[scribus] install failed

Rob Oakes lyx-devel at oak-tree.us
Wed Jan 5 19:28:37 CET 2011

Hi Joe,

> I'm strictly a Linux user, I've never used a Mac and never want to.  The point is, not everybody can afford to upgrade and suggesting that somebody else spend money to solve a problem isn't always helpful.

While I agree with your sentiment, sometimes there is no other option.

If the user were using Linux or Windows, there would not likely be a problem.  Both the Linux community and Microsoft take backwards compatibility seriously.  They provide support for previous operating systems for a large duration of time and it is likely that a piece of software will just work.  Or that minimal changes will be required.  I develop software for both platforms and I rarely fear major upgrades.

Apple does not share this philosophy.  Not at all.  Rather than work on a four or five year upgrade cycle (or a five to seven year cycle as many Linux houses do), Apple encourages upgrades on a two to three year cycle.  They expect you to keep both your software and hardware current.  If you don't, then that's too bad.  Moreover, they demand that developers keep on top of new technologies.  Unless you actively work at it, then, this means that programs suffer significant breakages between major upgrades.  For example, Nokia is still trying to get Qt working right on Snow Leopard and there are major problems with the Creative Suite.

Which raises some interesting questions: Why should an open source project (with limited resources) spend time supporting an obsolete version of the Mac operating system when Apple does not?  Are we to hold Scribus to a standard we do not expect of major corporations with paid products?  And why support an older architecture when it hasn't been manufactured or sold for nearly four years?

It seems that such users would be much better served by switching to another operating system.  There are many Linux distributions which run on PPC and are actively maintained (http://mac.linux.be/), for example.  Or, they might simply use an older version of the software.

If that is not an option, and you require a longer support cycle, then don't buy a Mac.  It really is that simple.  There is a community expectation among Mac faithful that you pay Uncle Steve on a regular schedule.  If that doesn't sit well, then you can pay Uncle Bill.  If you can't stand either option, then use Linux.

So, while it's not always helpful to request that people spend money to solve a problem, often there is no alternative.  Nor should it be taboo to suggest it.  While I love free software and the community, there is a definite attitude that users should never be expected to spend money to solve problems.  I find this notion silly.  Computer software and hardware is technology, and sometimes the only way out of one problem is to buy yourself into another.



PS, Just to be clear, I happen to be a Mac user.  Albeit a very frustrated one (http://blog.oak-tree.us/index.php/2009/10/06/glass-houses-and-stones).

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