[scribus] from a new user

Christoph Schäfer christoph-schaefer at gmx.de
Thu Apr 15 07:11:13 CEST 2010

Hi Peter

Am Donnerstag, 15. April 2010 04:17:47 schrieb Peter Thorkelson:
> hello,
> I downloaded scribus 1.3.6 for my Mac OSX 10.5.8.
> I may already be in way over my head.  I had hopes that I would get
> something like quark express, but the first thing that happened was I
> got an advisory:
> "The following programs are missing:
> Ghostscript : You cannot use EPS images or Print Preview"
> why would I be offered a download with missing programs?  

Well, obviously because they are not installed. This is similar to installing 
a closed source complaining that you need Service Pack x or Hotfix y (or 
Internet Explorer ;) ) to be able to run the program.

And the dialog actually tells the truth: EPS import and print preview won't 
work without Ghostscript.

> AND/OR what is ghostscript? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghostscript is good starting point.

On a sidenote: While I don't want to sound snarky, I wonder why in this day 
and age someone who can download Scribus can't use a search engine like 
Google and type in "Ghostscript." ;)

> AND/OR how do I get ghostscript? 

You can download it here: 
or install a package manager for OS X and use darwinports. You can find a 
description here: http://ghostscript.darwinports.com/

> AND/OR how important  
> is it?

See above.

> every effort I make to understand seems to lead me deeper into
> incomprehensibility.
> of course nobody is making me feel it, but I o feel like a kid who
> hasn't been taught cursive trying to decipher a handwritten discourse
> on subatomic physics.  I'm not stupid (or so I've been led to
> believe), but this is way out of reach for me.

It's just another way of handling software installations. On Linux/UNIX 
application binaries are comparatively small, but they rely on other programs 
or so-called libraries being installed. While Mac OS X is a UNIX operating 
system, the preferred (Apple) way of installing software is actually the 
opposite of the Linux/UNIX "philosophy", since application developers are 
encouraged to include almost everything in a single application bundle. 
That's why a Linux/UNIX program can have the size of 20 MB, whereas the 
equivalent OS X bundle (a DMG most of the time) can easily exceed 200 MB. 

Both approaches have their advantages. On Linux/UNIX, you may run into 
so-called dependency issues and/or conflicts, for instance when one program 
requires a certain library version, and the next program requires another. 
Distributions like Debian, Fedora or OpenSUSE will resolve these issues for 
you, but then you depend on their package managers. OS X application bundles, 
by contrast, don't have this problem (provided you are using an appropriate 
version of the OS), but a lot of disk space is being wasted by duplicative 
files and libraries. Windows is somewhere in-between these extremes, and the 
hybrid approach results in a lot of other problems (just google for "dll 



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