[scribus] scribus Digest, Vol 66, Issue 14

Gregory Pittman gpittman at iglou.com
Wed Sep 11 22:34:04 UTC 2013

On 09/11/2013 01:49 PM, Brenda Ann Eckels wrote:
> Re: photoshop versus GIMP and scripting....
> Thank you to everyone that posted ideas and thoughts!
> Photoshop vs. GIMP: Typically, our volunteers, who are all single parents,
> have very little computer knowledge beyond using facebook or yahoo.
> Equally often, they are not high school graduates.
> What we typically teach them for Photoshop most of you folks would call
> very basic editing.  When someone shows a real aptitude for graphic design,
> then we do everything we can to get as much educational materials to them.
> However, most of the real world applications that they use photoshop for is
> in an office setting where they may be asked to do mild cropping, editing,
> or resizing.  For most of the volunteers, what we are trying to do is give
> them the ability to list on a resume a well known graphics product and to
> say they have "x" amount of experience in "a, b, and c".
> My concern is that the typical HR person hiring an LNA at a nursing home
> who sees GIMP won't know what it is, and won't know that this candidate
> might be able to put together the resident newsletter (one of the unpaid
> jobs at nursing homes that can help advance your career).
> Portable Scribus isn't as well known, but that is usually saved for the
> interview, where the volunteer is given extra copies of projects they have
> done in Scribus as a handout.  So, the issue of name recognition isn't as
> serious.  In the case of Scribus, when we have a volunteer that shows an
> early aptitude, we try very hard to help them get approved for college
> level instruction at one of the community colleges that will let them start
> while still working on a GED.  At that point, they meet the required hours
> with schooling, and no longer work for the ministry.
> If I start using scripting, it would only work if I teach the volunteers
> how to do the scripting itself.  Considering the mountain of stuff they
> have to learn - while also getting our work done - before the 5 year cutoff
> of benefits, it is a pretty daunting challenge and some of them just will
> not be able to tackle scripting at all.
> What I would love is a "product" that volunteers could be taught to
> download and install immediately after installing Scribus that would take
> many common functions and create a gui interface for them that a
> non-professional and non-programmer would be able to use. Of course, the
> interface would merely build and run the script - but that piece would be
> mostly invisible to the end user.
> The trick in both cases for me as Executive Director, is that I have to
> keep a mix of volunteers so I don't suffer brain drain when someone either
> gets approved for college or finds employment.  That means that as people
> gain in proficiency at job skills, I have to remember my ultimate job is to
> get them graduated and out the door to a paying job that pays enough to get
> them off welfare for good. The days I have one really good scribus user are
> pretty limited!
> The final challenge I have is that, diagnosed with MS in 2006, I am quite
> frankly not the geek I once was when I ran a systems integration and web
> design firm in the 1990's.  I myself am having problems trying to learn
> scripting for scribus - which is pathetic considering I learned COBOL at
> the age of 11. (On punch card Burrough's L series!  Ohh, go google it or
> check a museum...you will laugh!)
> So, I have to figure out creative cheap ways to teach volunteers about
> scribus, Windows XP, OpenOffice, Quicken, Quickbooks, Firefox, and more
> (thank God for Youtube!) but now, I frequently don't know the material I am
> teaching.

I would suggest using Scribus as Scribus. Forget about Photoshop.
Probably all the simple editing you might want of some image can be done
in Scribus. As a bonus, Scribus does nondestructive editing, the
original file is unchanged.

Forget about scripting. There is nothing that a script can do that you
can't do without a script, and a lot you can do without a script that
scripts can't do.

We have high school age and younger users out there. If someone can
figure out their Facebook page, they can figure out Scribus -- just dive
in. There is a built-in manual that covers basic and not so basic


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