McIlroy--Seybold Announcements Were Aplenty
The other news from Apple was mostly in the operating system. Jobs previewed OS/9 (which will be shipping by the time you read this article). It represents a modest improvement over OS/8. Probably the most exciting features in OS/9 are improvements to ColorSync, as well as improvements to AppleScript, namely the ability to use AppleScript via TCP/IP.
In the dueling page layout software department, we had "Round Two" (or was it "Round 10"?) of the ongoing competition between Quark and Adobe. Adobe InDesign is shipping now, and the early users were at Seybold to talk about their experiences. Quark appears to be worried about the competition, but the reports we were getting from the early users are that the fight will go another few rounds. While most large printers and publishers are testing Adobe InDesign, they intend to stick with QuarkXPress for awhile, at least until InDesign matures through another version or two.
XML was much discussed at Seybold San Francisco. While the potential benefits of XML have been defined, the complexity of XML has also been clearly established. The standard itself is still in development, and while most observers agree that XML is very promising for the future of both print- and Web-based publishing, the tools for XML are still ungainly and its future has yet to arrive.
New PDF Partnership
PDF was much discussed once again this fall. The big news about PDF came not from Adobe, but actually from Creo and Heidelberg together. With their new Prinergy product, Creo and Heidelberg have endorsed PDF as wholeheartedly as have Agfa and Scitex. Clearly, the big print-oriented systems vendors are getting behind PDF and signaling to the printing and publishing industry that it's time to look closely at the potential benefits of PDF workflows.
At previous Seybold shows, eBooks have looked more like novelty than practical technology. At the recent show, eBooks suddenly began to look like a credible alternative to print on paper.