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

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I have been looking for a copy of Printweek with an article by Frank Romano about JDF. As memory serves, he questions whether print customers could contribute anything useful as detailed instructions given the number of problems they cause through unskilled creation of PDF.

Now this is strange given his enthusiasm in writing various books about how to create PDF. There must have been a time he was more of an optimist.

Meanwhile I have found an article on the web making similar points. The argument seems to be that there is no sudden return to justify replacing all equipment with new JDF compliance.

Also it is pointed out that only 12% of printers have IT staff ( could be less outside the US).

Can't find anything more recent to suggest his biew has changed. This could be an issue if he says much the same as at the Momentum in Print event in January. There may be some printers who would like to hear that technology issues can be postponed for a while, but are these the people who will turn up for the event?

According to the Editor and Publisher website the circulation for the San Francisco Chronicle is down 16.58% for the six months to Sept 05. The audience for the Adobe event may be expecting an integrated presentation covering the web as well as print. ( see 'the last presses' for discussion on web as an explanation for declining print circulations)

As far as I can make it out the front end of JDF is likely to be a set of constraints for people creating pages on Quark or InDesign. Quark have described 'job jackets' in some detail though the final release is not yet out. Adobe presumably will present something as part of the Momentum event. I have a vague memory of the presentation by Jutta Koch at the London College of Communication conference during Digital Print World. The slides are not available on the web. Maybe there is more to clarify in ways Adobe is working with OEM partners.

The original idea with Acrobat 7 seemed to be that the JDF could be created from the desktop in a similar way to PDF. This is the 'intent' level of JDF. Now maybe the details of the job have already been decided before page makeup happens. So the 'print service organisation' provides some kind of format or template, possibly for the print customer.

This would not require any great cash investment by a print service organisation. Maybe a recent PC or Mac and some current software. The time investment would be to get to a point where print customers believed there was an understanding of how JDf can be used. If it is getting easier to publish a PDF document to the web then it will seem strange if setting up a print request is more complicated.

After that it might not matter. Works instructions could continue on paper. The print industry may be no closer to computer integrated manufacturing than ever it was. Though probably some companies would be cheaper and faster that others so the reality of JDF would follow.

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