[scribus] French doc

John Culleton john at wexfordpress.com
Fri Jul 15 16:38:01 UTC 2011

On Friday, July 15, 2011 10:35:36 am a.l.e wrote:
> hi
> >> short question: is there any way to get the official 
manual under a real
> >> and recognized free license which:
> >> 
> >> - could be recognized as such by debian / ubuntu (and 
we then would have
> >> the doc automatically installed for many of our 
> >> 
> >> - may stimulate more people to get involved in 
translating and updating
> >> the doc.
> >> 
> >> personally, i tend not to add a word to it, because 
its license is not
> >> compatible with the ones used in the other contexts i 
> > 
> > Why should we free up the license so anyone can print 
it out and sell it?
> some questions addressed to the authors of the book:
> what's the problem if anyone can print it out and sell 
> do you really think that somebody would print it out and 
sell it?
> why hasn't anybody asked you (plural) for the rights to 
> print it? (as far as i know...)
> don't you think that if somebody manages to do some real 
money by
> professionally printing the content of the online help, 
he will have put
> much money and energy in promoting his book? (and thus 
his "profit"
> would be justified?)
> has anybody had any advantage from the restrictions on 
the use of the
> online help?
> don't you think that if somebody manages to make money 
by printing it,
> the whole community will profit from it?
> my proposition: put it under CC-BY-SA. if anybody 
manages to print it,
> you can scrap his content and reprint it yourself, too 
(and integrate
> his changes in your copy) or make an even better online 
help in scribus.
> this is the license used for the wiki.
> this is a license which is compatible with the debian 
free software
> polices.
> and well, i'm not just asking for the fun of doing so...
> i notice that the authors struggle in keeping the help 
up to date, and
> it's even harder to keep up to date (or even create) 
translation of the
> help.
> and i wonder if choosing a more liberal license would 
> have a nice evening!
> a.l.e

I have one book on my shelf in re. Inkscape, consisting of 
all free articles, but while it is a worthy effort it does 
not rival the other books on Inkscape on my shelf. 

In my personal computing I get all my software, including 
the OS, free. I pay money for hardware. And I pay money 
for books. Sometimes I buy an older book whose content is 
now free on line. It is easier to read a perfect bound 
book than the contents of a ring binder full of printout. 

I use only free software but I pay for the books that tell 
me how to use that free software. This may seem illogical 
but as a practical matter it is the most sensible way to 
proceed. There is a commercial software author who now 
gives away his program but still sells consultant services 
on his product. I know another free software app where the 
manual and one year's free consultancy cost $100!

I could wish that "Scribus, the Official Manual" was a bit 
cheaper but I really wish that it was more up to date. I 
use both it and the "Scribus 1.3.5 Beginners Guide all the 
time. And I don't begrudge the authors the few dollars 
each costs. It's a business expense after all. 

For a long time now I have lived off my writing talents as 
well as my computer skills (yes, I had such skills once.) 
I believe the laborer is worthy of his hire. My little e-
book "Creating Book Covers with Scribus" brings in a few 
dollars each month or two. Now I am working on a print 
book successor to it. 

I suspect most of the authors of the above mentioned works 
have other sources of income. Perhaps they work in the 
computer industry, perhaps they teach, perhaps they 
receive a pension as I do. But if they also put in time 
and effort on a book length product they have a right to 
expect compensation. Compensation also helps motivate 
things such as a French Scribus manual. 

The Wiki has the virtue of being up date in some parts at 
least and is of course free. But the nature of wikis is 
that they are somehat disorganized. Knowing what is in the 
wiki and where it is becomes an art form all by itself. 
And some of the articles are no longer current. A properly 
organized and properly indexed book with a chief author is 
a better guide. To produce such a book that is still up to 
date is quite a challenge. The most recent authoritative 
book is by Gemy and it deals with Scribus 1.3.5. 

I have a two shelf bookcase within reach which holds most 
of my professional books on authoring, publishing, 
marketing, programming and the like. That bookcase and 
the overflow on my desk hold roughly 94 titles, three on 
Scribus alone. I bought most of them (a few were review 

Now I must close and write my column. It and its companion 
in another paper bring in $40 each week. As authors go I 
am very cheap but not free!

John Culleton
Able Indexers and Typesetters
Cover design, Indexing, Interior Layout
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