[Scribus] Is 1.3.4 stable enough

Dr. Werner Popken Werner
Wed Oct 17 16:48:57 CEST 2007

> Exactly my point. Nonetheless we have seen and will continue to see
> those who, despite being advised to wait before using 1.3.4+ do it 
> anyway. It seems the best we can do is to try to keep them from doing a 
> lot of work in unstable versions only to reach a frustrating dead-end 
> and not be able to load the file into the stable version. Unfortunately 
> there are many tantalizing elements in the unstable versions, which is 
> part of the fatal attraction, I guess.

I can tell you why I chose to use 1.3.4.

Firstly, you offer it. That is a big mistake in my eyes if you
strongly advise people to not use it after the fact. I felt like being
messed around. If this is really your opinion, please take it off.
Otherwise, don't scold people who use it, rather apaologise for
tricking them into using it although you strongly disadvise to do so.

Secondly, in my opinion, there are two kinds of users of open source
software: those who only want to profit, and those who want to pay
back as best they can. I'd like to belong to the second class, if I
can afford it somehow. Using a new version, reporting bugs is a
comparably easy way to give back. Hence I was not only confident to be
able to work with an unstable version, as professional developers
these days know how to avoid the most obvious problems, but looked
forward in good faith to be welcomed for sharing my time and effort
trying to make this version more usable. Instead, I learned that my
effort is not wanted for, so I turned to 1.3.39 for the next project,
only to find that I have to get used to a slightly different UI and
feature set. In the meantime, I have sorted this quite well in my
head, so I don't get confused that much anymore.

For some years, I worked for a big open source company. We desperately
looked for people giving new versions a try. We begged people to do
it, we told them that this is what open source development is about,
that we could afford to do great things with few manpower just because
of this. Why did we have to fight this way? Typically, everybody would
wait until the new version would be declared stable. So there were
comparably very few people to use the new version, having the chance
to find bugs. The developers waited for bug reports to come in. After
some time, those reports ceased to come in, so what could they do?
They had to declare the new version stable. Now everybody would jump
to it and find lots of previously undiscoverd bugs, getting very
angry, very rightly so, as this version just had been declared stable.
What a disgusting mess!

Thirdly, if I take the pain to work my way into a new piece of
software, I'd like to do it once, not twice. Software tends to evolve,
but I'd like to get my things done. That's why I prefer to work with
versions I am familiar with, even if there are newer and more feature
rich generations out there. In case I don't need those, I would even
spend time and energy for nothing trying to get as productive with the
new version as before. This is why many people feel offended by new
versions of Windows or MS Office or what not. So I'd rather try an
unstable version with more features even if that version is still
comparably unstable, as these bug will get fixed the other day.

This is what I thought. The company mentioned worked this way. They
published often, and told people what changed. If you didn't suffer
from a bug, you would not need a fix and would not upgrade. If you
reported a bug, you would get a fix the other day. The next week,
another version might be out there with some more fixes for the
general public.

Now I learn that 1.3.4 is a dead end and bugs will not be fixed at
all. Surprise! Makes me wonder even more why this version is offered
in the first place.

Apart from this, I don't complain, but praise the developers and other
friends of Scribus as best I can. Both versions are excellent
software! 1.3.4 didn't present any serious problems I couldn't live
with. I made my first project with it, a threefolded flyer, with all
there is, text flowing around irregular shapes and so on. I showed it
professionals at the Frankfurt Book Fair last week and they were

Now I work on two books which will be ready for print this or next
week (I'm writing an additional chapter right now, so this is not a
question of Scribus or my concept). I understood that the handling of
text is better in 1.3.4, so I plan to produce the final pdf file from
1.3.4. Is this correct or am I mistaken?

By the way, letter handling in 1.3.9 is great anyway, I am not
proficient enough to see problems, but then I'm not a professional
typograph, so I just might not be aware of flaws.

Before, I produced books with PHP and fpdf, but the result was ugly. I
tried LaTeX next, but found that they can't handle illustrations
easily. After some learning, I am pretty happy with Scribus.

>From a hint in this list I learned about a project made years ago
adding text and such via PHP from a database. This is what I asked
about, and someone told me I'd be out of luck. Well, as this had been
done, I took the pain to "reengineer" the .sla syntax and found a way
to work like I wanted to, manipulating the source directly, using
Scribus primarily as a rendering engine. For long texts, it can be a
pain to use Scribus as it is intended to, and you can't alway chop
your text into pieces to cope with that problem.

Anyway, thanks a lot for all the good work!


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