a humble inquiry regarding 1.6

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Hi all,

since discovering Scribus a few years ago, this project has rapidly become one of my favourite software. I am an amateur RPG writer and managing large, complex documents with LibreOffice had become a serious burden : Scribus has markedly improved my quality of life in that respect.

My use case is a bit specific : I seldom write new documents but I often edit old ones. We're talking of important revisions several times a year on 100+ pages documents with complex layouts and pictures (you can imagine how switching from LibreOffice made me gain a lot of time). Hence, I am very reluctant to switch to the the 1.5.x branch as that would render my files incompatible with the 1.4.9 version I am using (built from svn sources). The worst case scenario would be to make some important edits over a few months and then run into a problem necessitating a rollback to 1.4.9 using an old file, therefore losing all the work done after the switch.
Last year, I briefly experimented the 1.5.5 but quickly ran into several problems, nothing major (mainly interface) but enough to discourage a massive switch of all my important files. I therefore took the decision to wait for the release of 1.6 to migrate : using the occasion to do major rewrites taking advantage of all the new features in one fell swoop (and holding major changes until that time). But time is passing by and I have no visibility on the release date.

And that's the reason I would like to ask about the roadmap of the project. Not in a childish « are we there yet » way : I am perfectly aware that it is the nature of open-source, volunteer-based projects to have « when it's done » style release dates. But I think the team might have a general idea of where they're headed and a vague answer such as « hard to tell but we're targetting a release of 1.6 next year » or « don't expect 1.6 before 2023-2024 » would be greatly appreciated.

I mean, typing « Scribus 1.6 release date » in google yields a 2017 post on this forum asking for a guesstimate, it would be great to have an update 4 years later.

Thanks to anyone with a modicum of information.


hi ykonoclast

i'm not a developer and have no higher insight on the roadmap to 1.6.
but i use scribus since 1.3.x and in early times i never changed to a so called 'unstable' version for my real work. then i needed one of the new features from the upcoming version 1.4.4 (export to .pdf/x-1a) and compiled it for macOS (which was really hard for me as i had no idea how to do it...)
after that i had always the last 'stable' version and something newer. as there is no version officially called 'stable' running on a recent (64-bit-only) macOS, i work now with 1.5.8.svn and have 1.5.7 and as fallback versions – just in case...

i don't recommend for everyone to go that far, but if you can't wait to work with the new text engine or the much improved 'properties' palettes you might switch to 1.5.7, as it runs reliably (maybe more stable than some earlier 'stable' releases...)
you might not switch to .svn releases and keep in mind that different development releases may show some small layout differences...



Thanks for chiming in Utnik.

If absolutely no information on the release whatsoever is possible to find, is there somewhere a sort of rundown of what's left to do? It would help to know what is the precise targeted feature list of v1.6 and what is already done in v1.5.7 : that would permit an educated decision (do I need to wait for this feature, is it already done etc.). As an aside, this would give an impression of the time left to wait : if a lot of work is still to be done then it will be in a long time, if most of the features are implemented, then final release is rather soon-ish.

The information available on the web (mostly the wiki) is a bit confusing and sometimes years out of date (looking at the mantis I can find issues with last update in 2016 and a targeted release of 1.6 in 2017...). I can't find a reliable roadmap. Surely the team has a precise set of goals somewhere?


hi yconoclast

i couldn't find more information than the list of bugs to be solved before the release.
as there are only very few shoulders to share the load of the development of scribus, it may still take some time. that's why i recommend to take your steps regarding the actual possibilities instead of waiting...



Hi ykonoclast,

At the risk of drifting OT, I've a couple of comments on your interesting post.

In 2017 I had to move to 1.5.x because I needed to mix French, English and Arabic. Arabic, which is right-left, can't be done with previous versions.  The new facilities for text are a huge improvement, and you get used to the ambiguous arrangements relating to where and how to type (in the frame, with separate editor, using styles or not). As you say, there are a few difficulties and the occasional crash, but nothing to worry about; I have never lost anything. Compatibility wasn't a problem for me because I was able to move old stuff to the new version and everything worked.

If you have complicated texts, it's definitely a good idea to move away from wordprocessors which, apart from anything else are not very good at justification and all that (they don't need to be for office work). It would be worth learning LaTeX, which is FOSS but probably the engine used by expensive commercial software. LaTeX is definitely not limited to maths and science. Scribus has all the typesetting facilities a professional would use, but LaTeX does an excellent job practically automatically.  There are plenty of tutorials (every university has its guru), though an easy way to start is to take a subscription to the online service Overleaf, which offers a great deal for free. There is a big compilation of Templates including books of various genres. Overleaf is designed for collaborative work, and two people can edit the same document simultaneously online with the free version, which is good fun.  I also use LaTeX on my computer and much prefer the TeXstudio editor front-end to Overleaf's offering (there are several available).

It's true that LaTeX has a learning curve, particularly when you want to carefully juxtapose text and figures. When that gets complicated I move to Scribus. Scribus does 'render frames', whereby you can insert rectangular frames of LaTeX text and adjust them to suit your layout - it's a partial and limited solution to getting professional print quality without being a typesetter. I'm writing this mainly because the render frame system lacks documentation at beginner's tutorial level (the same applies with render frames in Inkscape). I've been using LaTeX for ages but still can't get my head around the way to incorporate your own preamble code (fonts, spacings and so on). Perhaps a few templates would be sufficient to get started. Unfortunately I'm getting a bit too old to work on it myself.

Finally, I've written elsewhere about the need for a better international framework for supporting FOSS software.