Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Adobe web connect on May 1

Adobe have announced the agenda for the financial analysts meeting on Thursday, May 1st. Kevin Lynch will speak about the Technology Platform, presumably AIR and Flash. The afternoon will be about Creative Solutions and Business Productivity. At a previous meeting there was a hint from the audience about new releases for Acrobat and Creative Suite. There is no slot for "classic publishing" or Postscript. So although there may be some sort of press release planned around the time of drupa I think that hard copy is not a priority.

The chance of Kevin Lynch saying much about PDF is quite low I would think. Business productivity is likely to involve video conferencing as Adobe imagines it. Adobe Classic is about to vanish and something like Macromedia will continue.

GoLive has been terminated. I think it was actually different in design intention. I used it more or less as page layout. I realise this is old fashioned but I don't think I am alone. The current Adobe site for allegedly promoting Acrobat has Flash images moving about all over the place. I don't think it has much to do with PDF, more about promoting something else.

Meanwhile I have had another look at MARS and found there is an AIR download for creating a photo album. seems to work ok though saving a file is a bit difficult. You have to add ".mars" to the filename. The design is quite restrained and easy to use.

If there is any trace of MARS in the next release of Acrobat I think it should be announced fairly soon. Suppose there is an update to the Print Engine early in June. What file format will it use? How long before the print customers are requesting something else?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Adobe missing from Printweek drupa listing

Printweek has started to cover drupa and already there are enough side issues to justify the blog mode. Barney Cox has written about MIS and Workflow, arguably the central part of the show, and the surprising aspect for me is that there is almost nothing about Adobe. Occasioanl mention of the PDF Print Engine but nothing like the full listing for Global Graphics and the RIP with native processing for XPS files, "the new development at the heart of Vista". This is just my guess but it seems possible that Adobe are not doing much to publicise anything around drupa. Their main interest seems to be in Flash for the web, video streaming that sort of thing. Postscript and PDF are not a priority for the publicity department.

Thinking about this some more, the even more surprising thing is that maybe they have a point. Newspaper circulation is falling away. Steve Jobs has pointed out that reading e-books on a mobile device is already possible but nobody is that bothered. Sound and video is what Apple covers. So at least two of the companies that made desk-top-publishing possible have moved on to something else.

The print industry should pay some attention to this. Apparently this will be an ink-jet event as the JDF drupa has already happened. However the workflow involved in print production is still clumsy and slow compared to publishing through a blog or text message. JDF on the desktop has hardly started.

Adobe publicity has not yet helped much in this area. The capability of Acrobat to start a JDF intent is rarely promoted to knowledge workers though many of them still use hard copy on occasion.

Maybe it is not surprising that the PDF and XML Production Parc is sponsored by Global Graphics. There is a research project somewhere in the Adobe labs about MARS, an "XML friendly" rewrite of the PDF format. Compared to Apollo now called something else, this has had effectively no promotion at all. If Printweek appears to have no information about this, is it any wonder that blogs are full of speculation?


Monday, April 21, 2008

Quark, Job Jackets and the Show Daily

Quark are working with Haymarket and “Druck & Medien” on the drupa show daily. No information I can find on how it will be printed. Canon did a fine job at the Digital Print World event but possibly the run will justify some form of litho.

Quark will also be promoting Job Jackets and JDF. The idea of creating the job ticket as well as the page layout makes a lot of sense. The JDF job intention need not be that complicated. A similar approach is possible in Acrobat but this is rarely mentioned.

I have done a story for MyNews India leading ion the new Adobe Media Player and web video. This seems to be where Adobe is mostly concentrating. I have mentioned towards the end the several things that are not known. In citizen journalism this is quite ok, it is closely related to blogging.

So what is Mars? Is there a timescale? The news so far on Acrobat 9 seems to be a shuffle of features and price points and the branding of various versions. Mars could be a rewrite of the PDF format as even more friendly for XML. But when is a mystery.

Meanwhile Global Graphics will sponsor the PDF And XML Production Parc At Drupa - Drupa Hall 07 Stand 7.0D.

Adobe will not be far away but maybe more concerned with Flash and video.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Adobe TV confirms a new phase

The Adobe Media Player is a public launch for new ideas around a video web and the integrated runtime. There is also a move to integrate the platforms unit with mobile devices. This seems to mean that the platform is now mostly Flash. Is PDF still in there? Postscript seems to be long gone, no mention at all in recent times.

However slowly the print world adjusts to digital technology, "disruption" probably works through the occasioanal shock. Web TV could be one such, even if this media player is only one of many. Seems to work ok but CSI is blocked in the UK I think.

Meanwhile Scribd is working well to display documents. This is also using Flash somewhere in the process but the focus on flat documents mostly made up of text is possibly something Adobe would not concentrate on in the current climate.