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

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Is it my imagination or is there no way to comment on this post?

Emily Bell on last week,

includes an actual statement that the online bit is in profit

surely worth a headline somewhere.

My guess, the reason they don't explain a business model is that actually they still don't know what is happening.
Andrew Tribute blog turns up as part of in The Balance.

He reckons things are looking good, with attendance up on expectations.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Next week Life Bytes upgrades to 8megs

Things get better
The following text comes from an open document via Adobe Reader and PDF.
I have done 20 printed copies for next week so there could be more info later.


Questions for IPEX 2006

There has been one article for OhmyNews. Also a blog started with IPEX 2002.
Look for Sci & Tech.


It turns out Global Graphics and Founder both offer support for JDF and PDF so maybe there is a follow up story.

There may be two more stories about newspapers and open source.

a) Newspapers
The Guardian bought MAN Roland kit last year for the new Berliner format. According to Jeff Jarvis, editor Alan Rusbridger has said they may be the last. What can this mean for a timescale guessing when online will be recognised as significant for 'news organisations'. Apparently printing machines may last 30 or 50 years so the statement is not revealing much. Can the printing industry offer something new? DICOweb for example could make it possible to offer many variations of regional editions for something like the Saturday guide. The Guardian leaks some thoughts to the blogosphere but there is almost no public information to indicate income online compared to print. The ABC decision to allow circulation certificates for 'digital editions' had not been followed by any newspapers deciding to 'opt in'. Something to discuss in the Webline Cafe.

b) Open Source , JDF and XML
Gee Ranasinha at the Dalim press conference spoke about Linux and open source. Also about JDF and XML. Obviously Dalim offer one way of getting JDF intent information from a browser. But thinking about this presentation later it seems possible that there are many ways of working with XML. Once JDF is better known there could be more choices at the user level. Apparently Dalim are now working with brand managers, not just agencies and publishers. The input is getting closer to the final customer. It is welcome that Quark offer Job Jackets and Adobe are explaining more about JDF in Acrobat 7 but this may only be useful for some people.
Are there more examples of a JDF interface to capture information on job intent?
Would any XML approach fit in?

Photos at

Feedback welcome
Will Pollard

posted from Life Bytes, Sidwell Street, Exeter
Lori De Furio has responded to my recent comment on her blog.

Also she has started a new topic on the PDF Print Engine.

Suggest you start adding comments there if something seems to apply. (I still can't find a way to enable comments here....)
I have now opened a Flickr account

It was a bit confusing that photos went to the 'wi-fi Exeter' blog.

Suggest "IPEX2006" as a tag.

Today I am at Life Bytes in Exeter. This is a bit calmer than IPEX and a chance to get some perspective. So far i have asked about their scanning resources. There is an Epson CX3200 for the customers but I am told the Agfa one is still round the back somewhere when required.

Apparently my Flickr name is now 'ipex2002'. This is just to tie in with the blog.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Test to see if comments is on.

Sorry about this, can't see where to change it.

Suggest you add comments at In The Balance where most issues are covered.
Test to see if comments is on
This blog was found through In the Balance.

Blogito Ergo Sum includes a sensible appraisal on e-books and the Sony Reader.

It is fairly convincing that the kind of people who might adopt an e-book reader are also more intersted in sound and video. So some device that covered all media would be the one to wait for. Text will still be part of the mix though.
A check on Adobe blogs suggests there is not much interest in JDF from an everyday point of view. Sorry, still can't work out how to load photos into this blog. I have got Picasa started but it defaults to "wifi exeter", another blog another story. Still,have a look or do your own search.

It is very welcome that Adobe are promoting PDF as part of print at IPEX. However, having said that it is also the case that most of the time Acrobat is promoted for 'knowledge workers' who seem to be imagined as uninterested in hard copy of any kind.

Just mentioning this for consideration by any other bloggers out there.

If you are interested in print, consider getting to IPEX before it closes next week. Chances to get information about print from Adobe through people may not turn up very often.
As memory serves this is the first IPEX or Drupa in recent years where there has been no presence by IBM. They concentrate on transactional print, usually coming from an enterprise database.

IBM is still in existence and still offers print, as I found on the web.

The page on 'events' starts with webcasts. Stange company, IBM.
I have done a page for photos from IPEX so far. I realise I could include them in the blog but can't work out how just at the moment.
I may have got this a bit wrong but I think a comment by Victor Keegan has been deleted. This is from 'Comment is Free' on the Guardian website. My guess is this may have something to do with whether journalists get paid. My problem is that my comments have been deleted also. I was trying to work from a comment on Google and book publishing towards a discussion on newspaers and online news. Previously on Guardain Talk I have been trying to find out more about the PDF version or 'digital edition' that seems to be almost a secret. There is a subscription model but nobody knows about it. Having now heard the official view on the New York Times subscription model I am even more convinced the Guardain future will be for free content with advertising. So a PDF with photos and illustration may not be given a chance.

