[scribus] interesting article with thoughts for us

William F. Maddock billsey at earthlink.net
Thu Nov 10 01:06:16 UTC 2011

On Wed, 2011-11-09 at 19:35 -0500, john Culleton wrote:
> On Wed, 9 Nov 2011 12:26:18 +0000 (UTC)
> Anthony Rogers <tony at themailbox.name> wrote:
> > Hi there,
> > 
> > I know that this is an old thread but this 'issue' has just hit me.
> > 
> > I have just upgraded my version of Ubuntu to 11.10 and part of the
> > process was to upgrade to a 1.4.x version of Scribus. I had no choice
> > in the matter and to be honest I didn't know that I might wish to
> > decline the upgrade of Scribus (even if it were possible).
> > 
> > My point is this ... I operate in a mixed Scribus environment. Some
> > 1.4 and some earlier versions. It seems that it is now impossible to
> > use 1.4 files with the ealier versions, and indeed impossible for 1.4
> > to save in earlier formats.
> > 
> > I cannot go forwards now without preventing those older versions from
> > being able to be used on these shared documents.
> > 
> > I accept that the developers would have to deal with this issue of
> > backwards compatibility and that it is a distraction from 'real
> > development', but even Microsoft can save in older formats to
> > preserve some kind of usability.
> > 
> > I accept that new features might not be savable on an old format but
> > that is acceptable for people who need to work like this.
> > 
> > I used to be a developer and appreciate the issues here. However, I
> > am making this post as a previously happy, but now concerned, end
> > user.
> > 
> > Best wishes,
> > Tony Rogers.
> > 
> > 
> > 
> You can always download and compile an earlier version if you
> wish. But as you state, later versions can handle files from earlier
> versions but not vice versa. So I suggest you use 1.4.0 for
> everything. I cannot conceive of a good reason not to. Only one
> feature of importance to me has been removed, the ability to call the
> style editor from the left hand column of the story editor.
> Apparently there was some problem with maintaining this feature
> on OS X. And this missing feature has a work-around. So it is a nice to
> have but not a got to have. 
> There are lots of important issues facing the Scribus
> developers. I for one would vote against expending resources on
> producing earlier versions of output from later versions, as you
> request. 
> Just convert everything to 1.4.0. That step only takes a few
> moments for each file, load and then save. Say goodbye to the
> earlier versions. You don't need them. 


I think what Tony is trying to say is that there are multiple people
involved, and that not all of them have 1.4.x. If this is the case, then
Tony might not have the authority to make other people "say goodbye to
the earlier versions." It might not be his call.

Also, since the development team already knows how to save in those
earlier versions, would it really be that tough to add a module to do
what they already know how to do? The only issue I can see is in making
sure that this "retro" module doesn't try to save features that it
doesn't understand. A clue as to how to accomplish this might be gained
(if it is really needed) by studying the old IFF format from the Amiga
days. If an older version of an application tried to open a document
created in a newer version, then the older version would simply ignore
any chunks that it did not understand, and could therefore save out what
it was able to work on. Since the development team already knows which
new features the 1.3.x version cannot understand, they can simply code
the "retro" module to leave those features out of the saved file. An
enforced "save as" could safeguard against over-writing the document
created in the newer version of the application (for example, by
default, a "-13x" could be appended to the chosen filename).

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