Starting with IPEX 2002, this blog covers events relevant for UK print, including Seybold and DRUPA. See also website at

Friday, November 14, 2003

Actually the topic on a PDF version of the Guardian had not got lost. It was moved from 'BBC' to 'Press and Publishing'.

Very sensible too. I started it in BBC not realising how many sections there are. I thought it was all media. So some comment will be there not in this blog.

Other contributions have started to look at the Times as well as the Telegraph. There will be a log of reader experience. I still think the Guardian should say something about what they intend. July is a while ago now. And surely other media could report on this? The Telegraph is not promoting the Active Paper option all that widely as far as I know.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

It is being suggested that Jakob Nielsen might be influenced by work with Macromedia in his views on PDF.

I don't think this is in any way true. Jakob Nielsen is just wrong, that's all. His views on PDF are longstanding and consistent with his other views, in general that it is better tyo use the oldest technology available and to assume the users know nothing and and are not prepared to learn. Also text in itself is probably all that is really needed so graphics could be avaoided as they may cause problems.

Jakob Nielsen has stated that PDF is ok, for content to be printed out.

Meanwhile if Macromedia will support PDF that is to be encouraged. They may get a PDF 'ankle biter' by mistake with eHelp but let's hope they continue it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Digital Print World indicates a new stage of acceptance for PDF in the UK. The scope seems to be limited to digital print but actually the discussion around this will include workflows for litho and also the web.

I need to rearrange the content of websites for Acrobat Services UK and WWW.atford. So far the UK site has assumed low bandwidth and concentrated on hard copy. the dotcom site assumes broadband. The print opinion parts of Acrobat Services UK can move to WWW.atford as archive. The UK site will still assume low bandwidth, but cover topics that need broadband. The UK now has better potential so the requirement is for some content or use.

I have done two small PDFs. One links a Print opinion stream to an IOP event in December. One promotes the aspects of the Workflow Cinema at Digital Print World that I think are most interesting.
There is an Education Guardian article today about pocket computers as could be "harnessed for learning". Very sensibly the research starts with how they are already used for games, music and text messages.

Strangely Professor Mike Sharples makes the following statement. "We're not in the business of replacing books." Well, why not? Sorry, since the topic about a PDF Guardian disappeared and I have moved on to be more of a blogger, the temptation is there to go into rave mode anyway.

Elsewhere in Education Guardian it is reported that funding will be adjusted so that subjects like computer software and media studies get less. Costs are assumed to be lower so there can't be many new G5s being bought. Is there an incentive for universities to invest in e-learning? Will funding be adjusted later to compensate those that are still using an older approach?

'Blended learning' will include some books but they don't have some special position that cannot be questioned. Just as, the Guardian can exist both online and as print. It is worth talking about.
Copied from

Iraq Today's Web site was down all this week. But I spoke with Mina Corp.'s advertising liason in the U.K., Caroline Binns, who told me the newspaper was very much still in business, but that Web access is switching to subscription-only and will be up again next week. Binns called it a "small technical problem" and said that anyone interested in getting a PDF version of the paper, can e-mail her at for two free trial issues. After that, the price is $200 per year.

Binns told me they've sold "hundreds" of subscriptions, and said the newspaper had a print run of 15,000 copies. "The motto of the paper is the 'Independent Voice of Iraq,' and we have angered some people in the military and the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority]," she said. "The reason we publish in English is so that Iraqis can have their voice heard by the CPA."


Monday, November 10, 2003

sorry this was just a repeat. Still learning about 'post' and 'publish'......
Somehow the topic about a PDF version of the Guardian seems to have disappeared from the Talk section of the Guardian website. It was in media under BBC. I started it in BBC by mistake but it seems relevant. A BBC archive of programs should have back issues of The Listener in PDF.

Back in July, Emily Bell was online for a chat about the paid for future of Guardian content. Mention was made of a 'digital edition' though there was little detail other than a price of about £98 per year. This is a reduction on the print version but still a number that implies some value.

I have added some messages since and also changes to a news story on the Acrobat Services website. Recently I have tried to provoke some contibutions from Guardian staff. Partly I am puzzled by what is going on. Partly it seems the coverage in media and online rarely considers how digital technology has an impact on newspapers.

My most recent message was about an article by Roy Greenslade on declines in newspaper circulation. What is striking is the lack of any web context. There was one article a while ago when he visited Brighton and found that a fire led to interest in a local news website. But Roy Greenslade rarely mentions the effect of increased time spent browsing the web.

IanD on the Talk messages told us about a Telegraph offer that turms out to be based on ActivePaper from Olive Software. I have tried this for the best part of a week and it seems to work ok. The content is based on PDF or Postscript as from the print version. There is no direct PDF on offer but you can print to it including photography and illustration.Unfortunately the Sunday version does not include the colour magazine.

Maybe it is just my closed world as a Guardian reader, but I don't think this Telegraph offer is well known. The Guardian has not featured it at all, so far as I know. Apparently the Telegraph lost about 20,000 buyers in October. At 2% of 890,000 this could just be the small number of people who have managed to find out about the online offer.

This situation seems to me to well worth reporting although print media seem to stick to print all too often. There is a conference coming up linked to Digital Print World. Subjects include how The Guardian can use digital technology in support of distributed hard copy. surely the discussion has moved on a bit. The web is an option as well as competition.

The circulation figures may not be the sign of an 'ice age' to threaten 'dinosaurs'. But there are some issues that should be discussed.

This blog started as IPEX 2002. It will continue loosely connected with how PDF and JDF have an effect. Recently Adobe have announced even more XML support than was evident at IPEX. 'Network Publishing' is a context in which print reconfigures as part of something else.