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Scribus => General Discussion => Topic started by: Spiralbound on July 21, 2017, 04:52:12 am

Title: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: Spiralbound on July 21, 2017, 04:52:12 am
Okay, first off.  I'm not complaining or demanding.  I know that open source projects are a thankless and under financed labour of love.  There's thousands of users, all of whom would love to see new stable versions of Scribus released every month, but the reality is the program is created by a small team of volunteers who are fitting in their coding efforts in between everything else in their lives.  I get that, I really do, so I'm not approaching this in a negative way at all.  I'm just curious if there are any rough estimates, or gut feelings as to how far along things are.

I found one site which talked about Scribus 1.6 possibly coming out in 2013; I found a bug tracker site which listed a LOOONG list of features to be coded with a tentative release date for 1.6 as June 30th, 2017.  I found a developer posting on this forum in 2011 talking about 1.6 as the next thing to come along way back then.  I'm assuming there have been setbacks of varying kinds over the years.  I expect and can accept that.  So, I guess, what I'm looking for isn't a firm release date, or even a promise of one.  What I'm hoping for is for a developer to reply with something which lets me know if Scribus 1.6 is something which might exist in 2017, or if it's expected in 2020, or if it's simply a long term goal with no realistic time estimate able to be made for its release.  If it's expected and even likely to be out within the next year or two, then great!  If it's really just a big unknown, then I'll stop being expectant for it and just keep using the latest stable release until one day "the big one" is released.

Oh, and no matter what the answer to my ramblings above ends up being, I want to say thank you to the programmers who do toil away at making Scribus.  Even the current stable release version is a fantastic program and I simply can't imagine all the hard work which must have gone into making it what it already is.  I couldn't code my way out of a wet paper bag, so you're all superheros in my eyes! :-)
Title: Re: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: a.l.e on July 21, 2017, 10:03:18 am
hi spiralbound,
i understand your ... [sorrows, question, ...] very well.

i'm a developer of scribus but not part of the scribus team and i have no (direct) influence in setting deadlines or goals for scribus.

i would say that there is no chance for a 1.6 release in 2017.
all the rest depends on so many things that it's hard to say anything, until the team's police sticks to "it's ready when it's ready".

after 1.6 is released, i can only suggest the team to get rid of the stable / development releases and go for a branches model with regular releases every 6 months or once a year. (when a branch is ready it gets integrated into the trunk and released at the next deadline).
with a such a model, people interested in the feature can help the specific branch to be stabilized and integrated in the trunk and KNOW that it will then be integrated at a KNOWN date in the stable release.

(this cannot be done with 1.6, since there are several unstable features that should be stabilized first)

until such a change (the one i suggest or any other change...) is made, the plans for a stable release will stay as uncertain as they are now.
Title: Re: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: GarryP on July 21, 2017, 02:47:52 pm
* We've had two different versions of Scribus for at least 18 months;
* As far as anyone outside the team knows, this situation isn't going to change any time soon;
* People in the forums are having to try and support - at least - two (essentially) different applications;
* The users don't really know which version they should choose;
* Bug fixes that should have been applied to 1.4.6 are being held back;
* I am getting tired of hearing "that's been fixed in 1.5.x".

* Scribus is looking less like a "supported application" and more like a "developer plaything";
* The team needs to stop adding new features to software which - as far as anyone knows - has no actual release date;
* Any unstable features should be ripped out until they can be added at an appropriate time;
* The latest developmental version needs to be put in such a state that it can be released as stable;
* The team should then concentrate on adding one new feature at a time and releasing new versions more frequently.

Opinionated Conclusions:
* Supporters of the project are frustrated;
* Users are confused;
* There's no end in sight;
* Unless the team gets itself sorted out, Scribus is going to start looking like a bad joke.

I don't really have much more to say on this matter.
I know a lot of people will disagree with at least some of what I said above but that's up to them.

The team really needs to work out how to fix this situation or I can see a lot of Scribus users - both actual and potential - walking away in disgust, and that will be a real shame.
Title: Re: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: Spiralbound on July 21, 2017, 06:58:08 pm
Thank you a.l.e.  I can appreciate your restraint in how you phrased your response.  I think your assessment of the typical end-user as being confused and, as GarryP demonstrates, a bit frustrated as well, over the lack of communication regarding 1.6 progress is pretty accurate.  I am not aware of any of the internal challenges from a programming, logistical, or political perspective faced by the developers and I won't presume otherwise.  If I were a programmer, I'd jump in and help out, but I'm just a hobbyist graphic designer who loves this program and would like to see it become better.

