Thursday, August 30, 2007

MARS, what is happening?

My impression is that not much is happening around MARS for the people who deal in thought leadership otherwise described as blogging. I see blogging as a chance to try things out. I also write as a citizen journalist and the editors at OhmyNews do ask questions, check sources etc. So the speculation in this post is there partly to encourage some feedback.

So this is based on a bit of web searching ahead of Graph Expo, starting with What They Think. It struck me that Cary Sherburne mentions XPSland as well as the topics suggested by Ralph Nappi. Clearly this is going to get some attention.

Looking on the Adobe site, there is a session with Julie Shaffer including the question "Has Microsoft XPS taken some steam from PDF?". But no mention of MARS as advertised.

Looking at the Adobe blogs confirms the guess that not much is happening. Bill McCoy last wrote about MARS in January, Nabeel Al-Shamma and Shebanation in December 06, PDF Developer in November.

Search engines being unreliable as they are, the most recent post is from John Nack who links to a NASA photo of a sunset on Mars as featured on Wikipedia. That is about it since January.

My guess is that MARS is much further forward than is generally supposed. There must have been some thought about XML and PDF some time ago.

I do find Adobe a bit strange in the apparent emphasis on a Flash future. Apparently this is a defence against Microsoft. Meanwhile XPSland seems a lot closer to where communication happens at the moment. I can see the print industry connecting with XML.

I would welcome any information about MARS and future intentions on flat documents.

Maybe Microsoft at Graph Expo will provoke something. Can Adobe assume that the world of Postscript and PDF is just a secure base and not that interesting?

Look out! They are behind you!


How paranoid is Adobe?

From OhmyNews

Mars opens PDF to XML connections

Open Source Graphics Meets Quality Assurance



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