I hope to get some feedback as part of the conversation. There is certainly enough material at IPEX on newspaper kit that might make sense as a future purchase. As part of a mix of course.
I have had the time to download and listen to the mp3 version of Alan Rusbridger's talk at the launch of 'Comment Is Free'. There are some interesting details that did not come out through the Jeff Jarvis edited version, comprehensive though that was. Apparently most people are not getting paid, except for Polly Toynbee and Simon Jenkins and maybe a few others who already have contracts. I have been accused of going off topic by mentioning that OhmyNews actually pay for stories, but it could be relevant to something. Rusbridger manages to talk about 'citizen journalism' without mentioning the words.

Frankly I feel the service from MediaGuardian on a Monday is not reflecting the views of the editor on the problems of newspapers. This could change. He clearly sees online as the future and is studying web stats, claiming to be "bigger than the LA Times in America". He can imagine a time when those who still insist on a printed version of their daily news may be paying around £2.50. And he is fully aware of devices like the new Sony Reader where content can be easily updated and the quality of display is improving.

I have put a link to the mp3 on the In the Balance blog. The discussion at IPEX is realistic about digital but I think the web could move faster than many expect.
Now back in Exeter. Here till Sunday. I will be at Life Bytes on Sidwell Street on Friday. Opposite the Odeon. Discussion on what to make of IPEX so far. People at Life Bytes have a general view about the web and a background in print though this is gradually being replaced by video etc. It should help to get some perspective on all the messages from IPEX.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A possible story for OhmyNews might be built around the newspaper aspects of Print City, in particular MAN Roland. There is news in their approach, and the background is the Guardian stream of comment around whether they are a newspaper or a website or whether it matters.

The story so far one more time. Sorry about repeating myself but I need to collect the outline of a story. The Guardian like many newspapers is not sure how to respond to declining print circulations and growth of news online. The Guardian Unlimited website has won awards and an international audience. According to Anthony Lilley on April 3rd the word at a recent conference was that there is a million pounds of profit so the loss phase may be over. Experiments continue in talk boards and blogs such as 'Comment is Free'. However there is almost never any reporting on newspapers as what Jeff Jarvis calls 'news organisations', with a business model of online and print income / costs.

Jeff Jarvis covers this, in print hidden away on an inside page, and online at Buzzmachine, currently concentrating on the New York Times. Recently he linked to an mp3 of a talk by Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, that includes remarks about Express Newspapers and generally gives the impression on moving along with the web. Last year Buzzmachine included a quote from Rusbridger about the purchase of kit from MAN Roland for the news Berliner format. "These may be the last presses we ever buy". This full quote was not included in the printed version of a Guardian Media comment from Jeff Jarvis so 'the last presses' is mostly a reference to online. The recent Rusbridger talk is unconnected with anything reported in Guardian Media, most of which seems to assume newspapers will continue indefinitely.

What I am discovering here at IPEX is that the quote reveals almost nothing on liley timescales for transition of news organisations online. I have spoken to people who think newspaper presses can last 30 to 50 years, though are often replaced after 15 or twenty.

'Comment is Free' migh reveal something on what the |Guardian really think about the web and news. This would be interesting.

MAN Roland have a DICOweb that transfers an image to and from the plate. Ideal for short runs, meaning 20,000 or similar. Would suit a regional edition of the Guide on a Saturday. So online might grow alongside some new presses.
OhmyNews have accepted my story about Adobe and the PDF Print Engine

Today I discover that Global Graphics have been able to cope with native PDF for ages. The JDF Pavilion is the place to visit for a bit of guidance on what is going on. Not far from the Adobe stand, or the Quark stand either. These are both sides of the Apple stand so the software end of pre-press is not too hard to find.

You just have to accept that the image on the screen is what will turn up on a plate.

If you don't have much time at IPEX, suggest you check the pre-press online and concentrate on the other end around the Piazza. This is where the actual output is happening. JDF is working in Print City and the Freeflow on Xerox is based on JDF as well.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

It turns out the Adobe announcement is about the basis of a completely new RIP, capable of coping with PDF directly. So no more going back to Postscript. I was a bit confused yesterday with the workflow talk in the press release that seemed to be repeating things that have been claimed before. The point is that the RIP can now cope. Or it will soon. Maybe in time for Drupa. Seems a way off but the PDf workflow is now easy to imagine.

