[Scribus] Why do?

Michael Eager eager
Sun Jul 23 22:04:01 CEST 2006

BandiPat wrote:

> The learning curve for a new user will be steep in learning *all* the
> features a DTP program has to offer, but, shouldn't it be possible to
> use it productively the moment it opens on the screen?  Yes and without
> reading reams of paper or internet wiki sites!  You have apparently not
> used such programs, so seem to have a lack of understanding where I'm
> coming from on this, but they do exist and Scribus should be one of
> them.  I do expect users to be able to use a piece of software without
> reading a single piece of documentation!  It's not unrealistic at all,
> I've experienced it as you'll find some here have also.  It's not an
> impossible task.  If a user is vaguely familar with the OS, several
> programs, including a word processor, then they should be able to use a
> DTP program from the get go.  Not access the many features it offers,
> that would be unrealistic, I agree, without reading a bit, but use it
> productively, yes, sure!

In almost every domain, there are simple tools and complex tools.
The simple tools offer easy immediate use, but they are usually
less flexible.  The complex tools require more experience and
training, but are far more capable.

You might expect to use a hammer without reading the instruction
manual, but I think that you might want to read the instructions
for a nail gun before you start firing.

Word processors offer ease of use:  you can create a simple page with
text and print it, but you have limited control over the details of
how the document looks.  Desk Top Publishing programs offer flexibility
and extensive control:  you can create a layout for a newsletter or
book and control many aspects of how the publication looks.

Using a DTP program like Scribus, PageMaker or the others requires
planning and experience.  I use them when I need fine control of the
document layout and have multiple page formats.  Word processing
programs like Open Office or MS Word are easy to use.  I use them
when I don't need the fine layout control and have simple page layout.

Word processors evolved from text editors.  DTP programs (especially
PageMaker) evolved from traditional layout methods of creating
publishing mechanicals.  They have very different views of how a
document is structured or how a page is created.  Depending
on how you view the process of creating an original ready for
reproduction, you get different views of how to address it,
leading to the very significant differences between programs
like Quark and PageMaker.

Pat -- your expectations seem misplaced.  While you may be familiar
with word processors, there's no reason to believe that this same
interface or approach should work on a DTP program.

Michael Eager	 eager at eagercon.com
1960 Park Blvd., Palo Alto, CA 94306  650-325-8077

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