And here is part 2!

After my disappointment with XQuery, I looked at a template engine for Python. While Python can do some basic templating itself, Cheetah is much more powerful. So here’s an example for a Cheetah template:

The Summer of Code 2012 is on!

We are happy to announce that the Scribus Team has been accepted into the illustrious Google Summer of Code program once again. It’s an honor to be a part of the premier Open Source hackathon that has many talented students from around the World work on the Open Source software, get noticed, improve their skills, contribute code, become a part of the community, and get paid by Google for doing it. We’re also hoping that someone might want to stick around and become a part of the team.

Right now we have three mentors. We’re always looking for more mentors and backup mentors. If you ever hacked on Scribus code please go ahead and apply at the GSoC 2012 site.


Student application period will open up on March 26th. Prospective students should already be working through the requirement list and getting acquainted with the development team and the Scribus Community.

Godspeed and have tons of fun. The Summer of Code is awaiting.

See the Scribus Times and Gazette article for more details.

It was a beautiful beginning of Summer. The Google Summer of Code was on and it was glorious and fun, or at least everyone expected it to be after our previous two years in the program went so well. There was no reason to worry. We had all our ducks lined up in a row – four slots assigned by Google to our team, all our infrastructure set up just right, and friendly and competent mentors paired up with promising and enthusiastic students who were going to work on great projects. However, “The best laid schemes of mice and men Go often askew.”

On the bright side, Thach Tran has completed his project successfully, which put Scribus’s PDF export once more ahead of most closed-source DTP programs. I would like to thank him for sticking around, working through the harder parts of the project, and persevering to the end! His mentor Pierre Marchand commended Thach on doing a great job of keeping his branch in sync with the trunk. He also kept lines of communication open and made frequent appearances in our IRC channel. All of this made Pierre’s job easier as the new project code could be compiled at virtually any time and any problems could be communicated quickly. So, congratulations Thach Tran.

Having said that, the rest of our GSoC 2009 student team has not fared very well. The second student did make an effort to move his project forward. Unfortunately, it seems that the project was outside of the scope of his skills at the time, so we had to fail him at mid-term evaluation time. We wish him good luck in his future endeavors. This is possibly the most frustrating part of the GSOC 2009 experience for us as it shows that our process of vetting potential student coders was not robust enough. If we get to do this again in the future I believe that we won’t accept any students who have not produced any patches to the Scribus codebase. There is always a churn of low-hanging fruit in the code as new features introduce easy-to-fix bugs and our fantastic user community constantly comes up with feature requests and bug reports. So, it wouldn’t be a problem for a competent student to produce a patch or two. I think it would save us a tremendous amount of time and effort and reduce Google’s overhead. Even if we only get one candidate with patches I’d rather relinquish the remaining slots to other organizations than risk accepting people who just won’t be able to make it even with hand holding by mentors.

The remaining two students bailed out before getting anything done at all. I suppose there could’ve been some objective reasons for their early departure, but they have not come up with any, so my conclusion is that they simply wasted our time. Unfortunately, they made it ever so difficult for other people with similar backgrounds to ever get enough credibility for acceptance into the program. Later on, one of the students made an appearance and promised to finish the project outside of GSoC. We’ll see if that promise turns into something tangible.

The story wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the Google folks. As before, they ran a fantastic program and provided all the help and resources to the GSoC organizations needed for success. I cannot thank Leslie Hawthorn, Ellen Ko, Cat Allman and the rest of the Google SOC crew enough for giving so much of their life to this program. Thank you guys!!! I’d also like to mention one of Melange gurus Pawel Solyga who was very prompt in responding to a bug report. All in all, the world is a better place thanks to the Google Open Source team.



Scribus Team GSoC 2009 Administrator

Now that 1.3.5(1) is released, development has regained speed. Here’s a short overview of what has happened recently in 1.5svn and Scribus in general:

  • Scribus founder Franz Schmid returned from his well-deserved break with a big bang, the latter being experimental code to embed 3D objects in Scribus-created PDFs.
  • Franz also wrote import filters for Calamus Vector Graphics (CVG), WordPerfect Graphics (WPG) and Apple PICT files. The quality of those filters is already superb. Along the way he also created an import filter for colour palettes from Viva Designer.
  • The code of a successful GSoC 2009 project has finally found its way into 1.5svn, namely export to PDF/X-1a and X4.
  • The first part of another student project, an import filter for QuarkXPress Tags, has also been finished, and we expect to add the filter to trunk soon. The student, Jain Basil, is now working on a second import filter for InDesign’s IDML format and hopes to tackle the older InDesign INX format, as well as Xtags, later.

We are also glad that the release of 1.3.5(1) has found an overwhelmingly positive reception in the news outlets, from the Free Software press to magazines for professional publishers.

Finally, we are glad that more companies decided to support our project:

  • The German colour vendor Marabu provided us with colour data for the company’s colour sets, which have been exclusively measured under different lighting conditions for Scribus.
  • dtp studio Oldenburg, another German company, which is in the business of measuring, creating and commercially distributing colour palettes, colour software and colour atlases, donated a huge chunk of colour palettes and will also officially support Scribus, which means that Scribus users will be able to buy additional palettes that work with Scribus from dtp studio.
  • There’s also good news for those who use Scribus on OS/2 or eComStation, as Serenity Systems donated free (as in gratis) licenses of eComStation to the Scribus Team to help with porting Scribus and Fontmatrix to this platform.

