[Scribus] Is 1.3.4 stable enough

Marc Sabatella marc
Thu Oct 18 21:01:47 CEST 2007

> What site did you download from?

sourceforge.net - a site with which I am reasonably familiar and generally 
trust.  I found it natural to turn there when more information on the 1.3.4 
release was not to be found on scribus.net, and indeed, the 1.3.4 page on 
the scribus site specifically references this as the place to download from. 
I thought it quite odd that there wasn't even a link, just a plain text 
reference to the URL, but see below.

> Go to www.scribus.net, click Downloads and you get to a page where 1.3.4
> doesn't even show...
> It seems as if Scribus developers get the blame for distros packaging
> 1.3.4 as a stable version even though it isn't?

Hmm.  I don't think I am "blaming" anyone for anything, and I certainly 
don't mean to imply that I think the developers are deliberately trying to 
mislead folks.  I am simply trying to point out that, to someone not already 
familiar with the inner workings of this project, it is easy to develop some 
wrong idea about 1.3.4.  Not because the site contains any out and out lies, 
but just because it isn't very clear.  It is true that it is "obvious" 
something is a bit odd.  But frankly, the impression I got was not "hmm, I 
guess 1.3.4 must be unstable", but rather, "hmm, I guess the developers are 
too busy to really update the web site to make the new version easier to 
obtain".  Obviously, the wrong conclusion, but again, there is nothing 
specific on the web site to prevent that sort of misunderstanding.

Let me try to put you in the shoes of someone just coming upon Scribus 
relatively recently:

I actually first downloaded a 1.3.3.x version a years or two ago.  My first 
act was to create an image frame, my second was to try to drag and drop an 
image into it.  Needless to say, that didn't work.  After loading my desired 
image "manually", I then attempted to resize it to fit my frame, and was 
unable to figure out how to do this, despite having experience with other 
DTP applications.  So I put it aside.  Eventually I checked out the 
tutorials on the wiki site and learned about the all-important Properties 
window, and from there I was able to start using the application - mostly 
for very small projects (flyers, etc).  However, I note that on the main 
Scribus page, it mentions "substantial core code changes" coming with 1.3.4, 
and on the wiki site, there are numerous references to file format changes 
that would become more settled in the 1.3.4 time frame.  Between that and 
the (inexplicable to me) lack of drag & drop support, the overall impression 
of the software I got was - "has potential, but apparently, I should wait 
for 1.3.4 to come along before doing any serious work".

So over the next few months, I would check scribus.net periodically to see 
if 1.3.4 had been released yet.  The fact that it was quite a while from the 
time I first learned of the plans for "substantial core code changes" and 
the file format changes to the time 1.3.4 was actually released suggested to 
me that this was essentially a fairly major release.  The fact that 
scribus.net site did not make actually downloading this release easy was, as 
I mentioned, somewhat perplexing, but I assumed the developers were more 
concerned with maintaining the software than maintaining the site.  After 
all, a number of open source projects really live their life on sourceforge. 
Not that sourceforge was a fountain of information, either, and the fact 
that the 1.3.4 release was labeled scribus-devel was another potential clue 
that maybe this was not the stable release I had been awaiting  - but again, 
in the absence of any clear explanation f the status, I honestly didn't know 
*what* to think.

So I download it, and it seemed to work.  Luckily, I didn't dive right in to 
a major project, and by the time I needed to start working on my current 
project, I was just beginning to figure out (by browsing the wiki and this 
mailing list) what the story actually was.

But I guess my point is, a few sentences added to the scribus.net main page 
would have saved me an awful lot of confusion, and quite apparently, I am 
not alone in feeling this way.  That said, I would probably still have 
chosen to use 1.3.4 for this project.

Marc Sabatella
marc at outsideshore.com

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