[Scribus] Why do?

Louis Desjardins louis_desjardins
Tue Jul 25 06:29:49 CEST 2006

BandiPat a ?crit :

> Louis Desjardins wrote:
>>BandiPat a ?crit :
>>>It would be so much simpler for the user, old or new, to be able to go
>>>to the Insert menu heading and select Columns.  A window opens, ok, how
>>>many and what gap?  Whamo!  They appear on the page like magic, 2 or 3
>>>or 4 equal size columns (text frames) spaced correctly on the chosen
>>>page size.  Now I can link them, adjust their size or remove one to my
>>>liking!  What could be easier or more intuitive?  While users of Quark
>>>or anything else are struggling to "draw" them on their page, I'm
>>>already typing and finishing my page.
>>Hi Pat,
>>I am sorry to step very late into this lively discussion... I am on 
>>vacation and away from this speedy world. :)
>>Just a few comments.
> [...]
> =============
> Hi Louis,
> Although you make some good comments, it shows you have came in late and
> seemed to have missed many things already covered in the discussion. 
> Most of your comments just don't pertain.  I don't mean that to sound
> rude, please don't take offence. 
> Anything can be force fed to a beginner, but let them experience a truly
> simple interface with the same features and see which way they go.  The
> whole thing is not about frames, as it makes no difference how you start
> laying out on the page.  It's more about what you can do with those
> frames and how easy you can do it.  You like many others here seem to
> want to convince people that a good program has to be hard to understand
> & use for it to have any worth.  That's just wrong on so many levels,
> because I've seen and used both.  All of this is not just about
> beginners or new users, as many seem to have tried to make the
> discussion about.  It's about experienced users as well having trouble,
> growing frustrated at not being able to do simple things the minute the
> program starts.  That's just bad programming and bad ideas about what
> software is suppose to be!  That's not meant to be about bashing the
> developers here, because these guys are good and I respect each & their
> talents & contributions to Scribus. 
> It's like a programmer trying to write a manual or technical journal,
> they can't do it because they skip over so many important parts in
> writing them.  Their knowledge level is so much higher than the reader,
> they assume too much.  It's like a good teacher, of which there aren't a
> great deal it seems sometimes.  It's very difficult for you, as a highly
> experienced user, to drop back down to the level of your students and
> understand how they conceive & understand things.  Sure you can force
> your thoughts on them, but is that really teaching?
> Good programs are easy to use and intuitive.  Good programs inspire the
> user to want to know more about them, not drive them away!  In that
> respect, Scribus is not a good program, but what it can do, if you spend
> enough hours, days, weeks with it and it's many forms of documentation
> is very good.  I too will humbly say from a professional perspective,
> Scribus is not very straightforward nor intuitive in it's present state
> and it has a pretty steep learning curve.  It has a ways to go yet, the
> developers have made that point, but I'm hoping this whole discussion
> (and it's been a good one with so many joining in) will give everyone
> pause for thought.


There is no offense. :)

We could discuss for hours as to what is a good program and what is not. 
But I think you are looking at this issue a much too simpler way. A 
program is nothing in itself. It helps you accomplish tasks that can be 
simple or complex. It you think DTP and graphic design is a simple task, 
then of course we have an issue at the root. I don't think graphic 
design is a simple task. Since the advent of the computers, some of our 
clients tell us "it's easy for you, you just have to hit the right 
button" and voil?. The same happens to translators who are asked to just 
make "that" in [language of your choice]. But for most of our clients, 
it is clear that they are coming at us to get professional results. 
Fortunately, they don't feel they have to say "it's so easy" or "have 
fun with this" only because we work with computers. They too work with 
computers and the machine, although they use very sophisticated Word 
Processors, doesn't do the job for them.

In many areas, an application is said good or even fantastic because it 
can help a skilled human being accomplish in hours what used to take 
days before. This does not mean an unskilled human being will be able to 
accomplish the same using this program... When I say the learning curve 
is close to nothing, I mean of course for someone who knows what he's 
doing, who knows what he's looking for, who knows what he wants to 
accomplish... in a given time.

I think it is wrong to think computers and software can help people 
accomplish anything with close to no effort. But I do think computers 
can do lots of repetitive operations that can in turn be time consuming 
and not very useful to a human being.

But then, how come people make a so lousy use or no use at all of 
stylesheets, for instance, which is a great way to save valuable time? 
Maybe you're right and ALL the apps that have that feature on board are 
either too complicated or too unintuitive. My next question is : to what 
extent do we have to try to be intuitive in order to make people use 
this useful feature? My answer to this is we have to modify the ambiant 
lazyness around computers and stop thinking they will help you in any 
situation without you taking full control. There has to be a learning 
process, somehow, sometime.

And this doesn't mean an app should be difficult to learn. Who said that 

What is so hard to understand in Scribus? The program or the work?

> Hope I didn't offend anyone,
> Pat

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