[Scribus] Scribus Manual

Gregory Pittman gpittman
Tue Oct 30 14:50:12 CET 2007

James Gilmore wrote:
> > Message: 2
> > Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2007 08:18:25 +1100
> > From: Roger <hovergo at net-tech.com.au <mailto:hovergo at net-tech.com.au>>
> > Subject: [Scribus] Scribus Manual
> > To: scribus at nashi.altmuehlnet.de <mailto:scribus at nashi.altmuehlnet.de>
> > Message-ID: <47264E21.4000007 at net-tech.com.au 
> <mailto:47264E21.4000007 at net-tech.com.au>>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> >
> > Hi all
> > Thanks for the Introductory page, it has great merit.
> >
> > At risk of starting another discussion thread, may I suggest that a 
> focus for
> > our Manual be more on the screen shots with text explanation kept to 
> a minimum.
> > A lot of wordage, I find, detracts from the help that a Manual can 
> provide and
> > may  generally be understood differently by a variety of readers 
> whereas images
> > are universal, for instance, a workshop manual for assembly of a car 
> engine, few
> > words but great work flow images.
> >
> > I think that most coming to Scribus already have some experience 
> with computers
> > and have experienced disastrous layout problems associated with 
> msword so they
> > will be looking for similar (familiar) icons and associated 
> explanations on the
> > Scribus Desktop.
> Don't just assume that people wanting to use scribus have relevant 
> experience, or it will end up as a self-fulfilling prophecy--no one 
> but the most tech-savvy will give it a thought. I suspect the lack of 
> a definitive manual has been the single greatest obstacle for the vast 
> majority of potential users. They may chalk it up to this or that, but 
> in the end, they were looking for a tool to do (x), and they couldn't 
> tell if Scribus could do (x) or not, and didn't know how to find out. 
> That's just my suspicion, though. I could be off base on that. Plus, 
> tech-savvy is relative. Some people know how to use a computer fairly 
> well, but I still wouldn't consider "tech savvy;" others I'd say their 
> fingers should never sit on a keyboard. There's hope for the first 
> group ;)
> Balance is the key, when it comes to illustrations. I'm digging though 
> my bookshelf full of technical books, and the balance seems to be 2/3 
> text and 1/3 illustrations. Now, that's even for graphic programs like 
> Maya. The books that lean toward 1/2 text are the ones I generally 
> consider to have been a waste of money. The ones that lean toward 3/4 
> text I generally consider arcane and use more for reference. So that 
> should be the target: 2/3 text, 1/3 illustration.  To be more precise, 
> shoot for the golden ratio 
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio>. When it comes to nearly 
> anything in design, it revolves around that ratio.
My experience with manuals is that the best ones serve both an 
introductory role, yet also a quick-reference when all you really need 
is a reminder about how something is done. There are  a variety of ways 
of accomplishing this, but one advantage of Andreas's suggested layout 
with a wide lateral margin, is that the margin can be used for a 
succinct summary of what's on the page, or hints, or any number of 
easily understood clues.


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