Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hello Spiders, a take on autobiography

I have started a sort of autobiography, more like a current situation. "Hello Spiders" started as a set of links to the blogs and websites I update. Also swickis and lenses and Google custom search.

I will start a week course in Lancaster later this month. They have sent a reading list including Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I am also reading Timequake in which he imagines being alive in 2010. My plan is to to make the same assumption so I can include drupa 2008 and an asessment afterwards.

One reason for time travel is that there is sometimes a lack of solid information even though a direction is clear enough to write about. For example there is still not much information about MARS, even though I am fairly sure I remember from Adobe Live that an update is expected soon. I still think that an XML version of PDF is an event. Meanwhile the XML Paper Specification supported by Microsoft is gaining more attention. Even if it fails to become a standard there is discussion about it.

Ecma Technical Committee 46 will meet in Cambridge UK on July 23rd. The Chair is Martin Bailey from Global Graphics. From previous work on JDF it can be assumed this is a serious approach to some form of standard. At least the issues will be raised.

In a story for Computing, Adam Farquhar, head of e-architecture at the British Library, is quoted in favour of Microsoft's support for linking Word formats and XML.
“I was very worried by billions of documents worth billions of euros kept in binary file formats and at long-term risk [but the awareness Microsoft has] shown of the problem has been a huge sea change.”

Meanwhile Adobe seem to be concentrating mostly on Flash. There is not so much on boring flat corporate documents or pre-press workflows. This may be a response to a threat from Microsoft in future web design. The existing applications could get some attention. Maybe there will be more information on Mars sometime soon.


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