Blog / Creative Pro

Life Cycle of DTP

PageMaker, a true piece of his­to­ry, birthed the Desktop Publishing Revolution, lead­ing it through its infan­cy.

Quark was the adoles­ence of the bur­geon­ing Desktop Publishing indus­try, rebel­lious and impetu­ous.

InDesign is the Publishing and Layout indus­try all grown up, mature, sophis­ti­cat­ed, con­fi­dant, free­ing.

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7 Responses

  1. betty says:

    PM vs. QX vs. ID -

    Been using ID for a year -- hate it--stuck with it in OS X. It’s miss­ing the mod­u­lar­i­ty of QX and the ele­gance of Aldus PM. Acts more like a con­vo­lut­ed Microsoft prod­uct than a Mac tool. Even set­ting styes slows down the process com­pared to QX and PM. Old and ele­gant is bet­ter than new apps with the “kitchen sink” devel­op­ment mod­el.

    Wonder what it would be like if Macromind/Macromedia devel­oped PageMaker instead of Adobe. Adobe cre­at­ed PostScript and PDF, and bought or copied the rest.

    Found your site in Google search for Fifteen Commandments.

  2. betty says:

    MacroMind/Macromedia not only didn’t run FreeHand into the ground, they kept it far ahead of Illustrator for a half dozen years or so. Illustrator didn’t even have some­thing so basic as grid rulers, and the abil­i­ty to work in pre­view until long after FreeHand did. Also mask­ing is much more com­pli­cat­ed in Illustrator. I didn’t give up rubylith for a pro­gram that makes it hard­er than using my Exacto knife! [but I still have an old rubylith tube that makes a great bazooka in the print shop]

    FreeHand is wide­ly used today, although it’s impor­tant to have what­ev­er pro­grams your ser­vice provider can process and/or print. Best of all, I found some old FreeHand 2 files I need­ed recent­ly. I man­aged to open FreeHand 2.02 in Classic and do minor edit­ing and emport them. OTOH, Illustrator 88 didn’t run, and I had to take old AI files to an old­er Mac to con­vert them.

    Judging by the great suc­cess of pro­grams like Flash and Dreamweaver plus Director with Lingo, it’s more like­ly that Macromedia would con­tin­ue that kind of cre­ative devel­op­ment with PageMaker’s evolution--K2--as opposed to Adobe’s lean­ing more toward Windows users rather than the indus­try core of Mac users. BTW, Adobe want­ed K2, but they rewrote it to the point of being almost unre­lat­ed to the orig­i­nal devel­op­ment. If Macromedia bought it and made it as good as Flash, that would have been a win­ner. Instead we’re stuck with a Windows pro­gram mas­querad­ing as a Mac pro­gram with InDesign.

    Illustrator remains the same annoy­ing pro­gram it was in the 80s when I start­ed using it. I’m con­vinced that the rea­son it’s wide­ly used is because back then it was too expen­sive to switch to FreeHand before com­pet­i­tive upgrades exist­ed. Please note that I have the full Adobe stu­dio and Macromedia stu­dio pro­grams and use both sets con­cur­rent­ly, and have used all since ver­sions 1 and 2; this was after using pho­to­type and an IBM Composer, and a draw­ing board for years before the Mac.
    -

    I real­ly like the design of your site--very clean, straight­for­ward, good links for nav­i­ga­tion. The two-tone back­ground works so well, although the green is a bit dark. Nice port­fo­lio, too!

  3. betty says:

    Did PhotoStyler become XRes? I have that. It’s pret­ty good--and long gone. I was still work­ing on gel process col­or prints about that time, while learn­ing Photoshop’s ear­ly ver­sions.