I've heard so much about how wonderful 1.6 will be, and how many great features the unstable 1.5.x versions have, but I don't feel confident leaving the stable branch.  I can't afford to lose a bunch of work due to an unresolved bug in a version I was amply warned was unstable in the first place.  To me it looks like so much has been hung on the promise of what 1.6 is supposed to deliver, meanwhile 1.5.x appears to be just an experimental test bed with no intention of making it stable prior to the release of 1.6.  This method of not working towards a stable 1.5 version seems strange to me.  In other projects there would be a stable version, with developers working on the immediate next version which is currently unstable and people can download it in all it's buggy glory if they want to, but why bother if you're not a programmer, as soon it is released as stable, and the developers move onto developing the next version.  Each increment only introduces a manageable set of advances, thus the development of the project as a whole doesn't get bogged down.

Based purely on my external observations, it appears that when the goal of 1.6 was set back in 2011(?!), it was such a huge jump ahead of the 1.3 or 1.4 stable version being used at the time the developers ended up getting lost in a seemingly never-ending list of 1.5.x advancements on route to the desired goal of a stable 1.6, thus there was no impetus to make any version of 1.5 stable.  Then as time went on, user demand for fixes and advances to the existing stable branch brought about new 1.4.x versions, while work was still progressing on 1.5.x on it's journey towards evolving into 1.6.  If my perception of the situation is correct, then no wonder 1.6 has effectively stalled, and I genuinely sympathise with the situation the development team must find themselves in.  I can't imagine how overwhelmed and frustrated they must feel.  I wish I could help, but again, I'm no programmer.  I'll cheer you guys on, and hope you work through this rough patch.  Perhaps a reorganisation of version expectations and when to make something stable will help the project, or maybe another tactic will work better.  Either way, I wish everyone the best of success and I will patiently await a post-2017 new release, whenever it will be.

As an end user, my focus will be to get the most out of the 1.4.x  stable branch as I can.  I'm going to ignore the 1.5.x unstable branch, regardless of how many advancements it has as it's been reported in other threads to have unpredictable bugs which sometimes destroy work.  When either a stable 1.5.x or the long awaited 1.6 occurs I'll try that out, but in the meantime I'm going to be happy with what I've got.  Thanks for the informative response.
Title: Re: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: a.l.e on July 24, 2017, 01:01:29 pm
some further nitpicking from side:

- according to the release notes (, the team considers 1.5.3 to be stable enough for production work.
- personally, i think that people who have been using scribus for some time can switch to 1.5.3 for selected projects. i've been working with it for years now and i haven't had much more issues than with 1.4.x.
- if you don't need a feature that is only in 1.5.3 (like arabic / hindic support) you should first start with 1.4.x
- the team does indeed works towards a rock stable 1.6... in my eyes, the issue is that the bar for 1.6 is set way too high. simply releasing more often *and* switching to a git feature branch model (there is no development version anymore: simply a version that is being stabilized after the branches that are ready have been merged). but, right now, too much time has passed since the last version and it's not possible to speed up the current release.
- currently, i think that there are three main goals to be achieved for 1.6 to be released:
  - fix the properties palettes to be usable (despite the increased number of features that have been put into it!)
  - make sure that the features that have been taken from cezary's work cannot do any harm (there is a rather complex history behind those features: you don't want to know the details...).
  - check that the undo cannot harm.
  it's not that much, but also not trivial.
- no, there are very slim chances that 1.5.3  will destroy your work. but it's up to you, at what time you want to switch to a different version. make backups. often.
- just one final thing: you can install multiple versions of scribus on the same computer but, then, you will have to be careful when double clicking a file : - )
Title: Re: Scribus 1.6 - even a rough "guessimate" would be wonderful
Post by: tim_occ on August 13, 2017, 08:08:59 pm
Hi all,

was there any discussion about some paid developers who will work permanently on Scribus? I think such developers can speed up the release cycle and allow a bit more planning if someone is working 8 hours per day on Scribus. Some big projects, like Blender or Mozilla are working with this model.
One other model would be like feature based crowd funding with freelancer. I think Krita dis something like that in the past.