Forunately I met Stephan Jaeggi near the Adobe stand and he was able to explain it to me. "It should have happened ten years ago." he said. He was also quite persuasive about the possibility of Europeans going to Miami for a PDF conference. Apparently flying from Switzerland to Birmingham is more expensive than flying to Miami. The presentations from the recent PDF Forum are available online. There may be one in March next year.

This blog comes courtesy of HP web link in the IPEX press room, closing in ten minutes. So here's a link to my story for OhmyNews.
Not yet edited but it should be there.

Next to explore what kind of print machine the Guardian could buy next. Apparently some MAN Roland kit is still in use after 50 years so the timescale of any shift online is still vague.

Monday, April 03, 2006

There have been press conferences today, but I have not much to add to the previous post. More tomorrow when I have seen the actual Adobe stand. There are also presentations from Print City and Xerox that could be relevant.

So far the JDF message on production is pretty solid. So how this can reach a print customer on the desktop is still an issue, as far as I can see.

In conversation I have asked a few people how long MAN Roland printing kit for newspapers could be expected to last. Twenty to thirty years seems a resonable assumpttion, with some replacement of electronics. So the idea that the Guardian may not buy any more after the last lot is not so strange. The internet in thirty years time will be different. One suggestion was they may buy some inkjet kit however. It could work in some hybrid way to add local version information. Maybe the Saturday Guide would be a candidate.
The return of the portable job ticket

More later. Looks like a software development kit for Postscript OEMs to work with later.

So exactly what you do from the desktop faced with InDesign may remain a mystery. Questions for the Adobe stand tomorrow so more later.

There is a big poster in the car park aimed at creative professionals so maybe the Crerative Suite will be a focus.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I thought I had posted this on Thursday, but can't find it at the moment.
I am moving around this week and next. There will be a gap inIPEX when I am backin Exeter Friday 7th, so if this gets more muddled there may be some sorting out then.


Reading the Guardian, looking for links to print. It is still the case that they don't write much about the print technology on which most of their publishing depends. But they do explain the context in which print has to operate. The Technology section today includes an interview with Eben Moglen, a lawyer working on an updated version of the General Public Licence (GPL) , used by free or open software such as Linux.

A new version is required now because of the transition to embedded software in digital devices. As envisaged by Moglen, "In the year 2006, the home is some real estate with appliances in it. In 2016, the home will be a digital entertainment and data processing network with real estate wrapped around it. The basic question then is: Who has the keys to your home? You or the people who deliver movies and pizza? The world they are thinking about is a world in which they have the keys to your home because the computers that constitute [your home's] entertainment and data processing network work for them, rather than for you."

Interviewer Glyn Moody explains that manufacturers of embedded systems have a strong incentive to play along, quoting Moglen: "What they want is a very robust, highly debugged, completely stable, omni-competent, zero dollars per unit software platform for agile manufacture of devices in the future." Only one meets all those requirements: GNU/Linux.

These digital devices with embedded software may include some form of book or means of reading text. There is talk about improved display described as e-paper. Interest in sound and video seems to be more immediate, however. Maybe a dedicated book equivalent will be rare though sound and video devices will be able to show pages as well, if only for a manual or instructions.

The discussion around 'web 2.0' seems to follow some of the expectations people have from the world of free and open source software. Sites such as Google or Amazon are included as examples of Web 2.0 although they are commercial in effect. There is an offer of free information that is available through interactivity. The result is personalised to an enquiry at enough speed to appear immediate.

Maybe print will never approach this, but the areas of most interest seem to be those that come close. The 'In the Balance' blog set up by Xerox for IPEX has so far looked at variable data printing and short runs of books as an example of digital printing.
Gail Nickel-Kailing, editor-in-chief, Graphic Communications World, has written about 'books on demand' and makes a claim about new forms of desktop production -"I’m waiting for the day when I can get one of those 3-D printers to put on my desk and 'print' all kinds of handy dandy gadgets. Won’t be long now!" More immediately and sticking to books, Jim Hamilton from InfoTrends qutes from a Wired article by Chris Anderson on the 'Long Tail', suggesting publishers concentrate on the backlist as much as a few hits. "It's clear to me that the 'Long Tail' thesis is applicable not only to on-demand books but also to web-to-print collaterals. is very much in the 'Long Tail' camp with their focus on selection. I'd be interested in knowing what others think about this theory and its application to printed material."

During the next couple of weeks there could be other examples of how print is seen in a web context.

And CIP4 will feature as a leading case study in open source.