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Software GNU is Not Unix Graphics

Scribus 1.1.6 Reviewed 201

Posted by timothy
from the finicky-but-great dept.
TrialOfFire points out MadPenguin's review (with helpful screenshots) of Scribus 1.1.6, which attempts to answer "what is Scribus really like? Can anyone just pick it up and use it? Is it really as powerful as they say it is? And does it live up to the hype surrounding it?"
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Scribus 1.1.6 Reviewed

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  • Ah but: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrZaius (321037) on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:07AM (#8970829) Homepage
    Does it answer this one?
    What the hell is it?

    Might have been nice to mention that in the /. post, too.
  • Requires GCC 3.2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:26AM (#8970894)
    Will not compile on GCC 2.95.. That really limits its use a lot doesnt it?
  • Scribus is great ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zork the Almighty (599344) on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:27AM (#8970895) Journal
    I used Scribus about a year ago to produce a professional looking poster for a conference. At the time, it was a very powerful program with a few small quirks. I would recommend it to anybody somewhat familiar with DTP.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:33AM (#8970911)
    Ok, so i get its a page layout program.

    how does it integrate with gimp? (maybe its not necessary... but dunno)
  • Scribus is good... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:59AM (#8970980) Homepage

    (Note: I'm not complaining, just hoping aloud =)

    Scribus is an excellent application. I could easily put it in the same category as Mozilla Firefox, XEmacs, GIMP, Blender, Audacity and Eclipse as an example of well-engineered open source application that is good enough to get any real work done.

    Scribus is, however, a little bit of a quirk-express. The user interface is not yet completely free of small things that tend to be annoying. For one thing, it's slow (though nowhere near as slow as some pre-1.0 versions - and Freetype integration has greatly helped with this too, with faster and better-looking font rendering) and some details lag behind (the property dialog could use some really heavy improvements).

    I think the UI situation is just similar to GIMP 1.0 - it took until 1.2 until the UI was really good and until 2.0 until it was superb. Yet, like GIMP 1.0, it's completely usable for what it's designed for!

    So, in conclusion, I'll be hoping that we'll get into the "GIMP 1.2" level soon what comes to the UI. It is really good as it is right now, though.

  • Sodipodi (Score:2, Interesting)

    by suso (153703) on Monday April 26, 2004 @07:46AM (#8971104) Homepage Journal
    What's interesting is that Sodipodi (that other vector drawing program) means "to scribble" in Estonian.
  • by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:05AM (#8971170) Homepage

    Well, um, it can take bitmap images in various formats (JPEGs, PNGs, the other usual stuff - not GIMP's xcf format, which nobody uses anyway). That's all that's needed to integration, really =)

    Apparently Scribus 1.2 will allow people to launch GIMP to directly edit an image from Scribus, and some other support may be planned for later...

    What I really appreciate more is the really freaking cool ability to import SVG vector files into Scribus-editable objects (unless I misinterpreted when I did this last time, which was coincidentally the first time for me =)

  • Re:Templates (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jejones (115979) on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:47AM (#8971388) Journal
    There seems to be nothing like this [collection of templates] at all for scribus (in fact, by and large the range of templates available for OS office applications is pretty woeful).

    I can't speak for Scribus, but when I grab a form from Office {Max, Depot}, I look for where it says "equivalent of Avery XXXX," head over to the Avery web site, click on the template for XXXX, and OO opens it quite nicely. (Of course, a version change in MS Word with associated format change for templates can trivially break this.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @11:19AM (#8972745)
    I am amazed that I have yet to see any Linux press about PageStream. It is a powerful DTP package that has been under development since the days of the Atari ST and was very popular on the Amiga as well. It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS/X, the Amiga and (older versions) still for the Atari.

    There is a general, yet more powerful than anything I've seen out of Scribus, version for $99 and a new "Pro" version for $149. That's a very good and reasonable price for software of this power. This is definitely a package that DESERVES some press from the Linux community! Here is the URL to their site:

    http://www.grasshopperllc.com/

    If you have any serious interest in doing DTP under Linux, this is THE package to check out. Hopefully, in a few years, Scribus will catch up to PageStream, but it is not there yet.

  • Very good app (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Britz (170620) on Monday April 26, 2004 @12:39PM (#8973478) Homepage
    I just want to use this forum to thank the developers of scribus for this fine app.

    I did some desktop publishing back in school with Adobe Pagemaker, but I don't have a usable Windoze box around anymore. So last fall I checked if there were any desktop publishing tools for Linux available when I wanted to create a "birthday paper" for my dad's 60's birthday.

    apt-get install scribus

    And the program had everything I needed and not a single thing too much. It was usable without much learning and I was able to produce a profesional looking paper practically over the weekend.

    It even had support for automatic hipernation in German language.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:26PM (#8974677)
    I'm going to guess that your Macs are running OS 9.x.

    If you switch the Macs to OS X, particularly with OS X Server, it won't be a PITA to maintain and you can probably chuck some of the Windows servers as the OS X server can run your AD.

    OS X is UNIX. It's rock stable. OS X server runs Apache and PHP and everything you'd expect from a Linux server.

    OS X is Macintosh. So it runs Photoshop and Quark (finally!) and InDesign. It can run Word. It also has *much* better vector graphics programs IMHO than Linux.

    My point is this--give OS X a try. You might like it, and I'm sure all the people currently using Macs would prefer to us OS X to Linux if given a choice at the moment. Heck, most design folks I know are so reluctant to change, that they'll still want to use Quark 4.x or 5.x on an ancient Mac 1-2 years from now rather than InDesign or something else on a brand-new G5...

    (Oh, and you can save a *lot* of money if you switch your server to OS X since there's a relatively cheap unlimited client license.)
  • by KevinDumpsCore (127671) on Monday April 26, 2004 @02:47PM (#8974892) Homepage

    How about the ability to import/export files with FrameMaker's Maker Interchange Format (MIF) format? Lots of Linux documentation is written with DocBook which can be rendered to MIF using OpenJade.

    IMHO, the ability to import MIF files and tidy up their page layouts before the final render/print would make this a killer app. Other page layout programs may able to import MIF files so exporting this format would be helpful.

    Also, how about an English language manual?

  • Got it installed... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by octogen (540500) <g@bobby.gmx@at> on Monday April 26, 2004 @04:45PM (#8976265)
    Now I finally got 1.1.6 installed on my Solaris box.

    For all Solaris users:

    Regarding the error on line 139 in scribus/seiten.h:
    (parse error before numeric constant)
    The code on line 139 is:
    QCheckBox* DS;

    On Solaris, and possibly on many other Unix System V Implementations, DS is already defined if something includes signal.h; to fix this error, place the following line into seiten.h (right after the #include statements):
    #undef DS

    I compiled Scribus on an Intel Platform Edition machine, which is a little-endian architecture. After installing Scribus, i got the following error:
    xlib_rgb_init: compiled for big endian, but this is a little endian machine.

    I tried a lot of modifications in gdk-pixbuf*.[ch] and in config.h to make it work, but it always starts up with a white page that turns red after about 1/4 second. If I choose red as background color for the page, the page turns darkgreen. Combinations of red and blue work, combinations of blue and green do also work.

    I don't know what's wrong with the colors, but to me it seems like the developers of Scribus really messed up a lot of things regarding big-endian/little-endian dependent computations (I wonder where you need such computations in your code, when you just want to view an empty page.)

    So, it theoretically works. Practically it doesn't, because the color computations are broken...

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