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

Thursday, April 22, 2004

I don't think PDF Jobready will be a major priority for Adobe at drupa. Their emphasis was on ways to input and display JDF from InDesign and Acrobat. Information about Jobready was through the stand (booth) for Datalogics. At drupa they will be part of the HP space. Hall 4 , stands C23 and D47.
One really good development was that that contacts were made to expand the support for the Acrobat User Forum. The AUF has announced a meeting on June 2nd to look at issues arising from Seybold. There will now also be involvement from the BCS Electronic Publishing Specialist Group and from XML UK.

The meeting will include an update on the defra case study on reader extensions, and a look at how Enfocus and Global Graphics have approached the issues of how to connect JDF with PDF. I will be speaking about how quality links in with this. As the meeting is at the IQA in London there could be others with a view on quality as well. My view is that the discussion on 'intelligent documents' could start by including some established ideas from quality theory.

The day will start with David Brailsford and a revised version of his keynote at Seybold. This overview of content and structure includes more reference to SVG over time. Acrobat users probably won't mind being SVG users as well. There is a guess that some SVG is already included in the Adobe Reader, as it now is.
The idea of co-locacating Seybold and XML Europe has worked out really well. It would be very positive if this happened again. The Job Definition Format discussion is based on XML support. It is not essential to understand this, but most of those closely involved seem to.

Medialive International have been criticised for some of the changes around Seybold, but this XML link is creative. Maybe the discussion needs to expand to maintain some momentum.

There are some details to work through however. It was possible to switch to the XML conference for a session but the timings did not overlap well. It would have been good to hear the session from HP and Reportlab on how the schedule was printed but there were several other Seybold sessions at this time.
SVG has turned up a few times during the conference. It may be the XML alongside ( see next post ) At first it was suggested that SVG is ok on screen but has no idea of what a page is like. However it turned out that the speaker from Apache Software Foundation was very intrerested in hard copy. Jeremias Maerki ( ) showed several cases of output to PDF and Postscript. See the website at

The main project is for an XSL-FO. Sorry, I don't really understand what this is. It takes data in XML format and describes how to display it. Something like that. There were some robust comments in the conference about whether the Apache version works very well. The version number is FOP (0.20.5) so clearly there will be a better version. As far as I could tell the process that went into PDF was working ok. Suited for black on white text, data output sort of thing. High end CMYK colour maybe a long wait. But maybe some print company will be able to cope with RGB one day.

SVG seems to get support partly because it is an open standard and written in XML so linking to data is possible. Chuck Myers from Adobe pointed out that PDF is an open standard in that several other companies offer software that creates PDF. He made the fair point that PDFlib for example offer software to create PDF from data 'on the fly'. However the mood seemed to be that if SVG became well supported it would be easier to make a suggestion through committees rather than waiting for Adobe to release a new description of PDF.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Link for ReportLab

If you're not at Seybold or XML Europe you can't actually visit any of this but you would see how XML works with a publication. XML will be part of Seybold in San Francisco and it seems likely there will be something in Amsterdam in 2005.
The Seybold Amsterdam event is benefiting from being co-located with XML Europe. Much of the discussion overlaps. Reportlab are offering a personalised schedule for XML Europe and later they will have some presentation with HP Indigo. As part of the XML apparently. More on this later.

'Later' could be Thursday.

The word is that this site will be updated. As of two clicks ago it was all about a Seybold in 2003.

But check back later. It will be updated in the near future.

Just one of the promises during the CIP4 day on JDF. My impression is that there is genuine wide support for JDF to work.

Some jargon, new to me. Interoperability Conformance Specifications. (ICS) . These are a way to check whether 'pairings' actually work. GATF has agreed to do tests once the specifications are agreed. It seems that ones for MIS and digital print are the furthest advanced. The Networked Graphic Production approach seems to have been to move on without waiting for the spec. But their experience has been fed back.

During the day it was suggested that the ideal recruit for pre-press would have some knowledge of web design, including PHP and MySQL. Quite a change from the attitudes in pre-press some time ago when the question was whether PDF could ever be made to work. There is support for JDF in the print industry. My guess is that the doubts will disappear quite quickly.

Apparently there will be a JDF roadmap for distribution at drupa. This document is so massive that it is impossible to fit on a slide and there was no announcement of a version for download. Maybe it involves some complex folding.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Just to say I have found Easy cafe so there will be a report from Seybold Amsterdam maybe tomorrow.

The printed description promises a 7 minute version of what will be on show at drupa from a PDF point of view.

7 minutes each speaker that is, hour and a quarter in all. There may be other things going on tomorrow but there will be a report later this week.