    Tight col­or man­age­ment doesn’t belong on the World Wide Web. There will always be browsers with lim­it­ed choic­es, along with the browsers with too many extra­ne­ous fea­tures. Take your inspi­ra­tion from the Bauhaus artists. Your chal­lenge is to cre­ate an intrigu­ing, excit­ing web site in spite of the lim­i­ta­tion of not know­ing exact­ly how it will appear on “all” browsers and dis­plays. I have a Mac G4/400 and a Sony dis­play that I use for most of my work and play. Across the room is a G4/766 with a spec­tac­u­lar 1995 era Nokia mon­i­tor, and behind that is a PM 7600/G3 with an NEC dis­play. The new 1GHz iLamp arrived yes­ter­day. We use these browsers: Mozilla/Thunderbird, iCab, Safari, OmniWeb, Opera and--only in desperation--Internet Exploder. I also use Internet kiosks when I’m over­seas. How many browsers do you check before post­ing a web site? It’s more excit­ing to design for the unknowns than to dwell on details for total con­trol. Did you ever cre­ate any­thing that looked fab­u­lous on screen but had to be print­ed on newsprint?

    I’m a cre­ative pro. I cut my teeth on Apples…

    OUCH!

    …I am, how­ev­er, objec­tive enough to real­ize that adher­ence to the Mac as a cre­ative plat­form is no longer fueled by plat­form supe­ri­or­i­ty. Rather it is a prod­uct of habit, brand loy­al­ty, and marketing…the plain truth is, there is more pow­er and func­tion­al­i­ty per dol­lar on a PC.

    Do you talk to your Mac? Especially when things go wrong? I don’t say nasty things to my Mac like I do to the PCs I’ve used.

    I start think­ing the same way as you do when things go wrong with a project. But when I use sim­i­lar pro­grams in Windows, I remem­ber why I bought Macs instead. Fewer things go wrong. It’s got­ten to the point that Macs are com­pa­ra­bly priced with PCs and in some cas­es much cheap­er when you con­sid­er the add-ons for PCs that are stan­dard with Macs. Even PCs that have com­pa­ra­ble specs and a cheap­er price cost more in down-time and tech sup­port. TCO [total cost of own­er­ship] is much low­er with Macs.

    I remem­ber more than once proof­ing 50+ pages of text and pix on screen--in Windows--determining that it was per­fect, then print­ing out a doc­u­ment that didn’t pag­i­nate right, had the pic­ture out of place or miss­ing, etc. That just doesn’t hap­pen on a Mac using the same top of the line pro pro­grams. It did hap­pen in Word in Office 98 where a lit­tle bug in the autosave fea­ture com­plete­ly destroyed 250 pages of a book I was work­ing on. Luckily I always back­up sev­er­al times a day, export­ing all Word docs as RTF. I have Office X, but rarely use it because I don’t trust an edi­tor or spread­sheet that has the hic­cups.

    I don’t hate Microsoft for being an evil enti­ty. I only try to avoid it because its soft­ware sucks. If you think Quark sucks on a Mac, then see how it sucks twice as bad in Windows. Photoshop is an amaz­ing pro­gram, but every­thing requires more steps in Windows than on a Mac, and it’s nev­er as close to WYSIWYG as on Macs. Microsoft is first and fore­most a mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny, and soft­ware is way down its list of pri­or­i­ties.

    The main thing I don’t like about InDesign is too much mou­s­ing around in palettes. I don’t have time to cre­ate scripts with the dead­lines I’m stuck with. I like being able to nav­i­gate text attrib­ut­es on the key­board and pic­tures with the mouse. Is there a site that has lists of more ID short­cuts than the worth­less man­u­al?

    So, we’re lucky to have a few good pro­grams that we can use as tools to keep us from get­ting ink on our hands, drop­ping exac­to knives on san­daled feet, burn­ing fin­gers with sil­ver nitrate. It’s faster and eas­i­er in some cas­es to cre­ate some­thing the old way--hot type, cut and paste, over­lays, amber­lith, dark­room screens--as long as they don’t need to be changed. Computers make the chang­ing eas­i­er.

    With all the rival­ry, para­noia, bul­ly­ing in high tech com­pa­nies, I’ll still stay with Apple. I don’t need the extra aggra­va­tion of Windows bugs and virus­es to cut into my dead­lines. And Macs don’t break near­ly as much as PCs--hardware or soft­ware. I’m glad that I have the choice. And I’m real­ly enjo­ing get­ting back to UNIX after all these years.

