[scribus] Scribus Limits, Present and Future

Peter Nermander peter at nermander.se
Sat Aug 8 08:36:14 CEST 2009

> I have often wondered what it is about Scribus that makes it run so
> slowly with long documents. It's a common complaint, so I'm sure it's
> not just me. And I know zero about programming, so I have no idea what
> the developers can do to improve the situation.

If I understand things right, Scribus is not very good at "knowing
what needs to be re-done". So each time you move inside the document
Scribus must more or less re-render the whole document.

The developers know about these problems but fixing them needs major
re-writes, and that takes time.

>> limitation for producing medium to long book projects. Does Scribus
>> support some sort of book system where master pages, page numbers and
>> other bits can be controlled across multiple files?

> ** Not at all. Make a sla file by chapter or part with your master pages and
> an other one for the cover. When all is done, export all sla files to PDF,
> then merge files with a program like PDFcreator (or PDFTK, PDFSam etc.)

It should be noted that Master Pages, Pagragraph Styles and Scrapbooks
can be imported from other documents. So you can make one .SLA the
"master", and then from the others import what is needed. If something
needs to be changed you change the "master" and then "re-import" into
the other files (not as easy as if it was automatic, but better than
manually reproducing everything).

Page numbering is handled by what is called "Sections" and page
numbering for a Section can start at any number. So you can at least
change the starting page number for any single document.

One thing that has to be kept in mind is the Scribus is a tool under
development, it is unfair to compare it to programs that have been
available for many years. Programs like InDesign would probably not
even have been released as closed beta when they were as "young" as
Scribus. That is part of the Open Source "culture", you can try the
program out already from the beginning of the development cycle. Some
Open Source programs never leave their "childhood" because the
developers never find time to finish. So we should be happy as long as
Scribus developes.


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