And let’s not forget to mention the operator of Vector Portal who agreed to help us with the creation of attractive templates for business cards and presentation templates. Lest we forget: We’re also working on other sets of templates for magazines, brochures etc.

Does this sound good? There’s more to come, stay tuned!

We all know the saying “sometimes life gets in our way,” meaning that something didn’t work as expected. Scribus is no different, although in our case one major fact of “life getting in our way” was newly born (or soon-to-be-born Update: useradd -groups vanek,boys -c "23.07.09 7:00am; 3.2kg, 0.5m" filip) babies, meaning an all-out positive distraction. There were other reasons, of course, that led to the delay of 1.3.5’s release, but after a long time of frustration with the progress of the code, we now have a lot of reasons to expect a bright future for our project again.

What has happened?

  • Especially thanks to the infatigable efforts of Jean Ghali (jghali), Craig Bradney (MrB) and Pierre Marchand (pierremarc), 1.3.5 is 99% finished now. The number of bugs they have quashed over the last 12 months is simply astonishing!
  • Google enabled us to add some really unique features via its Summer of Code programme, among them support for an almost infinite amount of markup languages like LaTeX, Lilypond or POV-Ray, or import of CorelDraw files, as well as a huge list of other vector or bitmap file formats.
  • This year, the Scribus Team was confronted with 6 GSoC applications of equal quality, but given the large amount of applications, the Google selection process required us to select four students, which turned out to be very hard. Fortunately, we have good and reliable friends in India, namely Sarai. Since most of this year’s applicants were Indian citizens, Sarai, in cooperation with NIXI, enabled two other students from India to work on a Scribus-related project by means of a fellowship.
  • The author of this rant has contacted colour vendors all over the world and asked for digital colour palettes of their proprietary colours under a Free license. The reactions, so far, have been mostly positive, but in most cases, the licensing conditions still need to be negotiated. The major exception here is the New-Zealand-based colour vendor Resene. The company didn’t hesitate one second to support Scribus, and their willingness to cooperate and their speed, as well as their professionalism, left me speechless at times.

All that being said, and with a big Cheers to our supporters, I’m more confident than ever when it comes to the future of our project.

The wonderful folks at Google Open Source Programs Office have finalised the accepted student proposals for this year’s GSoC program. Scribus team is happy to announce that we have four accepted proposals this year and would like to congratulate Vipin Vichattu Johney, Thach Tran, Meetanshu Gupta, and Dhanashree Nellayi Prasad on the acceptance into the GSoC program under the guidance of our wonderful mentors Jean Ghali, Pierre Marchand, Petr Vanek, and Andreas Vox.

Our students will be working on improving Search and Replace functionality, Better Masterpages, Improving PDF Export, and Implementing XPS support. We’d like to thank all our student applicants for this year. We know that you worked very hard on your applications and showed your determination by communicating with mentors throughout the application process. We’re very happy and proud to that you chose to apply to GSoC through the Scribus Team. Good luck and do have fun coding for Scribus this Summer!

We also have a tentative offer from a third party to fund our fifth ranked student. More information will be coming in few weeks, but for now it appears that all of our ranked students will be funded, so nobody goes home empty-handed.


Alex for Scribus Team GSoC 2009 Admins and Mentors

Greetings everyone. We have been accepted into the marvelous Google Summer of Code 2009 program again. Let’s celebrate for a moment while thinking of how to make the most of the next four months starting with the student selection and proceeding through the community bonding time on to the actual projects through their successful completion. Scribus Team needs your help to make this a successful Summer of Code. Please spread the word, so qualified and interested students could find us and get connected with the community – meaning you – and with the ideas they could work on. Our wiki is open and our hearts are full of joy. This is going to be fun, people!

Alex, your friendly Scribus Team GSoC 2009 Admin

It’s that time of the year. The wonderful folks at Google Summer of Code program has posted the 2009 timeline, which means that it’s time for us get ready to apply for participation in this coolest of all open source summer activities that we know and love. The Scribus Team has done well in its first two years of GSoC goodness. Let’s try to be a part of the future once again. We already started a fearsome ideas page in our wiki. Our best efforts must be put into the attempt to secure a GSoC 2009 place among other OSS projects. So, let’s get started and godspead to all! I wish everyone a fun and fulfilling Scribus oriented Free Software summer.

In the words of immortal John Lennon  “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, better. A little better all the time”. We have had another good Summer of Code. I am happy because of the wonderful people I get to hang around. Our mentors this year were very good; our students were enthusiastic and diligent; Google was generous; and the weather was fantastic despite the alleged global warming. All three of our students were from Germany this year – don’t ask me why it happened, but I have virtually no complaints. In one case personal life interfered, so not 100% of the goals were reached, but that’s hardly a problem as the person is continuing to contribute to Scribus. So, we now have a picture browser, a uniconverter plugin, and the last but definitely not least and being my favorite project – a new Python scripter engine. Since we are getting closer to the 1.3.5 release and are more keen on stabilizing the code then on bringing in more features, our users will not see the added functionality immediately, but it’s there and is working in experimental builds. So, congratulations to all those involved – our hard-working students Henning, Hermann, and Markus, our wonderful mentors Jean, Cedric, and Peter and Google GSoC people Leslie, Chris, Kat, and Ellen who really made this project happen.


Scribus Team’s GSoC 2008 administrator

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