[Scribus] Why do?

BandiPat magicpage91
Mon Jul 24 06:48:04 CEST 2006

Michael Eager wrote:
> 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.
> --------------
Sure there have been in the past more so than now Michael, but the lines
are growing more invisible every day.  There is no reason a program
can't be easy to use and still be powerful.  Where the heck do you guys
come from in using computers and programs?  I'm just amazed you actually
believe some of this stuff you write in your emails.

> 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.
> -----------
I normally do read the instructions before using a power tool, but not
so much to figure out how to use them, that's pretty simple.  I would
read them to learn of safety things and how to keep from hurting
myself.  Plus, if you purchased a power tool lately, you know the manual
is usually only a few pages long and designed more for safety issues
than training you how to use the thing.  I don't think I've seen a
hammer instruction manual by the way.  Just kidding.  :-)

> 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.
I disagree with you Mike.  There is every reason to expect a DTP program
to be as simple an interface as a word processor.  The two are so
closely related now, the line that divided them has grown very small.  I
remember when there were big differences!  Whenever you start a new
project, I think planning is required before getting started, no matter
how large or small, but should I have to read for 4 hours prior just to
understand how to start it?  Should a half hour job take 2 or 3 or 4 to
complete, because you have to search down help/documentation to do the
job?  I think that's being a bit unreasonable, when it doesn't have to
be that way.  Many people haven't experienced the joy of a DTP program
and I don't believe you have to be experienced to do so, as you say.  It
doesn't really matter where the programs came from or the necessity from
which they were created, but it does matter if they are programmed well
enough for novice users & experienced users to use them.

Right now, the novice users are scared away and many experienced users
grow frustrated and just write it off as not ready for prime time.  Ya
gotta make these things easy to use!  The same thing will have to happen
to Linux for it to enter the main stream and be competition on the
desktop or both the OS & programs will exist as no more than just a
hobby with only hackers like us wanting to use them!  There's just no
way around that fact!

You under estimate my DTP background Michael, but I think I understand
yours.  You look right at the problem, but don't see it.  Step back a
little further, help a new user or try to convince a word processor user
to convert.  That might help.


          ---SuSE Linux v10.1---
        Registered Linux User #225206
    "Life's a garden, Dig It!"  --Joe Dirt

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