[scribus] Scribus and DTP classes

Gerard Cunningham gerard at faduda.net
Sun Dec 5 03:18:01 CET 2010

On Sat, 2010-12-04 at 16:06 -0800, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> 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?

It's not just DTP/printing. There are an awful lot of people out there
writing, who have no idea how to write. I'm a freelance journalist, and
as more traditional work dries up, I've been considering giving
tutorials/seminars on things that seem basic to me, but exotic to
others. Basic public relations skills like how to write a press release,
aimed at community group PROs; DTP for groups producing small magazines
& leaflets, even the basics of putting a news story together.

There's definitely a market for it, and more than enough people in need
of instruction to go round.

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Gerard Cunningham
Kildare, Co Kildare

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