Thursday, October 04, 2007

There will be a version of this post with a bit more technology included on the drupa2008 blog but the Adobe MAX event is an occasion to just list some options for online collaboration or forms of publishing. I have been working on a page about a possible eTEN research project. This was around the Adobe project for server software and PDF. At the time I saw PDF as central to the move of documents online. PDF has all the function of paper. But recently Google docs are showing that the format of the page is not that crucial if it is the text that is central to collaboration. Adobe have now bought Buzzword and it looks as if this will work ok with the same sort of collaboration as with Google docs plus the display and design of pages as they would print. By the way I don't see these as competing too much ; both ways of processing words would suit some purpose. Adobe seem converted to the Google model of free online apps supported by adverts. It is unclear whether the PDF approach will also change. In my opinion the acceptance of PDF for online collaboration has been delayed by the very high prices charged. LiveCycle is only really promoted to a few banks and some governments. Perhaps PDF is only required in a corporate setting for security and signatures etc. It may just stay rare and expensive while Flash is promoted on another model.

Most of what was announced at MAX is still beta. Actual releases next year. So my view at the moment is that it is not really possible to design any learning situation given the rate of change in available formats and software. The next few months are a time for observation and experiment. There is a relevant theory of learning no doubt but this may be clarified later.

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