[scribus] How to personalize a booklet?

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Thu Jul 9 11:05:59 CEST 2009

jwminer at accessvt.com wrote:
> Ronald wrote:

>> I am confused!
>> I ask something and get the answer BUY THE BOOK.  (BUY !!!!)
>> I ask other things and get this answer.
>> What should I think now?
>> It seems that everything I ask here is just answered with GIVE ME
>> In this way this list is not really a supportive mailing list.
> I must say I was stunned by a couple of snarkish answers to Ronald's
> situation,  but my grandchildren were here for a few days and I
> didn't have time to post my opinions on this.
> To those who all but said that charging for anything produced with a
> free, open-source program like Scribus is against the spirit of open
> source,

I think I said it was ironic. I still think that. He seemed obsessed 
with all the tools for restricting and metering information flow. For 
what it's worth, while such use may be within the envelope of OSS 
licensing, my gut feeling is that this in not within the spirit.

I guess the issue with some of his posts is that he seemed to challenge 
that a charge should be made for the book, despite the fact that the 
information necessary to use scribus is freely available from other sources.

He seemed to want the book as a single definitive source, but not to 
respect the wishes of the people that had collated and structured that 
information into the book. The information conveyed by the educational 
materials his company produces is also presumably accessible through 
other routes, but presumably his company wants too be paid for collating 
and structuring that information. I also find this ironic.

The authors of the book are not giving away free pdfs of the book, which 
is in some sense a commercial work, albeit one which supports scribus.

Personally I'm not entirely comfortable with this either, because 
although the book helps to fund Scribus development which is a public 
good, charging for the book and not offering it as a free pdf, must have 
the effect of impeding the flow of well collated and structured information.

None the less, I feel I must respect the view of the authors of the book 
as they have made it. Ronald does not seem to respect their view, even 
though there is no reason to expect the book to be licensed the same way 
as the Scribus software itself, which perhaps he hasn't thought through.

> how do you justify the rather hefty price for the new
> Scribus manual?

Duplicating the manual requires the production of a physical item. 
Downloading an item of software, thereby creating a duplicate doesn't, 
so there is I guess a profound difference.

For what it's worth, after Pagemaker and InDesign, I've found Scribus so 
easy to use, and this group so helpful, that I didn't buy the book for 
1.3.3.x, but I suppose I might buy the one for the next major release. 
Hopefully it will arrive more promptly and be useful for longer.

> Is there something wrong about charging for it? And
> what about the books you can buy about Gimp, Inkscape, OOo, and
> Linux itself?

No problem charging for a physical item that has be made with materials, 
and by people outside the OSS movement.

As in this case the money from the book goes to support Scribus, no real 
objection to that either -  it's not what I would have chosen to do 
perhaps, but it's up to the authors. I do feel some of the Linux books 
might be on the parasitic side of symbiotic though.

> Or what about a member of this list who is charging for a book about
> designing book covers with Scribus? Is this legitimate?
> If using Scribus for a publication means it should be given away,
> forget about making any inroads into the world of professional DTP.
> The developers should stop working so hard and be content with a
> program that produces amateur-level output.
> As for schools, some are supported by taxpayers and don't cost
> anything to attend. Others are supported by tuition. And then there
> are charges for books and supplies, uniforms, lunches,
> transportation, etc., etc. Have we forgotten There's No Such Thing
> As A Free Lunch?
> If we produce a product and someone is willing to pay what we
> charge, there is nothing wrong with charging for it regardless of
> what software we use to produce it.


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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