[scribus] New Reader Impressions

John Beardmore John at T4sLtd.co.uk
Fri May 10 20:43:27 UTC 2013

On 10/05/2013 13:06, Sharon Villines wrote:

> I just joined this list in preparation for my version of InDesign
 >to become obsolete. I've looked at Scribus and find that it will
 >require a period of learning that I'm not yet willing to do.

Hi Sharon,

I got into DTP over a decade ago because MS word couldn't handle the 
images and layouts that I wanted to use in a newsletter.

I started with Pagemaker 6.5x, then InDesign 1.5, then Scribus.

>By  reading this list I thought I might become more attached to the
 >open source effort and pick up some and learn a bit here and there
 >so it won't be so hard later.

Compared to my experience of Adobe support, this list has been 
brilliant, but it's not a tutorial !  The best way to learn is probably 
to throw your self into a small project. After that I'm sure you'll have 
the confidence to do a larger one.

As an engineer, mostly producing technical documentation, my needs and 
tastes are simple, but I was able to make the transition from InDesign 
to Scribus in the course of preparing a single document, and never went 
back. For me it's been a very satisfying tool to use, and continues to 
be so.

If your needs are more complex it might take longer, but I suspect less 
time than you fear, as you'll already have a sound grounding in DTP.

> In visiting the website to join and clicking through to various
 >information sites, I am struck by the low level of design quality.
 >The websites look like throw backs to the 1990s. Is this

I'm sure you're right. I've thought the same, and occasionally reported 
broken bits. To the credit of whoever runs it though, the broken bits 
have been fixed very quickly.

>When it is not up to industry standards it doesn't convince me of the
 >capabilities of the software.

:)    Good job you aren't buying the web site then !

>In graphic design, the book is judged by the cover. Artists not only
 >adopt software they join an aesthetic. Adobe is an example.

I understand what you mean. When I had Photoshop, Illustrator, 
Pagemaker, InDesign and PageMill, I was very taken with the 'quality of 
the Adobe experience'.

But slowly I began to notice the fees I was paying for upgrades, the 
bugs they didn't fix, the poor quality of some of the major releases, 
the lack of interoperability between Adobe packages, and the utter 
disinterest in bug reports.

At the time I was a software engineer, and I was tuned into a different 
kind of aesthetic. From a software engineering point of view, the Adobe 
products were pretty ugly.

They may have been refined by now, but having never been cheap, the 
staggering greed that Adobe displays now is also pretty off-putting.

As an open source developer myself, whose project has yet to even get a 
web site, I fully sympathise with the view that the web site is 
secondary to having a product offering that works.

The documentation has to follow though of course. The thing I'm working 
on is very configurable, and I know that if I don't make the 
configuration easy and well documented, nobody will ever use any of it. 
I'm waiting until the product is better behaved and tested before 
documenting it and releasing it to the world. The web site isn't my 
priority yet.

> Since there is wonderful open source software readily available for
 >website design, like Wordpress which arrives with good typography and
 >color palettes, why not use it?

This is very a very relevant question for my own project. In an ideal 
world I'd hand code the website in HTML5.

Back on planet earth I have to realise that I don't have time, and I 
really should use some sort of "wonderful open source software readily 
available for website design".

I've heard of Wordpress. What else is out there ?  Is there anything 
else you particularly recommend that can be reasonably attractive and 
flexible ?

Many thanks, J/.
John Beardmore,MSc EDM (Open),B.A. Chem (Oxon),CMIOSH,CEnv,MIEMA,MEI
Managing Director, T4 Sustainability Limited. http://www.T4sLtd.co.uk/
Reg. Office: Unit 1A Manners Court, Manners Avenue, Ilkeston. DE7 8EF
Company Reg: 4441097, VAT Number: 797 2239 85, MCS: ELC54087.
Energy Audit, Carbon Management, Design Advice, Sustainable Energy
Consultancy and Installation, Carbon Trust Standard Registered Assessor
Transition Training and Consultancy Energy Resilience Assessor
Phone: 0845 4561332   Mobile: 07785 563116   Skype: t4sustainability

More information about the scribus mailing list