[scribus] My own small winter revolution...

Gregory Pittman gpittman at iglou.com
Sat Jan 12 18:55:25 UTC 2013

On 01/12/2013 12:42 PM, AL wrote:
> Dear Scribus software,
> We know each others for quite some time now. We met each other at the 
> end of my graphic design studies; at that time I was in a romance with 
> InDesign after a short flirt with QuarkXPress. Sure, InDesign was 
> pretty, but sooooo closed-minded and arrogant... InDesign though it 
> knew how things ought to be and there was simply no way to discuss. 
> After my studies, I decided to quit InDesign. I wanted full freedom 
> and without you I couldn't have reached it.
> Our story hasn't always been easy: we had to deal with angry printers 
> when they ripped our perfectly valid but incredibly "fat" PDFs, with 
> colleagues with mismatching versions or, more importantly together 
> when I struggled with your duplicating styles, missing tables or spot 
> colors images, and when you pointed out my lack of patience when I was 
> under-estimating your efforts to correct your bugs and support new PDF 
> standards.
> But together we have accomplished great things, ranging from simple 
> flyers to complex objects like 320 pages books, either for 
> self-initiated projects or professional commissions. Our families have 
> been of a great help too us -- be it on the mailing-list or by IRC -- 
> and our colleagues too.
> Yet, I nowadays feel sometimes moody when it comes to talk to you, to 
> interact with you. I feel like after three years I have learned your 
> melody and, even if I won't leave you, I'm missing the little sparkle 
> I saw in your eyes at first sight. It has nothing to do with your 
> bugs: you've been working a lot on them and I really value your 
> efforts but it has never been such a big deal to me. I actually find 
> it beautiful that you expose your bugs contrary to the others. No, It 
> is more like we are not talking the same language: I tell you 
> "contextual design", you answer "stability" or "PDF export". Again, I 
> understand your reasons but what I really want with you is to do 
> another kind of design. We should look more carefully into what we 
> really want, me as a graphic designer and you as a free software. I 
> want you to inspire me, and I want to inspire you. Let's look around 
> us: so many things are going on right now; so many possibilities are 
> offered. We have a card to play here and I know together we can do it, 
> but we will have to be wild and invent our future.
You are not alone with these sentiments. Scribus has gotten big enough 
and complex enough that overall management is a challenge. Some changes 
which have occurred are not obvious -- there has been a major 
rearrangement of the various source modules to some more sensible 
divisions. For the job that Scribus does, there are not a large number 
of coders working on it, so this is something of an issue.

There are some things coming in 1.5/1.6 which should be notable 
enhancements, like footnotes/endnotes, automatic creation of bulleted 
and numbered lists, and I think these will be welcome. We need 
additional advanced typographic features, for greater ease and 
flexibilty with microtypography.

At the same time, the Properties palette is on the verge of being 
unusable, or seriously getting in the way as much as it helps. The Text 
tab in 1.5svn might be literally unusable in some circumstances. A major 
redesign is in the works, but the timetable unknown.

There are bugs and there are bugs. Some of the most important ones are 
feature requests from people like you, Alex, and we need these to keep 


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