[scribus] the docs - a personal perspective
gpittman at iglou.com
Wed Apr 11 16:29:52 UTC 2012
I think we must look at the documentation as an evolutionary process.
Prior to the work that led to the printed official manual, there was a
consensus that it "couldn't be done" because Scribus was changing too
fast. As there is now, there was also a fair amount of inertia.
The issues we had with the publisher of the manual were more of a
sideshow than any serious permanently damaging issue. If there was
anyone substantially harmed, it was Louis, who ended up printing some
copies ahead, and then not receiving promised payment.
If there was a disappointment, it was that the necessary price was
higher than I would have liked it to be, which further limited the
purchases, no doubt. The cost was of course related to the size of the
book, which itself related to the inclusion of a lot of background and
supplementary material on DTP, color, and so forth. At the same time,
this comprehensiveness has repeatedly impressed various reviewers of the
book, and I think leads to any timelessness that the book may enjoy.
That was then, this is now. At this point, we now have some substantial
updating of the online manual, which I think points to a core principle
we must work to maintain, that the online docs reasonably reflect the
capabilities of the version with which it is included.
Something else gained from the more up to date online manual is that
other sources of information about Scribus can rely on this information
being immediately available to all users, thus another website, another
ebook, another printed manual can focus on higher level aspects of DTP
principles and omit the nuts and bolts of Scribus features.
With the variability in how the various distros seem to be handling the
docs, it might make sense to have current versions of the docs available
for separate download in some sort of browsable format. Another argument
for doing this is that there are typically a number of edits and
additions to the docs in svn, which Windows and OSX users will not see
until the next stable comes out.
I'm currently working on (translation: mentally searching for a
congealed mental concept of) an ebook-type manual, probably of a limited
breadth, that would serve some purposes as a help to approaching DTP and
Scribus in particular. My intention would be to have this available for
free, hopefully in ePub and Kindle formats. What license might this
have? Good question -- no answer at this time.
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