[scribus] Aligning frames

Ken Springer snowshed1 at q.com
Wed Jan 4 12:28:19 UTC 2017

On 1/4/17 12:49 AM, "Christoph Schäfer" wrote:
>> Hi, Christoph,
>> I've only done one other Scribus doc, and that was about a year ago.  As
>> I've posted questions and gotten answers, I've been reminded I'm just
>> going through the same frustrations now as I did then, and asked the
>> same questions.
>> IMO, continuing to emulate the menu layout and naming conventions of
>> "legacy" software is the wrong way to go.  How many new users to Scribus
>> have any familiarity with the legacy software?
> We're not only talking about "legacy software", unless you consider InDesign or QuarkXPress as belonging in that category, which would be a bit of a strech, to say the least.

"Legacy" does not mean dead and gone, just outdated/old.  I would 
consider a version of QuarkXPress that runs on a PowerMac 6400 to be 
legacy, but not the version that runs under MacOS/Windows 10.

>> My thought is most of
>> the new users have never used them but have heard of them.  And maybe
>> those menu naming choices weren't the best choice back then.
> Maybe, maybe not. It's a fact that all major professional DTP programmes have them and users expect them, even though we could debate whether the menu entry should be called "Windows" (Scribus) or "Window" (ID, QXP).

So?  :-)  I'm talking about attracting new users who, for whatever 
reason, are not familiar with ID or QXP.  I have the viewpoint that just 
because a major anything does it a certain way does not mean it can't be 
improved upon.

There's a famous quote by George Bernard Shaw, who wrote Pygmalion that 
became "My Fair Lady", which is absolutely true...  "The reasonable man 
adapts himself to the conditions that surround him... The unreasonable 
man adapts surrounding conditions to himself... All progress depends on 
the unreasonable man."

>> I think the name of a menu title should be some type of indicator of the
>> things you can accomplish.  "Windows" doesn't do that, and I don't think
>> "Item" does either.
> Alignment is related to items, which need not be frames, so this might be a better place.
>> I haven't given any thought as to what the names should be, but maybe
>> some of the choices could go elsewhere.  For instance, Item includes
>> "Adjust".  I don't have any problem thinking of "Adjust" as being an
>> editing function.
> No, that's not an editing function. It's related to items, whatever they are.

Don't you just love the English language???  <G>  If you define 
"editing" as being limited to just text, you're right.  But, if you 
define "editing" to include all aspects of the entire document, then it 

>> I do like "Extras" because that word choice says there's something here
>> I need to check out.  "Item" and "Windows" doesn't do that for me.
>> Looking at a lot entries, I think I could come up with a lot of
>> suggestions.  Hyphenation and spelling I'd put under edit.  That's what
>> you're doing with those features isn't it, editing your document?
>> Don't get me started on the Scribus manual, either.  LOL
> The online manual in 1.5.x versions isn't anywhere near completion, and this has been clearly communicated via our release notes. There are significant changes ahead, including the UI, and it just doesn't make sense to waste our time on documenting intermediate states of the software. You are using a development version, so you have to live with the documentation's shortcomings. It's exactly the same situation Adobe or Quark Beta testers are operating under.

The 1.5 branch is development, so shouldn't the documentation that's 
being developed be out there for people to mention what's missing, 
wrong, etc.?

Outdated documentation is one of the reasons I stopped using Libre 
Office.  Most of the time I want to use a program, I don't want to have 
to waste my time figuring it out because there are no instructions.

>> I think the Scribus team needs to think more about what a new user's
>> expectations will be.  They will naturally look for things in places
>> they are used to.  Look at your competition, word processors, document
>> processors (I'm thinking of LyX here), and other page layout programs.
>> How do they aggregate options and features?  Then pick what seems to be
>> the most common.  That's more likely to be something people will be used
>> to than legacy software menu layouts.
> You are completely wrong again. Scribus is not and has never been developed for users who are only familiar with word processors, and the Scribus documentation, much derided by your comments, is absolutely clear about this.

I could read that as meaning the Scribus team is not interested in 
attracting and gaining users from other areas of computing.  But I don't 
think that's true.

As for documentation, Scribus is good, but not great.  I haven't seen 
great documentation in years.  Documentation seems to be something no 
one wants to put any real effort into.  :-(

> I also have no idea why you saw the need to mention LyX. That's a completely different category of software. It's also more alien to users of word processors than Scribus could ever be.

Because it works with text, and is somewhere between a word processor 
and page layout in that regard.  :-)  And if a person is looking for a 
program that works with text, LyX may be what they need, not a word 
processor and not a page layout program.

>> Most people I come in contact with have never heard of page layout
>> software.  Usually, they know of MS Word and little else.
>> When the conversation is right, I tell them their project isn't meant to
>> be done in a word processor, and that's usually Word.  I will tell them
>> it's better done in page layout software if that's appropriate.  I will
>> mention Scribus, but I will not recommend it.  They will find it too
>> difficult to even get started with.  For Windows users I actually
>> recommend a commercial product, one that I own, as it's far easier to
>> get started with and use than Scribus.
> Would you mind telling us what this product is?

Serif Page Plus.  The version I use is out of date by a couple versions, 
I don't have the justification at the moment to upgrade.  I've also 
learned over the years, that sometimes an upgrade does not offer 
anything of value to me.  Sometimes there's more "moving the deck chairs 
around on the Titanic" than any real improvement.

I look for software that makes completing my task easier.  It doesn't 
have to be a complex action.  Let's take aligning frames, for example. 
If I have two frames in Scribus I want to be aligned vertically, I have 
to select the two frames, open the dialogue and navigate to the correct 
icon, and click.  With Page Plus, I just drag one window in the right 
direction, and when they are aligned, a guideline appears that indicates 
they are aligned, and I'm done.  :-)

FYI, Serif is in the process of completely rewriting their software, and 
the new versions are now Mac compatible along with Windows.

Mac OS X 10.11.6
Firefox 49.0.1
Thunderbird 45.3.0
"My brain is like lightning, a quick flash
      and it's gone!"

More information about the scribus mailing list