JDF To Be or Not to Be --Waldman
Perhaps printers are acronym shy and want solid names to which they can relate. More realistically printers need to take off the blinders, avoid the hype and pursue solid education. They have to progress from a myopic look at their immediate environment to a more inclusive picture of market forces that will affect customer decisions. I remember the same scenario during the desktop publishing revolution. It was largely ignored by most typographers and printers until they were either forced in or, in some cases, forced out. In the case of desktop publishing customers led the way.
It won't exactly be the same with JDF. However, similarities will become apparent as customer creation applications begin to feature JDF and other process automation innovations. Customers in their constant quest to demand more, faster and for less, will want to capitalize on the benefits of initiating automation at their stage. They will look for progressive printers that can respond with JDF-based systems which start with the customer. Other printers will eventually follow, one way or another.
Don't believe it? Once again think of the typographers who thought customers would never set their own type. Ask unemployed scanner operators who believed that customers would never scan their own images and that digital cameras would never be good enough. Ask the stockbrokers who thought investors would never buy stock online. I could go on, but you get the idea.
As for me, I have fulfilled my Shakespearean quest—"with full truth to my own self I believe JDF to be (or will be)." As for you, my fellow printers, keep learning, keep your eyes open and develop a plan.
In time, JDF will become a reality. When it does, you want to be ready.
About the Author
Harry Waldman is a consultant and has been in the printing industry for 30 years. As a former company owner, he was well-known for implementing cutting-edge technologies. Waldman is also an author. His book, Computer Color Graphics, published by GATF Press, enables readers to learn today's graphic software quickly by teaching the essential concepts. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.