[scribus] Scribus and DTP classes

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Sun Dec 5 01:06:12 CET 2010

I recently gave a presentation on Scribus to a local Linux User Group.
Like many LUGs the group is sort of amorphous, but there are ~600 on
our e-list, of which probably 75% live locally. The presentation was at
our monthly general meeting, which are usually attended by 15-30
people. There were nearly 30 in attendance for my presentation, which
surprised me.

More surprising was how little any of them knew about DTP basics. Few
had heard of CMYK or knew how a printing press operates. Attempting to
explain how to avoid banding in a photograph by either increasing the
resolution of the output device or lowering the linescreen was met with
amazement. Mentioning typographic issues like "professionals know that
'am' and 'pm' are to be set in small caps" was something that had never
occurred to them. I had brought my copy of Bringhurst to pass around
and they were stunned that typography was truly an art.

I had only an hour and a half, but I could have gone on for three times
that long, just with the material that I had prepared for the
presentation. Several commented that they wished I could give
additional presentations. Attending my presentation opened their eyes
to how little they knew of how to get their work from the computer to
the press.

This has led me to ruminate on the possibility of classes to teach
these things to people. However, the problem of formal classes is that
there are few desktop publishers even in the large cities. Getting
enough together for a class could be difficult.

It occurred to me that a better venue might be the web. In fact, if a
class could be developed, it could be something that people sign up for
whenever they want - like a correspondence course. Lessons could be in
the form of projects, each designed to teach a particular concept or,
in the case of teaching about Scribus, designed to teach how to use a
particular feature.

Instructors would be Scribus volunteers, who would have the task of
correcting and commenting on the homework, as well as answering
questions. Instructors and others could also develop the lessons.

I realize the above is very nebulous and needs discussion and polish.
But I think the idea has merit. Or am I dreaming? Or has someone
already done this?

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