[Scribus] Torture Testing Scribus on Windows

DaleCoz at aol.com DaleCoz
Thu Mar 23 06:02:15 CET 2006

Hi.  I'm Dale Cozort.  I'm new to this list, and relatively new to actually 
using Scribus, though I have been keeping an eye on the project for over a year 

I'm a big fan of Open Source, but I'm kind of stuck using Windows, so I was 
very happy to see a Windows version of Scribus 1.3.2.  Since that version of 
Scribus came out, I've given it a workout.  I would like to share some of my 
experiences with your.

?   I used Scribus to teach a group of high school students in an advanced 
computer class a three week section on Desktop Publishing.
?    As part of that section I wrote about half a dozen instructional 
worksheets on Scribus.  I used Scribus to write and lay out those worksheets
?   I did layout for two issues of my PDF alternate history newsletter in 
Scribus.  The first issue was a little under 30 pages long.  The second issue was 
55 pages long.  I used Scribus to export both of them to PDF
?   I wrote two smaller newsletters (2 pages each) on computer changes at the 
school where I teach. 

In other words I've really given Scribus a workout in the last few months.  
Here are some impressions: 

First it was probably a good six months too early in the Scribus development 
cycle to be trying to use it the way I tried to use it.  That's not 
surprising.  Scribus 1.3.2 is part of the development branch of Scribus-really not 
intended to be production quality or rock stable yet.  Not surprisingly, Scribus 
crashed a few times.  It didn't crash often enough to be unusable, but it 
crashed often enough to reinforce my habit of saving work early and often.  Some 
features didn't work, or didn't work the way I thought they should.  Again, that 
isn't unexpected.  This is not production software yet, and doesn't claim to 
be.  Some things werre harder to do than I expected them to be, such as 
bulleting paragraphs and putting two booklet-sized pages side-by-side and printing 
them in landscape mode.  I'm probably not telling you anything new when I tell 
you that Scribus got slow when my documents got big.  By the time I reached 50 
pages it was a real struggle to navigate in the document.

At the same time, I was pretty happy overall with my experience.  I knew what 
I was getting into in terms of this version of Scribus being a development 
version.  It got the job done for me, and I'm happy with it, though I am eagerly 
awaiting future versions with more features and fewer bugs.  

I'm afraid that I didn't win many friends for Scribus among my students.  
They tried some very ambitious things, and succeeded in doing some impressive 
work, but they also ran into the bugs and unintuitive behavior.  One girl wrote 
me a note saying that Scribus developers should be hunted down and strung up.  
I explained that this was bleeding edge software, and that she will be much 
happier with it if she tries again in six months.  I hope she does.  It'll 
probably be a good product for what I tried to do in another couple of versions  
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