gee Ranasinha asking if open source was ready for the 
pre-press desktop and he sent this reply-

"Outside of operating systems, I still need to be convinced on open 
source. GIMP still hasn't made the jump to CMYK. Scribus is certainly 
promising, but I can't see designers and illustrators using it over the 
usual suspects. My issue with Scribus is that it's trying to be a 
desktop page application, while Quark and inDesign are trying to be what 
I would call "content distribution applications" where you're creating 
content (web pages, printed pages, etc.) manually; or increasingly by 
having metadata pulled into the apps.
Also, Scribus is (I think) still using the free version of GhostScript 
for PDF creation, which I certainly wouldn't want to bet the farm on if 
the page is destined for commercial print.

The XML stuff in IDCS2 and QXP7 are impressive. Every single part of a 
Quark v7 document is now described as XML, which schema Quark partner 
developers have full access to. You could imagine systems converting to 
and from a native QXP file, for example, dynamically pulling in content 
from embedded URL placeholders. I think it'll be a while before we'll 
see that sort of stuff in open source apps!

I'm not against open-source applications (and certainly very 'pro' open 
source operating systems!). OpenOffice, for example, has come on leaps 
and bounds. The open source product LittleCMS is a really cool colour 
management engine. However, the issue with our industry is that the 
content creator usually has very little control in how their artwork 
will be 'processed' before getting to ink (or toner) on paper. In the 
stages in between, the file may go through a multitude of (commercial) 
systems that may or may not process that file correctly. If it all goes 
wrong, it's easier to blame an open-source application than something 
from Quark or Adobe."

This is a sound view for someone working in the industry, but I think 
there are individuals and organisations who will be interested in open 
source pre-press. The industry may have to learn how to cope, just as 
they now welcome Microsoft Publisher.

Scribus is indeed using Ghostscript instead of Postscript. This may need 
to be tested with a print service provider. It is intended just as a 
desktop page application. However some people may prefer to use 
something else for web pages rather than Quark or InDesign. The message 
about Job Jackets in Quark or JDF in Creative Suite seems to be around 
the need to restrict options in a production environment. On some 
occasions a page application is all that is needed.

Like Quark 7, Scribus files are based on XML. Also Scribus can import an 
Open Document from Open Office. This may become a feature that is more 
widely welcomed over time. Scribus is still not used by many people. 
There is now a support service for commercial printers who can advertise 
that they can print Scribus files. However the versions for Mac and 
Windows are fairly recent."

[1] Ipex 2006 - Welcome to the IPEX 2006 website
"The largest english-speaking global technology event for print, 
publishing and media took place from 4-11 April at the NEC, Birmingham, 
UK and has been hailed a resounding success!"

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