Open Source

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Terminology

Let's talk about Open Source in general, then specifically what this means regarding Scribus.

Open Source in its most restricted sense could simply mean that the source code is available to review, though it may not be freely available. Some proprietary companies may "open" their source code to only a limited audience. Open Source does not necessarily mean you can use it, modify it, or even have a copy of it, so there could be a very restrictive license associated with that source. Without doubt, many consider this to be completely outside the original philosophy of Open Source, and more like a trap for the unwary.

When you combine Open Source with something like the GNU GPL, such as Scribus does, you allow anyone to view, copy, modify, and use that source code in any way they see fit. The main restriction is the acknowledgement of the origin of that code, which is to remain with it whenever it is transmitted on from you.

Origins of Scribus

Although at this time the ongoing work of many 2, Scribus originally began with one person, Franz Schmid, making something useful for himself. Then he decided to make it useful for others too, after which the Scribus Development Team was born.

Scribus remains the product of people volunteering their time to the project. In addition to those who continue to work on Scribus itself, there are now many others who contribute by reporting bugs, being an active part of the mailing list, add or edit Wiki articles, or maybe just send in their complimentary messages.

Courtesy and Respect

This is something which is not necessarily required of an Open Source project, yet remains a theme with Scribus, especially on the mailing list. It may have come about because of the many different languages and cultures that have come to the Scribus community, but it is something we take seriously, as testified to in many of the threads one can find in the archives.

Because we so value this courtesy, we realize that one of the ways to protect this is by pointing out to those submitting mail when they are perceived as being rude. There can always be some personal discussions in which this might be a tough judgment, but when many posters from all over the world each perceive rudeness, there must be something to it.

Here are some suggestions for helping us help you:

  • Always include information about the platform (Linux, Windows, MacOS), and Scribus version in any communication.
  • Make sure you understand the nature of the problem, or that you have a specific question. Showing that you have taken the time to verify a problem by repeating it is helpful. Showing that you have taken the time to look in the documentation or the Wiki, maybe even the mail list shows that you are not just looking for the easy fix and want to learn something.
  • If you are upset about a problem, try not to direct your frustration at whoever might be on the list or to the developers. Remember, none of us are getting paid for helping, and the program is available for free.
  • Especially if you are upset, take time to read your own submission before clicking Send, to make sure it makes sense, that it's not rude, demanding, or insulting to people who you don't know. Hint: What would your mother think if she saw this note you're sending to people you don't even know, for all the world to read?