[scribus] Thanx for replies to `I FINALLY MADE THE PLUNGE"

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Mon Sep 20 22:28:36 CEST 2010

On Monday 20 September 2010 15:27:41 John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Mon, 20 Sep 2010 11:18:17 -0700 (PDT)
> Robert Marma <robert_marma at yahoo.com> dijo:
> >Anyway, I'm glad that I appear to have made a good choice of
> > distros, although I believe it was Jim Ford who mentioned, in his
> > last thread, the ease of installing software in Xubuntu. 
> > Although I have no intention of abandoning openSUSE at this time,
> > I must confess that this feature, in itself, is a very compelling
> > reason to switch, and I would appreciate anyone's comments about
> > it.
> I participate n a local LUG (Linux User Group) which puts on a
> Linux Clinic on Sunday afternoons. At the Clinic we frequently
> solve problems that people are having with Linux, but about half
> our work is fresh installs of Linux for absolute beginners. We
> almost always install Ubuntu or one of its flavors. In my
> experience it is the easiest for beginners to use, plus it is one
> of the top distros for hardware support. Although I switched to
> Fedora about a year ago, Ubuntu was my first venture into Linux,
> and I ran it happily for several years. But I hasten to add that
> OpenSUSE has its advantages as well, and if it suits you, then by
> all means keep it.
> In the Linux world there are (with some exceptions) two competing
> package management systems - Debian and RPM. Debian was created 
> a husband and wife team named Debbie and Ian. RPM was devised by
> Redhat and it stands for Redhat Package Management. Each distro
> will be based on one or the other. Debian, Ubuntu and its
> derivatives, plus a few more are based on Debian package
> management. Most of the rest are based on RPM. When I switched to
> Fedora from Ubuntu I had to learn a whole new way of package
> management.
> Probably the majority of old hands at Linux will agree that Debian
> package management is marginally superior to RPM these days. But
> the difference is pretty trivial once you learn the system. One
> area of difference is in package manager utilities, where Debian
> has an excellent GUI program (Synaptic). If you switch to Ubuntu
> you will no longer have Yast, and you'll have to learn where the
> buttons are in Synaptic.
> Another difference lies in how well dependencies are managed.
> Mostly this is a matter of good housekeeping by the managers of the
> distro's repositories. Including a package in a repository without
> including all of the libraries and other dependencies for the
> package as well leads to what is known as "dependency hell," a
> phrase you will come to hate. Again, Debian based distros tend to
> do a slightly better job of this, but I suspect that it is only
> because Ubuntu is by far the biggest Debian based distro. When you
> are as huge as Ubuntu you have the resources to police the
> repositories more diligently.
> And that leads me to another comment about distros and package
> management. One of the chief differences among the distros is the
> philosophy of what they ought to include in their repositories.
> Some are rabid about including only open source software. If you
> install such a distro you will find that you cannot install Adobe
> Reader from the repositories. Ditto for Flash and a host of
> multimedia codecs. Some distros (like Fedora and Ubuntu) put all
> such packages in a separate repository and require the user to
> enable the repository manually. Other distros (like Mint) say "what
> the hell do we care" and just put all the non-free and closed
> source stuff in their main repositories.
> As a final comment I should add that, at least in the past, there
> have been problems with Scribus on Ubuntu. Apparently the Ubuntu
> people decided to change some of the libraries that Scribus depends
> upon. This led to bugs in Scribus that appeared only on Ubuntu. I
> don't know if this is still an issue, but I do know that Ubuntu
> occasionally gets bad-mouthed in Scribus-land.
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There is no package management system that covers all the software I 
use, and frequently the versions in the packages are obsolete.  So I 
prefer to build packages from source using:
 ./configure; make; make install 
where that is available. Unfortunately we have had a bit of a Tower of 
Babel grow up in recent times. We have gone from cvs to svn but now 
Inkscape is using something called bazaar.  And Scribus has abandoned 
the familiar compilation routine listed above to come up with 
something called Cmake.  But even with these differences a fresh 
compile is the surest way to get to a functioning yet up to date 
software set.  My own version of Linux uses the Slackware packaging 
system but all to often I must seek out a third party Slackbuild 
package to get to where I am going. So I build Scribus every night 
from source through a script that runs automatically.  Every day I 
check to see what edition of Scribus 1.5.0 was built overnight on my 
system.  Right now I am up to an edition dated Sept 17, 2010.

In the world of Debian and its clones keeping the repository pointers 
up to date, figuring out what the package is called, and running apt-
get is a bit of a chore. And figuring out which release is stable, 
about to be stable and development is another chore. Scribus at least 
has settled into a comprehensible numbering system. Higher numbers 
mean later releases.  Stable releases will in the future have even 
numbers like 1.4 and development releases will have odd numbers like 

John Culleton
Wexford Press
"Create Book Covers with Scribus"
Printable E-book 38 pages $5.95

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