[scribus] Letter to all Scribus developers

Roberto da Costa robertocmcosta at gmail.com
Mon Mar 29 15:29:56 CEST 2010

> We are aware of this, and this is a work in progress.

I understand. Scribus is still under heavy development. But I hope this
issue is addressed in the near future.
By the way, Is Linux the best platform to run Scribus on or does it perform
the same way on the three platforms?
Of course, making it stable (without crashes and annoying bugs) is also a

> There is an alternative (and better looking, IMHO) icon set available
> (Oxygen
> icons), but currently there's no way to switch from one set to another. I
> think we need to find a way to switch between icon sets, just like we can
> switch between UI themes.
I'll look into this.

> > 2)I also suggest using black and white icons, that might change to
> > one-colored icons when selected. Perhaps a blueish tone might be good.
> 100% agreed.

Although less important, it'd be so nice to see it implemented.

> > 4)I think the toolbox has too many icons, 19 in all. Some could be
> > suppressed (as a menu option) or grouped. For instance, “insert text
> frame”
> > + “edit frame content” in one icon. Less is more. QuarkXpress 8 in
> > comparison reduced its toolbox icons to just 8. Scribus might get near
> > that.
> Edit Content of Frame isn't restricted to text frames. It's also relevant
> for
> image frames and render frames.

Still, reducing the amount of toolbox icons might make it better, IMHO. Less
is more.

> 5)The panning function, locked after pressing the spacebar, is
> > confusing and annoying. It'd be better if it stayed activated only while
> > pressing the spacebar.
> That's a matter of taste ;)

It's just that all other DTP apps work that way. :-)

> > Panning should also work horizontally even when
> > pages are viewed at 100%.
> Err, it does here (Linux). If it doesn't on OS X, this is a bug.
> So developers could take a look at it. On the Mac, horizontal panning
doesn't work at 100% view.

> > 9)Now, the properties palette. I know many of you have strong opinions
> > about this. But frankly, it needs attention. Yes all needed functions are
> > there. But it feels confusing and messy. To make it friendlier and more
> > functional, besides giving it better looking icons, maybe you could make
> it
> > context-sensitive. For example, if you select the edit content tool and a
> > text frame, the palette should instantly display the text and paragraph
> > control properties. If you select an image frame, it should display the
> > image controls, text-wraps etc. It makes more sense this way. I also
> think
> > the palette should be dockable instead of floating.
> > As for the X, Y, Z tab, I think it should be moved away from the palette
> to
> > the bottom bar, so as to be always accessible.
> The PP needs a redesign, and we are aware of it. But it's a huge task.
> Good to know it's somewhat in the plans. That's a critical part of the
application in my point of view.
Maybe Gsoc could help you get it done. Who knows in version 2.0?

> > Now my last and more controversial criticism: the application name.
> Scribus
> > does not seem to be a an appropriate name for a page layout application.
> It
> > conveys the idea of a writing application, since the original latin word
> > relates to a writer. I know many of you may get offended but please
> > consider the possibility of giving Scribus a name more related to
> > Publishing, Layout, Design etc. Something in the lines of LivePages,
> > OpenLayout, Precise.
> You forget one aspect: despite being a niche application in a niche market,
> and notwithstanding the dominance of two companies in said market, Scribus
> has been able to build what is called a "brand recognition" in the
> "market."
> Many people in the printing industry are already aware of the
> Scribus "brand," and the reliability of PDFs created with Scribus has
> become
> an asset! Changing the fake Latin name (there is no Latin word "Scribus" --
> the closest would be "scriba" = writer) to a meaningless English marketing
> word would do more harm than good. I don't want to start a rant about the
> innovative branding of programs like Word, Excel or Access, but ask
> yourself:
> If you have to skim through a text quickly, what would let your eyes or
> your
> brain stop first: one of the names you suggested or "Scribus"?
> In other words: Forget about it! ;)
> ok. I give up. Scribus forever! ;-)

> Cumprimentos,
> Christoph

I'm sorry I can do so little to help the development of Scribus other than
giving you feedback.
But I'm confident in your sucess. You've already achieved so many important
milestones in these almost 10 years of development.

Thank you again for you attention,

Roberto da Costa
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