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?



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