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Adobe Mars technology

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  • Andrew Lai
    Hi all, Adobe is coming out with a technology called Mars . An XML based representation of generating PDF documents. Any thoughts?
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 10, 2006
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      Hi all,

      Adobe is coming out with a technology called "Mars". An XML based
      representation of generating PDF documents.

      Any thoughts?

      http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Mars
    • W. Eliot Kimber
      ... It s difficult to see how this really changes things much. It will certainly make it easier to develop tools that generate and read PDF, but since such
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 10, 2006
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        Andrew Lai wrote:
        > Adobe is coming out with a technology called "Mars". An XML based
        > representation of generating PDF documents.

        It's difficult to see how this really changes things much. It will
        certainly make it easier to develop tools that generate and read PDF,
        but since such tools already exist in a variety of forms and platforms
        that doesn't really change much--anybody who needs to do sophisticated
        things with PDF reading or writing today can already do it.

        But I don't see that it can hurt.

        It at least opens the possibility that you could, for example, generate
        a final form deliverable directly with XSLT, rather than using a library
        to generate PDF. But again, for most people who need that using the
        library isn't that hard as it is and doing the kind of composition that
        you get from FO is beyond what you could realistically do with an XSLT
        anyway (and why would you want to?).

        Maybe it would have some greater value in terms of being able to embed
        foreign vocabularies in the data but you can already do that today with
        PDF (to a degree anyway) and very few tools even take advantage of
        things like tagged PDF.

        This seems most like a reaction to Microsoft's XML Paper Specification
        (XPS: http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/xps/default.mspx), which in turn
        looks like Microsoft trying to do an end-run around Adobe and close the
        loop on the full suite of specifications needed for going from documents
        as authored to documents as delivered. So this feels like a more or less
        pointless standards battle rather than a sincere attempt to provide the
        community with a standardized solution to an as-yet-unmet requirement.

        For print production I don't see that it matters: printing houses are
        all use PDF-based workflows and it's unlikely that that will
        change--there's too much investment in tools and techniques.

        For online delivery I doubt anyone much cares what the delivery format
        is as long as they have a reader. And unless Microsoft simply refused to
        produce PDF as output from its tools (which it can't do) there's little
        motivation for anyone to produce anything other than PDF.

        That is, given the choice between new composition feature X and support
        for direct generation of Mars of XPS output instead of PDF, which would
        you ask your FO engine vendors for? I know my answer....

        Cheers,

        Eliot

        --
        W. Eliot Kimber
        Professional Services
        Innodata Isogen
        9390 Research Blvd, #410
        Austin, TX 78759
        (214) 954-5198

        ekimber@...
        www.innodata-isogen.com
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