[Scribus] Is 1.3.4 stable enough

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer
Wed Oct 17 20:04:26 CEST 2007

Am Mittwoch, 17. Oktober 2007 16:48:57 schrieb Dr. Werner Popken:
> > 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.

People aren't advised not use it, but they've been told not to use it for 
serious projects.

> I felt like being 
> messed around. If this is really your opinion, please take it off.

Why? It's there to be tested.

> Otherwise, don't scold people who use it, 

Can you give me an example? Has anyone been scolded for using 1.3.4?

> rather apaologise for 
> tricking them into using it although you strongly disadvise to do so.

The communication could have been better, and IMHO it hasn't been stated 
clearly enough that 1.3.4 is a development version. On the other hand, if you 
go to www.scribus.net, you'll see that is described as the latest 
stable version, not 1.3.4.

> 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, 

Anyone's effort to improve Open Source Software are welcome. How did you get 
the impression yours aren't?

> 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. 

Well, UIs evolve in development, that's part of the process ;) Why is Scribus 
any different here, compared to any other program, closed or open, in your 

> 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!

I think you just mentioned a good reason, not to recommend 1.3.4 for 
production ;) But guess what? Bug report keep coming in, and they get tested 
in 1.3.5, and acknowledged or closed, depending on their status in 1.3.5 
(many 1.3.4 bugs are already fixed in 1.3.5).

> 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.

I wonder what the differences between 1.3.3x and 1.3.4 are that are resulting 
in headaches for you (aside from new features). Someone just published a 
Scribus book in German, and it covers 1.3.3x and 1.3.4 ...

> 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.

Well, anyone has access to svn and can checkout fresh sources anytime. 
Moreover, Peter Linnell is building svn snapshots regularly. You can download 
the snapshots from sourceforge. Plus, you have to acknowledge that Scribus is 
not a company. Most Open Source projects work the way Scribus does.

> Now I learn that 1.3.4 is a dead end and bugs will not be fixed at
> all.

How did you reach that conclusion? There will be no, sure, but bugs 
will be fixed in 1.3.5 (and in 1.3.3.xsvn, if possible).



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