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Live from Seybold Amsterdam 2004 PDF Conference

April 23, 2004

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Today saw the opening acts of the two-day Seybold PDF Conference in Amsterdam kick off the event with typical first-day fanfare, a pair of keynote presentations, and a variety of educational sessions -- including two Planet PDF 'Must-See Hotpicks'. The keynotes focused on the future of PDF, while acknowledging how far the format has already come, both in terms of print and electronic document applications.

The day started with PCM Grafische Bedrijven's Jan Hein Koningsveld's keynote talk that covered the prepress and print workflow side of the house, while the University of Nottingham's Dunford professor of Computer Science David Brailsford outlined the exciting present -- and potential future -- of XML in publishing workflows. In particular, he discussed the marriage of PDF and XML via SVG, and PDF's potential replacement by an XML-based format. Controversial stuff indeed! Brailsford went on to chart some of the potential evolutions of SVG that could parallel those of PDF, and hence challenge its supremacy in the print workflow. Far-fetched for now, one might say, but as any long-time technology watcher knows, today's science fiction is tomorrow's science fact. Watch this space!

The PDF Management track covered the standardization of PDF workflows, focusing on improving efficiency and facilitating collaboration while the PDF for Print track offered expertise on other relevant topics. Meanwhile I caught up with prepress guru Koningsveld, the results which are posted in this brief interview.

I'll be participating in the PDF Power Panel and conducting additional interviews here before taking off for AGI Training's upcoming Acrobat and PDF Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Day Two - April 21

Today marked the exciting conclusion to the Seybold PDF Conference, going down to the wire in the PDF Power Panel and closing session, where PDF experts from around the world gathered to answer questions gathered from attendees. And what an illustrious panel it was (and I'm not just saying that because I sat in one of the hot seats myself). Honest! This year's incarnation of the multi-headed PDF guru that is the Power Panel consisted of track chairs from both PDF for Print days (ISI Consultancy & Strategy's Menno Mooij and Hirte Medien-Service's Dieter Dolezal), stalwarts Olaf Druemmer and Thomas Merz, Enfocus head David Van Driessche and my fellow first-timer Chuck Myers from Adobe Systems.

After Roelof Janssen and Mimotek's Mike Clarke outlined the marriage of PDF and XML in document structure in one track, Erwin Davis of Newsco and Ghent PDF Workgroup fame teamed with the brilliant Dov Isaacs to run delegates through recent developments in PDF/X in the other.

Then, the fur flew as vendors vied for primacy in the hearts and minds of delegates in the always entertaining "Seven Minutes With a PDF Developer" session. What did I get up to today? Well, I caught up with Executive Director Saskia Desmet to find out a little more about the Ghent PDF Workgroup, chatted to ISI Consulting & Strategy CEO Roelof Janssen about PDF in prepress and collared Seybold PDF Conference Chair Hans Hartman for a quick tete a tete. Watch this space! Planet PDF will post transcripts as they become available.

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