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Software GNU is Not Unix Graphics

Scribus 1.1.6 Reviewed 201

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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  • A better question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by woodhouse ( 625329 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:08AM (#8970837) Homepage
    "what is Scribus really like?"

    What about the more common question: "what is Scribus"? The uninformative summary doesn't help; neither does the slashdotted site.
  • Scribus appears to be a decent desktop publishing tool. I've installed it but personally I prefer to use the OOo drawing tool for mockups, and our graphist uses QuarkXpress for the final designs.

    The point is that printshops accept files only with specific formats, namely with CMYK color separation, the appropriate resolution, and in "well-known" file formats: Quark, Illustrator, et al.

    A Linux desktop publishing program that can product color-separated files in the correct format can be a dog to learn and use, that'd be fine! As long as it can produce print-ready files, a painful learning curve is not an issue.

    The UI is not the key. Business usefulness is the key.
  • Re:New Record (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eyeye ( 653962 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @06:55AM (#8970970) Homepage Journal
    Thanks to TrialOfFire's retarded news post they have been slashdotted by lots of people just trying to find out what the fuck the program is/does.
  • Templates (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adrianbaugh ( 696007 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @07:33AM (#8971061) Homepage Journal
    Scribus looks like an okay program, and I'm sure that for printing office types who have the time to learn to use it properly it does a fine job. However there's an opportunity to make it a real "killer app" for far more people. Consider Microsoft Publisher. It's an okay sort of program - what makes it very useful for a lot of people is the vast template library which makes it very easy to get 90% of the way towards (say) a double-sided 3-panel sales brochure in about 5 minutes, requiring only that the default background is changed and perhaps some minor details altered. The templates are even themeable.

    There seems to be nothing like this at all for scribus (in fact, by and large the range of templates available for OS office applications is pretty woeful). We really ought to get on top of this as a priority; otherwise MS Office will still have a massive lead in terms of useability to Joe Officeworker.
  • Who uses Quark? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ducklord ( 770855 ) on Monday April 26, 2004 @08:02AM (#8971150)
    The main power of Quark Express is in its shortcuts. Experienced DTP users can set up a page blazingly fast, and in less than 5mins the have a full doc setup through mostly keystrokes. That`s the main reason why a lot of them whine when the shortcuts change between versions, and that`s why more than a lot stick with older versions of a program if the newer ones have "changed stuff" (Quark5 being a prime example, as far as they tell me). For a different program to have success in this field, there mustn`t exist only a nice interface but a similarity with the most well known "players". How different is it from Quark and Pagemaker? Can it be configured to work in a similar way? Its widgets are not its main power, proper seperations, SMYC and RGB support, similarity to other apps are what can make it succesfull.
  • Re:Templates (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Deven ( 13090 ) <> on Monday April 26, 2004 @10:47AM (#8972422) Homepage
    Everyone in the industry knows that all the Microsoft apps are broken. They are 100% unusable when it comes to commercial printing.

    I think the point was that Scribus has the potential to serve as a Microsoft Publisher replacement as well as a Quark XPress replacement. While Microsoft Publisher may be unwise to use for commercial printing, it does get used by people who can't justify the investment (in both time and money) that Quark XPress requires. (Some of those people really are just printing on an inkjet or SOHO laser printer!) If Scribus could provide templates to lure people away from Microsoft Publisher, isn't that a good thing? I don't think anyone was recommending using Microsoft Publisher to send documents to a commercial printing house.

    However, it's not unrealistic to expect Microsoft Publisher to be used indirectly on a job being sent to a commercial printing house. Consider a newspaper -- while the paper may be published using Quark XPress, it's quite possible that an ad submitted by the customer will be created with Microsoft Publisher. A small advertiser can't justify spending the time and money on Quark, but if they could be convinced to use Scribus instead of Publisher, that would likely be an improvement in the process...

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972