[scribus] Scribus history

john Culleton John at wexfordpress.com
Mon Jan 23 16:39:52 UTC 2012

On Fri, 20 Jan 2012 22:56:20 +0200 Jean Mielot
<j.mielot at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi
> As recent Scribus convert I was just wondering the exact nature
> of the project.  Who started it? When? Who's in charge? Any
> funding? etc.
> I checked the wiki but found no real mention of this.
> Just out of interest really. I am very keen to see Scribus
> become a viable Indesign/Quark competitor (damn almost there)
> and hope to make a small contribution to the project somewhere
> along the line.
> Thanks

I view Scribus as more of a Quark competitor. It lacks some high
end text handling features of TeX and InDesign (which copied some
routines from TeX, legally of course.) Specifically Scribus comes
up short in areas such as paragraph at a time justification,
microtypography (automatically altering glyph widths by tiny
amounts to aid in justification), footonote handling, indexing,
running headers that change automatically when the chapter changes, and in
general ease of use with book type documents. Some users report
that Scribus runs slowly with very long documents.

OTOH I consider Scribus super for tasks like book covers (see
below), posters and the like. It works in the CMYK color model
needed for printing, and the development version 1.5.0 will
produce cover files in the pdf X/1-a:2001 format required or
preferred by some USA printers.

Certainly Scribus can be used for book length documents--many
on this list do so. I just prefer TeX for such tasks. But TeX is
not WYSIWYG and lacks the easy insertion of illos etc. found in 

The history of Scribus is available on the website. Briefly it
has been around since 2001 or thereabouts. It is a typical Open
Source project. A team of developers keep improving it. I don't
know of a single individual who is "in charge" of it. There are
two useful books out on Scribus, the "Scribus Manual" which is
comprehensive but a bit dated in some places and Cedric Gemy's
"Scribus 1.3.5 Beginner's Guide". There are also many useful
articles in the WIKI. 


John Culleton 

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