Thursday, September 27, 2007

Communications in the mix

The RIT idea about putting print in a media mix relates to the name change from London College of Print to London College of Communication. at the Futures Conference held during Digital Print World there has been continuing resistance to this move. Most students still like the name London College of Printing, even those on some other course as the name is well known and is easy to understand. "comunications" is still a bit vague at the moment.

As mentioned previously I think it would be useful to have a version of the conference in reverse order. Based on previous occasions this would then start with recent graduates working on digital media, web design etc. Then day two looking at publishing. Presumably this would include the effect of the web on print. So day three on print would be in a web context.

This seems to me to reflect the actual situation of the print industry.

I will put some more about publishing in the learn9 blog. There is some overlap as technology is now an influence for how learning and quality communication can be supported.

One topic coming from a learning discussion is about whether the "e" in "e-learning" should be dropped as it becomes normal. Strangely to my mind this comes from a source also promoting the term "technology enhanced learning". Most people just talk about the web and find that learning happens as a part of everyday life.

"Technology enhanced" could include the book or any form of print that has supported learning. The one to one tutorial or the lecture with voice only - no slides no music - could be seen as other than "technology enhanced learning". At previous LCC conferences doubts about e-learning have been raised during discussion of digital printing. Given that technology around hard copy is changing maybe there could be a look at "technology enhanced learning" to include both web and print, then move on to just talk about learning as if the technology is normal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MAX mashes mix

The "mix" is whatever is meant by RIT - the Rochester Institute of Technology. They recently launched a website - Print in the mix - to show the effectiveness of print as part of something including other media. This is a welcome development and shows a firm grasp of reality.

One problem is that the mix keeps changing. My impression of Adobe is that they may have lost interest completely in what was Adobe Classic, Postscript and PDF - the sort of thing the print industry can relate to. MAX, the conference coming up this weekend, is more or less Macromedia trading as Adobe. A couple of stories show an emphasis on Flash.

eWeek reported Kevin Lynch at Flashforward as saying that Adobe is intent on helping developers and designers plan, acquire, produce, manage, publish, deliver and play back video content.

We're really focused on video technology and helping you create experiences.

PC Magazine reported that the Adobe Media Player was used to show some video. It seems possible that announcements about betas will be made during MAX. The video web is now the main focus for Adobe. The print software is now seen as not very interesting or in need of development discussion. Maybe it will become much easier to use as part of an open source approach driven by widely available standards. But Adobe has no obligation to spend on marketing to explain this.

The RIT Print In The Mix site links to an article by Barney Cox from Printing World. It will be interesting to see how Haymarket publishing policy changes over time. There is a new and improved Printweek website but the emphasis still seems to be on printed magazines.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

September in Chicago

Time and space have made another step change as I begin to hear about Graph Expo. Print and the web are moving at a different pace. The September Digital Printer has arrived with news about the innovation parc at drupa and an advance on Xerox at Graph Expo in Chicago. Laurel Brunner attended an advance Xerox briefing in Rochester. I am forced to conclude that actual trade fairs are about to lose connection with the web when she observes that Graph Expo is a "US regional trade show" such as "it is not often that we bother to write about". Apparently Chicago is provincial in the run up to drupa.

However there is news online from XPSland. A search of Google News and Google blogsearch reveals that software is available for the corporate office from Zoran and Software Imaging. The XML Paper approach will have made more progress by the time of drupa and the section on PDF and XML production. There is a new Adobe blog from Jim King that will be relevant.

What surprised me was the lack of any news about Adobe or the MARS project to rewrite the PDF file structure. Has Adobe got such a strong position that XPS can be ignored? Then looking at the Adobe list of press releases it turns out that there was no attempt to get reporting on anything related to Graph Expo. Instead there is a release about growing interest in the Adobe Media Player for video etc. There is no information on a release date or any new technical detail. The story seems just to link in to IBC, a video show in Amsterdam.

So my take on this is that Adobe has more or less given up on the world of print. It is the video web that is interesting. They genuinely believe the shift has already happened. Something will be revealed at drupa but the Web is not going to stand still for six months or so. I am already aware of a sense of time travel during future events. Maybe there will be just one long moment between Graph Expo and drupa that should be regarded as coherent.

There are still some events in real time and space. My guess is that there will be more about the Media Player during MAX, later this month also as it happens in Chicago.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

MARS blog from Adobe

Matthew Hardy has started a new blog about MARS on the Adobe site.

He links to slides from Document Engineering conference in Winnipeg, both in PDF format and as MARS.

I have updated the AUF website making it easier to find the PDF of slides from David Brailsford's Seybold Amsterdam keynote in 2004. Matthew Hardy attended an AUF meeting and spoke from these slides.

Matthew Hardy was a student at Nottingham where David Brailsford has presented several different versions of the history of document structures etc. My own suggestion is that people at all interested study these slides from 2004. Should there be a chance for David Brailsford to offer a new presentation in this area it would be good to save time if the audience could agree that the first few slides could be skipped. He would have enough to say about fairly recent events.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Concern for Lawrence Wallis

Books can be dangerous, as evidenced by recent words in Printweek

"One of the joys of library research is the byways that beckon from the mainstream to reveal nuggets of enthralling information, usually irrelevant to the prime purpose of enquiry."

Follow the link for more, not sure it is ok to borrow more than a sentence.

I am writing this on a fairly busy afternoon at LifeBytes. They will politely remind me when time has passed and I should stop staring at the screen. Unfortunately such a service is rare in a book library.

Printweek have put in a comments option but there is nothing there at the moment. Suggest something is added just in case the world of books results in social isolation.