Author Topic: Introduction  (Read 3130 times)

JamesH

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Introduction
« on: March 15, 2015, 12:51:54 am »
Since the moderators of this forum suggest that all "real users" post something after their registration, I decided to do a simple introduction. I'm somewhat surprised that there isn't an introductory thread, but not all forums are the same, and sometimes people just don't want to introduce themselves.

Anyway, I am James, 53, and a new user of Scribus. I spent a lot of years using Serif's PagePlus; to such an extent did I use the program that eventually I became a beta tester. It is an extraordinary program, but I wanted something more portable, something I could download on the fly after a computer issue, and start right back up creating documents as if nothing Had happened. You see, I'm a disabled person, and so reinstalling programs is a bit of a hassle for me. Anyway, I find the combination of Scribus and gimp to be exceptional, and while Scribus has not yet reached the level of the aforementioned Serif program, it is an incredible achievement. My only complaint about the program at this time is its printing capabilities, and I will leave that for other threads.

I do hope I can be helpful, and not too needy.  :)

GarryP

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2015, 04:11:33 pm »
Hello James, and welcome to the forum.

It's always good to see more people coming over to Scribus.

I hope you find the forum a useful place for getting to grips with Scribus and I'm sure your experience will come in very handy, not only for anyone else that is coming from PagePlus and needs some help "crossing over".

P.S. Don't bother with the printing facilities within Scribus. They just don't work well enough to be trusted. (Apologies to the developers but the many posts on this forum about it back me up on this.) Print from your PDF reader instead.

P.P.S. I'm not sure if you know about Inkscape - https://inkscape.org/en/ - but that works well with Scribus too. Just in case you're interested is all.

P.P.P.S. If you have trouble reinstalling applications you might want to have a look at PortableApps - http://portableapps.com/ You can install your applications (Scribus, GIMP etc.) onto a memory stick and use them from there, so if your computer has problems you can quickly move to a different one, or they're ready to use immediately after a re-install, or whatever. Again, just in case you're interested.

JamesH

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2015, 08:00:29 pm »
Thanks for the welcome, Garry.

I've been using Scribus now for about a month, and although I'm coming to grips with many of the features that are similar to PagePlus, I certainly don't consider myself much more than a novice user. The printing thing really throws me for a loop; having to publish a PDF just for the purpose of printing is a bit ludicrous, as well as time-consuming, and not at all user-friendly. I would have thought that perfect printing function would have been at the forefront of any layout program. Just curious, did it ever work, or has it just broken in recent versions?

I do have Inkscape. What a great free program. Now if I can just find a free video editor with some real polish to it, I would have it made. :-)

Thanks for all the great tips. I shall see you around the forums.

a.l.e

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 10:24:15 am »
hi james

i understand your position and from some points of views, it's indeed a shame that scribus cannot print correctly.

but there are reasons, both practical and theoretical, that have lead me to push for the opposite way of doing: scribus should not be able to *directly* print at all!

why?

on the one side, printing is a difficult job and you have to deal with many differences both on the side of the OS (linux, bsd, os x, windows, os 2, haiku...), the printer drivers and the printer.
i believe that a specialized tool like a pdf viewer will always do a better job. trying to manage the printing from scribus only diverts from the real goal of scribus: letting the user creat amazing layouts!

on the theoretical side, from the beginning scribus has chosen to target PDFs. it'a software geared towards the creation of a PDF to be sent to a print shop and get professionally printed.
if you use a different subset to print to your home printer before you send your job to the print shop, you might get a wrong preview!
being forced to produce a PDF, display it on your monitor and then print it, might help you catch some glitches, since your feeding your home printer with the same data you will send to the print shop.

and for the lazy guys among us, i personally, would prefer a "print command" that creates a PDF in the background and then launches your preferred PDF viewer and print it... but since on some systems the print function does indeed work as intended, the team sticks with the current situation.
and lets us explain all this to the many people that are deceived by scribus not being able to print...

i hope that i could show you why the missing print function is more an annoying than a real deal breaker and wish you a wonderful start to the week!
a.l.e

Nermander

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 10:55:24 am »
The printing thing really throws me for a loop; having to publish a PDF just for the purpose of printing is a bit ludicrous, as well as time-consuming, and not at all user-friendly. I would have thought that perfect printing function would have been at the forefront of any layout program. Just curious, did it ever work, or has it just broken in recent versions?

