[Scribus] Why do?

avox avox
Mon Jul 24 12:29:37 CEST 2006

Allen-16 wrote:
> Funny Michael should mention a nail gun. First time I used one there was 
> *no* instruction book at all. No safety sheet, no nada, but use it I 
> did. The first one was a "pound on the pin" type. Used .22 rounds, and 
> cost $28 if I remember correctly. The next one was a .38 and was more 
> like a gun. Again, no instructions, no safety sheet, and the kid at the 
> rental house had never used one so he was no help. But I needed 
> something more powerful than my .22. Took it apart and played with it 
> until I understood how it worked and how the safety worked. It would not 
> allow you to pull the trigger unless the gun was press fairly hard 
> against the target. It would have been nice to have some docs. But that 
> was 25 years or more ago.

If they sold in the US, the company probably went out of business 20 years
ago due to expensive lawsuits with buyers who accidently nailed their cats
to the garage door... 

>>> 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.
> Hate to say this in a way, but DTP is just a typewriter that's swallowed 
> some computer code and taken a few steroids, then been told a few tricks 
> of the trade, like what a point is. 

Gosh, and there's me thinking DTP programs are just an electronic version of
scissors, glue and letraset templates :-)

> Actually you can do far more than you realize with OO. Not quite up to 
> GreenStreet, but almost, and in some areas better.

In my experience you shoot yourself in the foot if you try to do page layout
from a wordprocessor perspective -- just as if you tried to create a column
layout with a typewriter. Much better to start with an empty page, design
a grid layout, then place frames into the grid.

>> 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 got that right! That's why Microsucks makes so much money. You and I 
> know it is badly done and could be much better, but the average user is 
> pleased when they can just do something that makes their burden lighter, 
> which it does, or at least it is perceived as such. If it was well 
> conceived it would be really much, much better, but then there would be 
> no need for really, truly great programs from the open source community.

I think we all are in favour of ease-of-use. The ease-of-use I strive for is
clear concepts, logical menus and easy access to common features.
There's no doubt there's a lot of that in Scribus which can be improved.

What I don't want to achieve is being similar to well-known programs so
the users find their way around more easily. Some programs achieve
column layout only by using several textframes? Tough, Scribus will keep its
frame-based columns. Other programs have option XY in menu Y, not in
properties palette or menu Z? Tough again. As long as it's more logical,
Scribus will have its own ways.
OTOH we will not hesitate to move options around if they are more logical
to users that way -- feedback welcome!

Oh, and BTW, I doubt ease-of-use was the key factor to M$'s success.
Remember that joke: "How many MS engineers does it take to change a
light bulb?" -- "None. Bill Gates declares darkness as industry standard."

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