[scribus] Adobe ends perpetual licenses

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Fri May 10 06:01:22 UTC 2013

On Fri, 10 May 2013 07:28:56 +0200 (CEST)
"Christoph Schäfer" <christoph-schaefer at gmx.de> dijo:

>> There are numerous problems to overcome if you want designers to
>> switch from InDesign to Scribus:
>> 1) Comfort zone: They don't want to have to learn where the buttons
>> for things are in Scribus. 

>Isn't that true for every software, even the same product line in
>different versions? For someone who learned DTP with PageMaker, XPress
>or PageStream, InDesign is a strange kind of beast. And those who
>regularly build 1.5svn already know that users of Scribus 1.6.0 will
>have to adjust their habits quite a bit.

Noted, see below.

>> 2) Their clients use InDesign and expect native InDesign files.
>As mentioned in another thread, every other DTP program would have to
>clone ID (feature-wise) AND it would be necessary for ID to add
>features that are available in other programs (like Scribus Render
>Frames). Not realistic IMHO. PDF is well-documented and, along with
>EPS (for single pages), something that can be used for file exchange.
>Scribus 1.6.0 will provide import filters for IDML and PUB files,
>which is more than most other DTP programs offer. Unless Adobe assigns
>IDML to a standard body like ISO or OASIS (as they did with PDF),
>there's little chance for seamless file exchange between DTP programs.

For InDesign there are third party tools that can import a lot of file
formats, including QuarkXPress and Publisher. I note that the import
filters don't do a very good job, but see below.

>> 3) There is no one responsible for Scribus, no one to blame if
>> something goes wrong.
>Well, the Scribus Team IS responsible for Scribus, and while it is
>true that the GPL includes a waiver of warranty, I recommend you read
>a proprietary license from Adobe -- exactly the same. If something
>goes wrong with Scribus, you may blame the Scribus Team, and if the
>same happens with ID, you may blame Adobe, but not in a legal sense.

Agreed, but see below.

>> 4) No formal tech support. You can't pick up your phone and call
>> someone.
>No, but did you ever try an XPress or Adobe "tech support" hotline? 

Agreed, but see below.

>> 5) Many InDesign installations are on computers owned by large
>> organizations, corporations, government agencies, universities. My
>> own university has the Adobe suite on graduate student computer
>> labs, but not on undergraduate computer labs. Even Openoffice was
>> recently removed from undergraduate computer labs. Why? Lack of human
>> resources to support it and lack of computer hardware - not enough
>> disk space to handle the latest versions of Windows/MacOS and MS
>> Office. Asking the IT department to install Scribus, of which they
>> know zero, is not likely to be effective.
>I don't understand how this is related to the issue of Adobe vs.
>alternatives (not necessarily FLOSS alternatives, but alternatives in

OK, here is something I failed to explain. I spent a good deal of my
life in sales. Now, before you assume that I'm a sleazeball whose goal
is to screw the customer, that is an assessment of some salespersons,
but not of a professional salesperson. A professional salesperson is
out to serve the needs of the customer in hopes of securing repeat

But one thing you learn quickly in sales is that perception is more
important than facts, at least as long as you have covered legal and
ethical requirements for full disclosure. InDesign users, their
customers, and IT departments in large organizations have a perception
of FLOSS as evincing all of my points above. Whether they are true or
not is irrelevant. That is what they think, and they will make their
decisions on their perception of reality, unreal as their perceptions
may be. You can rail against my points and I will not disagree with
you, but I am not the one you need to convince.

The commercial software vendors have spent a fortune on advertising to
promote exactly the attitudes that I note. It will not be easy to
overcome those beliefs.

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