I just set up a basic WordPress blog for Paris Tompkins. This took only a few minutes’ spare time, including the hosting, DNS, customization. She chose the theme herself; I just made the side look OK and added the vital “Add to Any” plugin.
I still barely know WordPress, but I have had almost no trouble with any aspect of it recently: I played around with various blogging software about 8 years ago, and it was nowhere near this easy. I have only had to do something with PHP within a WordPress site once, and probably because of the nature of the template.
I am an impatient person and I will never be content with the pace of publishing technology, but I have to say that when you look back to where the web was in 1996 and where it is today, it has generally gone the right direction. Well, that is after starting out with a fairly complete misinterpretation.
The original concept was of course brilliant, and you should check out the proposal for the web if you haven’t already. Basically, the intent of the web was to facilitate two-way communication, but of course the mindset of a Television-soaked population at first thought of it more like a single-direction, one-to-many, broadcast medium. We only understand things in relation to what we’ve seen before, at least at first.
So the Web started out with much knee-jerk reproduction of the Television model, and only with the gradual evolution of blogging and social networking (and concurrent evolution of tools for this) has it become really easy for a person like Paris, without a web design course background, to get out there and express herself. Now even the large corporations are hyping Facebook and Twitter, with their own YouTube channels and real estate in SecondLife. I think Paris will fare better than most corporations, because the playing field is leveled.
Welcome to the first post of my new blog. I am Max L. Dunn. While there are plenty of other Max Dunns out there (I am often mistaken for Max S. Dunn, for example), I’m the one who co-founded Silicon Publishing, a company devoted to publishing solutions, back in 2000. We automate data-generated publishing solutions, build graphic and layout software, and increasingly connect web and print publishing workflows. We’re immersed in Adobe technology (Adobe is both a partner and a client), most focused on Adobe InDesign Server and the reconciliation of that technology with Adobe Flash (compiled from Adobe Flex). We are thankful for the gaps people find in Adobe technologies so we can fill them in. Certainly some day Flash and InDesign will share more fundamental interoperability at their core; for the time being we enjoy a niche market making things at least work that way from a functional perspective.
My deep long-term interest is XML from a document-centric perspective. We put DITA into FrameMaker for Adobe back in Frame 7.2, after helping make 7.0 work with XML in the first place, and continued to help Adobe with DITA in Frame 8 and 9 as well. We also developed our own Frame/DITA plug-in with Leximation for those that are really serious about such things. At this point in time our semantic XML work doesn’t connect very directly to our Flex/InDesign Server work; I expect one day it will. I co-wrote a chapter of the XML Handbook with Charles Goldfarb on WYSIWYG XML Authoring, and realizing this vision in the InDesign/Flash world looks more attainable each year, slowly working its way onto the road map for our Silicon Reader and Silicon Designer products.
I am big on standards, in theory: I am owner of the SVG Developers’ Group, for example, and I have tons of experience with XSLT and XSL-FO. Yet the sad reality is that as of 2009 such standards are rarely used directly. Rather, we find such standards copied into proprietary “standards” by the large software companies that we still depend on for software that actually works. (I’ll be posting an article or two more about this before long if anybody’s interested. Please let me know.)
In this blog, I’m going to be sharing opinions, information, and stories of my life in publishing technology. Posts will range from opinionated rants (“How Google is Microsoft 2.0″, “Why Adobe Won’t Release an XFL Server In My Lifetime”) to factual explanations of how to tackle the challenges we face in our day-to-day work (“10 Cool Things You Can Do with the Text Layout Framework”, “The Seven Things IDML Can’t Do For You”).
I’d like to hear from you. Help guide this blog by posting your own comments, resources, knowledge, and opinions. If you have questions about web-to-print technologies, Adobe tools, or XML standards, let me know. I’ll do my best to answer them here.