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

Thursday, February 09, 2006

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.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

OhmyNews have published my story - Adobe concentrates on Flash.

It was based on the recent webcast for financial analysts and other web sources.

The main story is about Flash, both for video and through FLEX for forms and engaging experiences.

I repeated a short version of the "classic publishing moves to India" article in IP3 Today.

I may have overstated a few things but I think this is a reasonable view of where Adobe is at.

Even if Adobe concentrate on video for mobiles at IPEX, this will be a useful education for some people in the print industry. At the moment I think most information about JDF will come from other companies that have a longterm focus on hard copy.

while checking for this text I did find one recent Adobe white paper on JDF. Maybe there is other material I have missed as well.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My impression is that Adobe did not announce or draw attention to anything much on JDF workflow in InDesign or Acrobat during Xplor in Miami. Not much has turned up on Google News or Google Blogsearch.

There is a section on JDF in Noel Ward's roundup from Xplor conferences


- JDF is for geeks, not the average customer. It will remain "behind the curtain" and be transparent to document owners and creators while streamlining document submission and job ordering, reducing costs and automating workflows at print providers, especially when related to cross-media programs.

- JDF, when properly implemented, will also reduce employee training, make ready, and prepress complexity, provide a single interface for job management, and provide an easier upgrade path to new presses and even finishing systems. It's not there yet, but it will happen over the next 5 years.


OK so JDF is for geeks, but how exactly is this "transparency" arrived at. At the London Collegeof Communication conference last year there was a presentation by Jutta Koch on how JDF workflows might work. It seemed quite vague in some places. It is not available online anywhere as far as I know. My guess was there would be a more explicit presentation from Adobe US at some later date. Well, 'momentum' and pdf-forum have both happened and I can't find anything. OK I should have been there but if I don't experience the UK in Jan and Feb I won't be able to enjoy the spring when it eventually happens.

What I think is that the "document owners and creators" would like the idea of controlling every aspect of print production. JDF can help this idea even if it needs a few geeks to create the illusion. The actual print production can be as not automated as ever, except for the cost and time involved. This front end aspect will take a lot less than five years. Quark seem to be promoting job jackets with 7.

Adobe have booked a stand at IPEX so presumably there will be something on it. Flash for video is already widely understood.

Meanwhile Google News for "pdf+miami" turns up The Ghent PDF Workgroup. These people are consistently interested. A link finds PDFX ready in French. Is the English language discussion only about mobile phones?

What will it mean that the business unit for "classic publishing" has moved to India? Will they turn up in Birmingham?