Thursday, August 14, 2008

Microsoft validates Flash

The summer is not over but I am trying to engage again with where technology is heading. I find Acrobat 9 fairly confusing still. Maybe the launch was at an odd time of year but there may be more to it. So far my impression is that there is not much new around PDF as such, the direction is still Flash.

Found a story in the Register explaining what Microsoft may intend. This could explain why Adobe is pushing Flash so urgently. A technology company usually works with technology that is not quite ready to be robust. A suitable version will emerge as the user requirement takes shape. I realise that most of the technology around PDF as in Adobe Classic is now very reliable and easy to clone as it should be for an ISO standard.

However I still find that there are few people using the Job Definition Format features in Acrobat. eBooks are still not recognised as such though there is masses of text online. I think this area is worth staying with for a while so have in mind the Online Information Show as a target date to have worked out more about flat text documents etc. Video is still a concern, but more for next year starting with BETT. The UK students are engaging with video, animation and all things Flash. The readers of Information World Review are still concerned with books and journals, my guess. And the Total Print Show may be going back to litho. Not sure about this.

I am also still confused as to what Adobe intends around MARS and the Digital Editions Reader. I had thought that an XML rewrite for PDF would be a sensible direction. Nothing much is happening however. Sony have announced support for EPUB in their Reader, available in the UK next month. XHTML, don't really understand it but this sounds good. Even if the tools are not available widely to create an eBook, PDF will also load in the Reader. The Kindle is more like a phone but the Reader seems enough like a book to make a point.

This post may seem to have gone off topic but the conclusion seems to be that whatever Adobe is trying to do might make more sense next year. Meanwhile most of the time i will be going back to text.


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