In Search of PrintTalk and JDF -- McIlroy
A Google search under "JDF job definition format" brought me to "www.job-definition-format.org."
That site, in turn, redirected me to "www.cip4.org." Ah, yes. CIP4. That's the old CIP3 group. CIP3 stood for "International Cooperation for Integration of Prepress, Press and Postpress." As I recall the fourth "p" stands for production. Nope, got that wrong; it stands for processes. I just found the definition on the CIP4 site: "The International Cooperation for the Integration of Processes in Prepress, Press and Postpress." Kind of rolls off the tongue.
Whew! This is exhausting me already. And we still don't know what the standard does.
Let's try the CIP4 Website for answers. What is JDF ?
"JDF is a comprehensive, XML-based file format/proposed industry standard for end-to-end job ticket specifications combined with a message description standard and message interchange protocol. JDF is designed to streamline information exchange between different applications and systems. JDF is intended to enable the entire industry, including media, design, graphic arts, on- demand and e-commerce companies, to implement and work with individual workflow solutions. JDF will allow integration of heterogeneous products from diverse vendors to seamless workflow solutions."
Okay. We're getting somewhere.
"The most prominent features of JDF are: Ability to carry a print job from genesis through completion. This includes a detailed description of the creative, prepress, press, postpress and delivery processes. Ability to bridge the communication gap between production and Management Information Services. This ability enables instantaneous job and device tracking, as well as detailed pre- and post-calculation of jobs in the graphic arts.
Ability to bridge the gap between the customer's view of product and the manufacturing process by defining a process-independent product view, as well as a process-dependent production view of a print job. Ability to define and track any user-defined workflow without constraints on the supported workflow models."