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It is hard to believe Scribus is almost an adolescent. Just yesterday, Scribus turned ten years old, with the first bits of code written by Franz Schmid in December 2000. A few months later, it was linked on Freshmeat and then, well… it kind of had a life of its own. I googled DTP and Linux and stumbled across the link to Franz’ home pages. Of course it would not compile… (User error on my part.)

However, after posting a short e-mail, during the time of dial-up internet, I got an almost instant reply with a: the correct fix b: a question I cannot remember exactly, but well, it struck me as the right kind of question.So a good sign.

Not long after that, began a long series of e-mails about page layout, PDF and design over the course of probably 2+ years. It was clear way back then Franz had the singular idea to create a page layout application with a robust powerful PDF engine. Then and now, it was a brilliant design decision in my opinion.

There have been some memorable moments:

The release of 1.0 which got the front page of slashdot and took out the community ISP in his town for 3 days and oops, my most important clients’ web server traffic climbed 5000% in a few hours, as all the screens shots were directly linked.

One other strikes me is testing a pre 1.0 version of Scribus in my client’s service bureau and seeing the color managed preview nearly perfectly matching the PDF output in a RIP.

Booting the first native port of Scribus on Windows (thanks Jean) and OSX (thanks Andreas)…

Another one is seeing LGM #1 come about from some idle chat in IRC. We expected an attendance of 50 to arrive and got 200..

Finding this mysterious character Ltning show up on IRC with an offer of lots of shiny gear for hosting us and delivering the goods.. for years on end now… I’ve yet to meet him in person, but already I know could give him my wallet and not worry.. Apparently the banks in Norway feel the same way :)

In the intervening years, Franz,  Craig, I and others, along with our families have shared holidays together; quite a special thing to see when it all began over the Internet – across continents no less. Even better, we are still involved daily, because we have a lot of mutual respect and the bonds of friendship, but its still fun!

So, here is a virtual tip of the hat to Franz, Craig, Petr, Christoph, Andreas, Jean, Pierre and the others. Keep on rockin’

I just paid the occasional visit to our download page on Sourceforge, and something seems to have escaped my attention earlier: We have become millionaires! Well, at least download millionaires, as our stable 1.3.3.x has been downloaded more than 1.2 million times since we made Scribus available on SF c. two years ago.

Not bad for a niche program, isn’t it? And these are only the files available via Sourceforge (i.e., the 1.3.3.x installers for Windows and OS/2, as well as the source code). You also have to add Scribus installations via Linux/BSD/UNIX package management or the OS X versions that can be installed via Fink.

Now, if Scribus received one Euro (or at least one US $) per download, the Scribus developers could consider to retire early, given the current download rate ;)