Printing from the same machine as where the layout is done is very uncommon in the "professional" world. Most people who use Scribus for magazines and books need to send their work to a printing company who will print and bind the publication, and that is a perfect task for the PDF format.

GarryP

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2015, 11:31:45 am »
One thing I'd like to add to what a.l.e. and Nermander have said is about testing.

Most open source projects have a difficult time getting people to test the software properly. There aren't many people who are willing to go to all of the time and effort to methodically go through even a single function testing every possible thing that function can do under all circumstances.

And this is even more of a problem when it comes to printing. While paper - in most developed countries - is fairly cheap, ink and toner are notoriously expensive. Therefore the number of people who would willingly volunteer to spend their own money buying consumables to be - essentially - wasted printing large numbers of test sheets with different things on them is extremely small.

That's why the print function on most open source software is usually the one that's least tested, in general.

As for creating the PDF: If you think of producing the PDF as getting your "final proof" before printing then it's not really an "extra" step. It just becomes the last step in your normal workflow.

———

As for a Video Editor, I can recommend "Lightworks" - http://www.lwks.com/

It's not open source but the free version is very capable and has a nice UI. There's a bit of a learning curve, as with anything non-trivial, but once you understand what it's doing it makes sense to do it that way. Export options on the free version are limited but if you're just making stuff for the web then that shouldn't be a problem.

You need to register to get a product key but after that you only need to ignore their marketing emails (a filter in your email software will do that for you).

JamesH

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2015, 10:34:18 pm »
hi james

i understand your position and from some points of views, it's indeed a shame that scribus cannot print correctly.

but there are reasons, both practical and theoretical, that have lead me to push for the opposite way of doing: scribus should not be able to *directly* print at all!

i hope that i could show you why the missing print function is more an annoying than a real deal breaker and wish you a wonderful start to the week!
a.l.e

What a fascinating take on this particular issue. To some degree I can see the merits of simply eliminating the print function from the program; it would make Scribus much smaller, for one thing. If they could implement a method whereby the PDF essentially becomes your print preview, well, I think I could probably live with that. You would then, however, be at the mercy of your chosen PDF viewer. Some are definitely better than others. For instance, since Scribus has no N-up function, or even step and repeat, it becomes difficult to create simple labels, or more complicated tickets. Some PDF viewers have these layouts and scales built in, but others don't. Also, one has to consider that having no real print function makes the program look incomplete at best, and incompetent at worst, compared to commercial products.

JamesH

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 10:47:38 pm »
One thing I'd like to add to what a.l.e. and Nermander have said is about testing.

Most open source projects have a difficult time getting people to test the software properly. There aren't many people who are willing to go to all of the time and effort to methodically go through even a single function testing every possible thing that function can do under all circumstances.

And this is even more of a problem when it comes to printing. While paper - in most developed countries - is fairly cheap, ink and toner are notoriously expensive. Therefore the number of people who would willingly volunteer to spend their own money buying consumables to be - essentially - wasted printing large numbers of test sheets with different things on them is extremely small.

That's why the print function on most open source software is usually the one that's least tested, in general.

As for creating the PDF: If you think of producing the PDF as getting your "final proof" before printing then it's not really an "extra" step. It just becomes the last step in your normal workflow.

True that testing printing is possibly one of the most difficult aspects of any beta test, and you're right, because Scribus is free, that part of the testing process would fall way behind. Maybe a. l. e is right and we should start asking for the print functions to be removed altogether in favor of integrating PDF creation directly into the print process.Not that they will necessarily listen to us, but at least it's a thought that bears some consideration. At least I think so.

Thanks for the heads up on Lightworks. I believe I looked into it once, and got a little bit nervous when I saw quite a few more bells and whistles than I am used to. I definitely need to take a second look.

Zyphon

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 02:17:00 am »
Hi James,

Welcome to the Scribus forums. :) You will find a very friendly, helpful community here.

Like you I use Serif PagePlus and Scribus interchangeably. Scribus is a great layout DTP tool and can produce some wonderful designs and best of all it's free! The downside though is that is UI isn't as user friendly or intuitive as Serif's PagePlus so you may have to do a bit of digging to find certain functionality.

I wish you luck with experimenting with Scribus and I am sure the community will help out with valuable information should you have any questions.
Kind regards,

Michael

JamesH

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Re: Introduction
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 04:05:42 pm »
Thanks, Michael! So far I've felt very welcome, and though I haven't yet asked many questions, I think the abundance of readily available forum info is the reason why. I've been reading 'til my eyes bulge.  :o

 

palmate