Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sorting out photos from Learning Technologies. Story for OhmyNews should be ready over the weekend.

Found this link from Google blogsearch. Seems that "informal learning" is part of the main conference.

Monday, January 26, 2009

This is a draft for a story around Learning Technologies for OhmyNews.
Comment welcome


Adobe presents a case study in e-learning
"We always had confidence in the leadership" says researcher

draft story for OhmyNews around Learning Technologies -28/9 Jan

Next Generation Learning @ Work
- driving business benefits

probably this will cover leadership, change managements, organisations.

Adobe have a stand. Last year the word Acrobat was visible but the messages were all about Flash, almost nothing on PDF or Postscript.

So a possible story could look at Adobe as an example of an organisation. How has it learnt over time? What is going on at the moment?

My guess is that the "towards maturity" research will not show top management as a major pressure for e-learning. Mostly it seems to be something that slips in through HR or somewhere over time and eventually is accepted. To be checked in conversation on the day.

Adobe is different. They are interested in software. Started in Xerox Parc a long time ago. Warnock and Geschke still seem to share being Chair. What is the influence of this?

Geschke to Knowledge at Wharton-

[running a company] can feel pretty lonely. Who do you talk to? That's one thing John and I have always tried to do for Bruce and Shantanu. We don't keep an office at Adobe. I don't want to be perceived as looking over their shoulders. [But] we make ourselves available anytime that they want to sit down. We usually have breakfast once a month with Shantanu to chat and see how things are going. If he wants to call, we'll be there immediately.

Around the time of buying Macromedia there seems to have been a shift in Adobe as if the entire Postscript / PDF project had been traded in. How would Warnock or Geschke think about this?

from same interview-

Knowledge@Wharton: What do you think is the biggest challenge Adobe is facing going forward?

Geschke: Inventing the future. We'll never succeed unless we continue to open up new vistas.

I honestly believe that our technology and what's happening in the market -- where essentially all visual communication is going to the web -- is the sweetheart point in our whole envelope of products and technologies. Shame on us if we can't figure out a way to take advantage of that shift in the way the world is moving with the distribution of information.

A lot of what are there today -- the limitations of browsers and of the web imaging standards -- are things that we think we have a solution for. As they become the primary delivery mechanism, that value is going to differentiate.

So "all visual communication is moving to the web". Is print just part of visual communication?

YouTube link to Warnock on newspapers in 2007

The Chief Technology Officer is now Kevin Lynch. I cannot find through Google that he ever mentions PDF.

So there could be a major shift here. I am still interested in print and PDF and find it quite hard to communicate with Adobe. The description "paranoid" sometimes makes sense but in a formal technical sense as described by Andrew S. Grove in his book - Only the Paranoid Survive

Look out for the inflection points. Move out of declining products fast.

Adobe may be right about this but I find it hard to keep up. Academic journals for example. What will happen? There is still a lot of text there but maybe future students will just not be very interested.

Am I making this up? Recent Adobe blog entry

many of you may have heard about and simply dismissed it as some kind of PDF-Mecca

so being interested in PDF as such is not very cool.

I think about the change as Adobe Classic and Adobe(FLSH). Thsi Adobe(FLSH) comes from a blog after Max that I can no longer find.

Another sign is the lack of promotion for MARS or PDFXML. No blog updates since September and there is no other promotion.

Back to organisation theory.

At BETT I found a stand for the LSIS hidden away on a balcony. They merge quality and learning, though this ssems a slow process. I have worked on quality systems but find it hard to get people who study learning to be much interested. Maybe the academic theory relating to NSIS will be written down later once the practice is sorted out. There is a model here that includes leadership but I still have doubts about how many case studies it would fit.

In my story for OhmyNews about BETT I did not go into much detail about Adobe or Microsoft. I think both are looking too far into the future. Silverlight may serve a purpose later, but currently there is still interest in text and flat graphics. I did get some email response to earlier drafts so this may be included in a story about Learning Technologies. See below.

I think the ePUB format is interesting. There may be signs of devices at the show. However Adobe are not doing much to promote the Digital Editions Reader. Can't remember any sign of it last year. It turns everything into Flash.

Story will be based on what is actually displayed on the Adobe stand. The implication could be stark for how comprehensive an organisational change can be.


Will the price of Postscript and PDF products be reduced? Acrobat Elements any time soon?

Is there a business plan for Adobe Cloud?

Below, from replies to previous draft ahead of BETT


while EPUB is fast on its way to becoming the standard for reflow-centric eBooks, I think it's a bit mixing apples and oranges (ok, chalk and cheese to you) to compare with PDFXML (Mars) or XML Paper. EPUB is designed to represent in a single file the structure of a publication, but not a particular final-form paginated appearance. Speaking only for myself, I think the reason that these other formats are not taking off (in the case of Mars, I will add "yet") is that PDF has ably occupied the fixed-format document standard, and now is a fully open ISO-level standard, which does not leave a compelling reason for another format standard to be broadly adopted to do the same job. While there's some advantages to XML-friendiness over the binary PDF format, and a more modular approach to packaging (ZIP vs. COS), on the flip side there's 1000s of software programs and libraries that grok today's PDF. EPUB is not a competitor since it is at a different level of abstraction (with with the addition of page-templates over time there will be EPUB publications with a reasonably polished preferred presentation, the intention is that different devices may still render quite differently, and I doubt that print/prepress workflows will ever work with EPUB, otherr than as an input format a la MS Word, RTF, etc.).

Our Digital Publishing team has a blog at:, and there's an Adobe DevNet digital publishing technology center that focused on EPUB best practices etc. at: . My own rather non-technical blog is at



Bill McCoy
General Manager, Digital Publishing Business
Adobe Systems Incorporated


Will: I do not think that Adobe views the business of communicating information broken into two distinct camps as you have portrayed. I think we view it as a spectrum with "old" printing at one end and "new" rich internet applications at the other.

Most of our Creative Suite (CS) component products are used throughout the information communication industry. We estimate that 85% of all web pages have had some of the content processed in Photoshop. And Photoshop, well even the complete CS, is the primary tool for traditional publishing/printing.

Although in enterprise there was a split at first between the web team and the traditional print marketing materials team, nearly all companies have realized that there is so much in common that they have brought those teams back into one management structure. Companies are interested in getting their message out using whatever means is the most effective. And the most effective way for them to do that is to have people responsible for the objective and free to use whatever technology and tools work the best. Adobe serves that more general audience.

Just my thoughts,
Jim King
PDF Platform Architect