[Scribus] Usability needs attention -- time for a feature moratorium?

Craig Ringer craig
Sun Jan 27 19:24:55 CET 2008

John Beardmore wrote:
> While Scribus has shortcomings, the community seems to be actively 
> overcoming these, and even 1.3.3.x seem to be less buggy and crash prone 
> than Pagemaker and InDesign.
I don't know about that ... I've found InDesign CS 3 is pretty solid for 
general tasks. QuarkXPress 7,
on the other hand, is on par with or only slightly better than Scribus 
in stability and about
AU$1500 ( or a factor of 1:? ) more expensive. (Quark rip people in 
Australia off particularly
terribly; their prices here are half again to twice the US price even 
once exchange rates are
factored in, and if you buy direct from the US they won't do *any* 
support etc).

Additionally, version 7.3 still has bugs that make it impossible to 
print on some Mac systems
without users manually hacking PPD files or printing through a non-Apple 
CUPS server. It
also *loves* to corrupt the Mac OS X font cache when it crashes (even 
when the machine
running Quark has nothing but Adobe OTF Collection fonts), and not 
infrequently generates
bad PostScript that leaves printers with genuine Adobe PS 3 RIPs needing 
a manual job cancel.
Oh, and it relatively frequently (usually a job or two a week) generates 
incorrect PostScript and
PDF output that doesn't match what's on screen.


At least with Scribus, I can get in and fix issues myself if I really 
feel the need. Sure, it's time
consuming, difficult, and frustrating, but I can do it if I really have 
to. With Quark, I just have
to go beg on the forums and (sometimes) see their responses demonstrate 
a total lack of understanding
of things like, say, how Mac OS X (CUPS) printing is designed to work. 
Given the nature of some of the
Quark bugs that just *won't* *go* *away* the notion of something I can 
fix myself becomes more
appealing all the time. There are still too many feature and performance 
limitations for it to be a real
option in my work, but I'm keeping my eye on the possibility for the future.

By the way, do any of the Mac OS X folks here know of a way to get Mac 
OS X to cope with
a shared CUPS raw queue? Mac OS X seems to choke on such queues if the 
user tries to select
them, reporting a series of errors about missing PPD files. It seems to 
be a limitation of the Mac printing
APIs layered over CUPS, as the Mac's CUPS server its self is perfectly 
happy with raw queues (though
it provides no way to create them without using the web UI). I'm puzzled 
that apps like Quark and InDesign,
which generate their own PostScript anyway and handle the printer's PPD 
themselves, can't be used with
a CUPS raw queue under Mac OS X.

Craig Ringer

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