[scribus] Scribus Limits, Present and Future

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Mon Aug 10 18:14:16 CEST 2009

John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Mon, 10 Aug 2009 14:04:22 +0100
> John Beardmore <John at T4sLtd.co.uk> dijo:
>> John Jason Jordan wrote:
>>> On Fri, 7 Aug 2009 11:45:01 -0400
>>> John Morris <johnjeff at editide.us> dijo:
>>> This is the first long document I have done in Scribus. In the past I
>>> have done textbooks in InDesign on Windows 2000, up to 550 pages.
>>> InDesign ran as fast with a 550 page document open as it did with a one
>>> page document open. I have also used PageMaker, QuarkXPress and Ventura
>>> previously and never had an issue about slow speed when working on long
>>> documents.
>> It really would be good to know what makes Scribus slow 
>> down in big documents and assay what various people have managed easily 
>> / got away with.
>> I suppose until 1.3.5 is released, there isn't much point in comparing 
>> experiences in detail, but maybe once 1.3.5 is out we should all 
>> contribute the following information for our larger projects ?
>>      Processor
>>      RAM
>>      Document number pages
>>      Page size
>>      Average number of linked text frames
>>      Maximum number of linked text frames
>>      Numbers of characters in linked text frapmes
>>      Which operations in Scribus are least responsive
>> This isn't an issue that's going to go away. Every new user seems to ask 
>> it / be concerned about it, and the more precise the answers we can 
>> give, the better prospective users can decide if Scribus does what we need.
>> I appreciate all of the above are rather clumsy metrics and somewhat 
>> subjective, better suggestions welcome !  But they are possibly better 
>> than the indicators we can generally offer at the moment, which are 
>> generally "large", or on a good day, a number of pages of unspecified size.
> First, I didn't mean to sound as though I am dissatisfied with Scribus.
> Just the opposite - I love it. It's just that all I do are textbooks,
> so speed with long documents is more important to me than it might be
> for some users.
> The document I am working on at the moment is 120 pages with lots of
> vector graphics and text frames. But there are no text frame threads
> that go more than five or six frames, and there are no bitmaps. It is
> painfully slow, but I have found that learning and using keyboard
> shortcuts is some help. For example, if I deselect an object by
> clicking elsewhere on the canvas it takes ~15 seconds for the object to
> become deselected, but if I do Ctrl-Shift-a the object is deselected
> instantly. Similarly, right-clicking on a text frame to get the context
> menu and then selecting Edit Text it takes 5-10 seconds for the context
> menu to come up. But if I do Ctrl-y the Story Editor launches right
> away (although it still takes several seconds before it is ready). Just
> about every mouse action is slow, yet if I can use a keyboard shortcut
> the action happens instantly. 

OK -  I'm not a Scribus developer, but if I were, I imagine that would 
give me some clues.

If the problem lurks with the innards of Qt there may not be much they 
can do about it I guess, but at least using the keyboard short cuts can 
be made known as a quicker way to navigate around Scribus.

Out of interest, in terms of the check list I suggested above, what are 
you using ?

I've lurked on this list for couple of years and I think it's the first 
time I've seen this described. It's good to know.

> It would be nice if, once 1.3.5 is final, we can sit back and polish it
> up before plunging forward with new feature development for the next
> version. It's not just the speed issue - there are quite a few rough
> edges that are not show stoppers but could stand improvement.

Not my call, but the developers seem to have a very sound approach.

Cheers, J/.
John Beardmore, MSc EDM (Open), B.A. Chem (Oxon), CMIOSH, AIEMA, MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Energy Audit, Carbon Management, Design Advice, Sustainable Energy
Consultancy and Installation, Carbon Trust Standard Registered Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

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