Today's Printweek has a review of Quark 7 by Simon Eccles. Seems to be based mostly on the Beta, but the actual release must be getting closer. There is quite a lot of space on job jackets, explained as 'metadata to define detailed job specifications that can be transferred between documents'. Simon Eccles explains that this is based on JDF "though that's well hidden".
So here's problem number one. Why can't Quark be more obvious about the use of JDF? All that is involved is another use of XML in an enterprise setting that happens to be print.
Whatever, the system works well. "This virtually automatic implementation of JDF is streets ahead of Adobe, which has no equivalent in InDesign, just a badly explained ability to generate and attach JDF job tickets via Adobe Acrobat."
A promising sign that Simon Eccles has made this point so clearly. Maybe it is because of the development of Acrobat as a product for 'knowledge workers' that the messages for pre-press get lost in the Adobe mix.
However there will be a stand at IPEX. I have mentioned this before but it is worth repeating. The spend on stand space was not that great at IPEX 2002 or Drupa. There could be some point that needs to be made.
Apparently Quark 7 is also good for web design and will embed Flash files. Simon Eccles suggests such pages will be imported into Dreamweaver anyway. Let's hope Flash is not the main talking point of IPEX, wonderful though it is.
On page 12 Gavin Drake, Quark European marketing manager is quoted as saying "The latest research suggests that only 40% of files are sent as PDF and of those 60% have errors." Presumably the percentage with a JDF attached is close to zero. That could be the problem situation for IPEX. Quark and Adobe can present JDF on the desktop.
The client audit section on page 24 quotes Chris King, from the Haymarket production department, on working with Wyndeham printers. "We're.. working closely with them in introducing JDF workflows and enjoying the bells and whistles of closed-loop control."
Of course this may be an illusion, but once magazine production people get the idea of what JDF offers, the printers may take a closer look. PDF first got serious UK attention when the Digital Ad Lab took it up.