The Scribus team announced the release of a new version of this free desktop publishing software, featuring some interesting improvements.
While v1.5.4 is officially called “stable development release” (something that former GIMP 2.9.x users can relate to), the idea is to eventually release a “stable stable” v1.6.0 (no timeframe is given).
Much like simultaneously released v1.4.7 (stable branch), Scribus 1.5.4 features a lot of fixes, particularly for “fringe uses” of PDF files generation, as well as security fixes. But a few other changes stand out.
The main change in this version is newly added support for color swatches in the CxF3 file format, designed by X-Rite and standardized by ISO. The initiative was fueled by the FreieFarbe project that has a confusingly large scope, but mostly aims at making a positive change in the industry where Pantone and other proprietary color systems dominate.
Technically, CxF3 is superior to most existing formats for storing color palettes/swatches as it supports storing color values in various models, including device-independent CIE LAB, LCH, and XYZ.
It also supports storing color as spectral values (either transmittance or emissive) in nanometers. And on top of that, you can write actual color recipes into these files, with colorant names and their respective percentages.
Currently, Scribus is the first desktop publishing software to support CxF3 files.
There are more consequences to this. First of all, originally, Scribus required at least 16-bit per channel precision for the HLC Colour Atlas by FreieFarbe, but Jean Ghali went ahead and made this to be 64-bit per channel with floating point precision. Secondly, Adobe IDML and VIVA Designer import filters have been updated to support the LAB color model.
Another user-visible feature is a contribution from Terry Burton who updated the Barcode plug-in to support DotCode and Ultracode in Two-dimensional symbols group, and GS1 North American Coupon in the GS1 DataBar Family.
Finally, Scribus continues reusing libraries created by the Document Liberation Project and introduces initial support for importing ZonerDraw (v4 and v5) and QuarkXPress (v3 and v4) documents (see our earlier report on libqxp for more info).
Scribus 1.5.4 is available for downloading for a variety of Linux-based systems, as well as for Windows and macOS.