Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creative Destruction

The stock markets are a bit alarming at the moment. I am trying to remember what Schumpeter had to say about "creative destruction". Something about phases of technology innovation when times are good. One problem is that everything seems to have been driven by finance during the time I can remember. An economy based on production is a bit far off, but maybe in the future as well as in the past.

Anyway, this came to mind through a blog post from Jo Francis repeated in print in Printweek.

For more than a decade now people have been talking to me about the likelihood of a major "correction" in print supply and demand. Looking at the restructuring going on among papermakers, and with news of print company failures emerging on an almost daily basis, I wonder if world events will hasten the arrival of this mythical correction point now?

A technology shift could be towards the Web and digital communication, with print still included. Something like that seems to me the sort of direction that could happen.

In a Printweek story about the closure of the Leeds Heidelberg office there is a quote from George Clarke-

"The print market has contracted since the three UK divisions were created in 1975. Then, there were 14,000 potential customers, today there are 3,500."

A correction in supply and demand has already started so the scope for technology change is something to consider.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Kevin Lynch interview, Adobe Classic, Adobe Max

I am more and more convinced there is a bit of a break in time going on. The information coming out about Creative suite 4 seemed mostly about Flash and the Web. Now there is an interview with Kevin Lynch. I have read the first bit fairly closely and will come back to it. Several mentions for Flash 4, not yet in full release, and almost nothing about PDF.

The reasoning seems to be about the growth of mobile devices, cloud computing, and social context. Loading the story required getting past an advert page and then waiting for the text to move about the screen as the Flash advertising loaded from all directions. I still think there is a viable something around a page design more or less based on text. Adobe Classic continues even though Adobe Max is the future.

It is again suggested that design should be for the small screen as on a phone. It may just be my declining eyesight that influences me. I tried out an ad link for Acrobat and it went off into animation with icons swirling about as if each one was a new feature. My guess is that the Acrobat users will just be confused.

It also seems to me that the cloud computing approach has a different business model. What will be the costs of packaged software when similar services are available online? Contribute is still so much a seat, probably a block on any scale of operation compared to Google sites. There is an alternative in Adobe Labs but what will the price be? The version of Creative Suite with InDesign is almost as much as any other but if this stuff is really out of date and gets no promotion or buzz, then when will the prices start to drop?

Friday, September 19, 2008

MARS is now PDFXML as a file label

The MARS blog reveals a new name and an update. More next week.

Briefly, I think this is a major event. The interest around Creative Suite will be mostly about Flash i guess but there is still a lot of activity around data and flat documents.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sony Reader, more hints

I have started to track Google Blogsearch on the Sony Reader. The relevance for the printing industry is that if an XML format like ePub can reach a device easily enough, then print workflows will need to be just as quick or at least not too slow. JDF could help with this.

Joe Wickert has done some study on Google Trends and thinks the Sony Reader is doing well for interest. But bear in mind that the Amazon Kindle is only available in the USA so finding out more about it is a waste of time for most people. Amazon support for ePub could change things. Joe Wickert also has heard about a Sony announcement in New York on Oct 2nd that may be about wireless or something. This is speculation but could be true as here in the UK people like myself are buying the current model and we realise it will soon be out of date.

Monday, September 08, 2008

ePub publishing, first start your blog

Experiments continue. The creation of ePub is going to become easier, no question.

Best available solution courtesy of Feedbooks. They will create a book in several formats from an RSS feed. Seems to work ok. Sample of this blog.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

ePUB, SVG, LaTex workflow in outline

Adobe blogs usually offer something, if not what you are looking for. Bill McCoy writes about Hindawi and the use of EPUB for journals. I hope to find out more about how this is done. Graphics in SVG, starts with LaTex. Samples

The Sony Reader is now in Exeter

The Sony Reader is now in Exeter. Both branches of Waterstones have a display. I did a quick report on the "wifi Exeter" blog and a story for OhmyNews.

It turns out that when Sony say it supports Word what they mean is that it supports RTF (rich text files). Actually you need a local copy of Word to make the switch. Saving as RTF in Open Office works just as well, just drag and drop into the Sony Reader. So this is "good enough" for the moment. Understanding the creation of an ePub can wait a while.

I have found out a bit more through the Teleread blog.

A commint from Mike Cane links to this tutorial. For some people this could be clarity enough.

I have also found more from Adobe. A blog connects to a ePub check so this great once you get started.

There is a Digital Publishing Technology Centre written for developers. The guidance on what you actually do the get an ePub from Indesign is a link to another blog. I may have shown this link before. it is the point where I get stuck.

Meanwhile Adobe have announced an announcement about CS4 and some detail about online Photoshop from a phone. However there is no release yet for a MARS plug-in for Acrobat 9, predicted on the MARS blog for early August.

So perhaps the idea of an "XML friendly" version of PDF has been forgotten and ePUB is the suggestion for text reflow on small screens. This impression comes over through various blogs but I think there could be some clarity from Adobe with a bit more of a profile. So far as I know there has been no statement from Adobe UK around the Waterstones launch for the Sony Reader. Adobe Digital Editions is rarely explained.