Adobe CEO and President Bruce Chizen used his time on the
Seybold Seminars keynote stage in Boston, Mass. today to outline his company’s plan for network publishing. Joining Chizen on stage was executive Vice President Shantanu Narayen and his cohorts Mark and David, there to demonstrate various aspects of the technology. As you might expect, Adobe sees the future of network publishing as guided by Adobe’s PDF format and Adobe products.
The Adobe keynote kicked off with a warm tribute to retiring co-founder John Warnock, who
announced last month that he was stepping down.
Chizen describes network publishing as the “third wave” of digital publishing. The third wave following the introduction of the Mac and Canon-derived laser printer engines in the eighties, and the migration to Web publishing in the 1990s. Chizen said that in the network-publishing era, creative professionals are tasked with being able to deliver similar or identical content across multiple media. Chizen explained that one challenge facing the creative pro is redundant content creation. Often, said Chizen, different workgroups are developing similar content for different media. Another problem facing content creators is an ever-increasing user demand for personalized information — users want content delivered via the right medium, tailored specifically to their needs.
Chizen said that Adobe is working to develop “one serial workflow to create, manage and deliver content,” using the Internet as the backbone of everything they do.
To drive the point home, Narayen and his cohorts demonstrated some of the new ways Adobe is hoping that users will utilize content creation tools developed by Adobe. Narayen and company demonstrated a new, in-development version of the company’s page layout software InDesign, running on a Mac equipped with Mac OS X.
‘Key technology enablers’ must be supported
Narayen said that it’s key to the future success of network publishing that a few key standards be widely supported and deployed. Narayen specified XML, or Extensible Markup Language, which he said would be supported by all Adobe products in the future. Also on the list are Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV). These tools together enable creative professionals to share not just files, but also metadata and intent.
Narayen and his cohorts then demonstrated some practical examples of how Adobe sees its software and technology being used for network publishing. Content from Photoshop and XML snippets were combined with Illustrator graphics in InDesign, and new InDesign features like transparency effects and drop shadows were shown. Incorporating such functions into InDesign rather than Photoshop removes such text from being bitmapped, which means the content remains dynamic. Incorporation of Photoshop imagery featuring transparent and translucent effects (thus avoiding the need for clipping paths) was also demonstrated.
It’s about “simplifying the process, and giving the designer choices,” said the presenter. This is layout the way it’s meant to be done, he concluded enthusiastically.
Adobe reps also demonstrated how content could be easily exported to different electronic formats like HTML and eBook. Using a demonstration of the same content, originally intended for magazine publication, Adobe exported the content to the Web, made it available for a PDA, then beamed the PDA content to a new Hewlett-Packard color laser printer, where it was output on paper.
‘Enhanced relationship’ with Hewlett-Packard
Chizen mentioned later that Adobe and Hewlett-Packard have announced an “enhanced relationship.” Chizen said that Hewlett-Packard plans to offer new devices that will sport built-in support for the PDF standard.
Other demonstrations included a look at GoLive’s new features, including support for visual WML content, enabling content creators to examine how content will appear when viewed on Web-enabled cell phones like some models from Nokia. The company also demonstrated Atmosphere, the new 3D environment creation tool.
Chizen closed the keynote address with an enthusiastic plug for the company’s new network publishing philosophy — to help deliver content “Anytime, anywhere, on any device.”