    TTFN!

  4. InDesign is mod­u­lar. The whole pro­gram is plu­g­ins with a tiny lit­tle wrap­per exe­cutable.

    Actually, Adobe also wrote Illustrator, the very first bezi­er draw­ing tool, from scratch. They also wrote ATM from con­cept to pack­aged prod­uct in under six months. Acrobat, Atmosphere, and InDesign are also from scratch. To be tech­ni­cal­ly accu­rate, Aldus was build­ing InDesign (then code­named K2) to replace PageMaker when Adobe merged with Aldus.

    Macromedia would have run it into the ground the way they did Aldus Freehand.

    Thanks for telling me how you found the site! I’m always curi­ous.

  5. Betty,

    You make some excel­lent points.

    FreeHand had (and has) some great fea­tures, but all the best were there before Macromedia engi­neered the slight-of-hand that allowed them to own it. Aldus built some great fea­tures into FreeHand; since Macromedia acquired it, there hasn’t been much inno­va­tion. What MM did add was most­ly geared at lever­ag­ing the exist­ing Director/Lingo tech­nolo­gies and lat­er their acqui­si­tion of Future Splash, b.k.a. Flash. FreeHand is, hands down, the best vec­tor illus­tra­tion tool when the final out­put is to be Flash/Shockwave by sheer virtue of its inte­gra­tion with Flash.

    Up against Illustrator…? Yeah, it’s still pret­ty good. I think Illustrator has an edge on FreeHand that MM’s lack of recent inno­va­tion is allow­ing to grow, but they are still com­pa­ra­ble appli­ca­tions.

    In what ver­sion of Illustrator did you try to open 88 files? I haven’t tried such old files recent­ly, but I know they opened in Illustrator 9 with­out trou­ble.

    OTOH”?

    “Judging by the great suc­cess of pro­grams like Flash and Dreamweaver plus Director with Lingo…”

    MacroMedia bought Flash. It wasn’t their idea. It began life as Splash, the sole prod­uct of mid-Nineties start­up Future Splash Corp. Splash was a pure artist’s tool. It had tween­ing, audio con­trol and synch­ing, but­tons, frame and scene actions--all the things that made Flash a suc­cess among design­ers. MacroMedia, ever since it acquired Splash, has been turn­ing Flash into Director.

    Lingo was a pain in the ass for non-programmers, which lead to the same old kludgy work­flow of design­ers cre­at­ing inter­faces and try­ing to explain to pro­gram­mers in design terms how that inter­face should func­tion. That’s why Director was a tech­ni­cal fail­ure; it nev­er achieved--never built--the mar­ket MM had banked on.

    They repeat­ed the Director/Lingo mis­take with Flash/ActionScript. Fortunately for MM (and for all the cre­ative pros who had build busi­ness­es around Flash cre­ation), they rec­og­nized in time that they were repeat­ing the mis­take of a pro­pri­etary lan­guage. They phased out ActionScript and con­vert­ed it over to pure JavaScript, a stan­dard. Still, design­ers are not pro­gram­mers. Flash has been built up to be a programmer’s tool almost to the exclu­sion of the stand-alone design­er.

    “…it’s more like­ly that Macromedia would con­tin­ue that kind of cre­ative devel­op­ment with PageMaker’s evolution—K2—as opposed to Adobe’s lean­ing more toward Windows users rather than the indus­try core of Mac users.”

    There are three issues I take with your above state­ment:

    First, MacroMedia doesn’t do “cre­ative devel­op­ment”; they build (and buy) appli­ca­tions for pro­gram­mers not for cre­atives. To wit: Homesite (which I use despite hav­ing tried very hard to use both DreamWeaver and GoLive, as well as their pre­de­ces­sors), MacroMedia Authorware, MacroMedia Flex, MacroMedia Breeze, JRun, and ColdFusion.

    MacroMedia is a programmer’s com­pa­ny. Adobe is a cre­ative pro’s com­pa­ny. The his­to­ry of both com­pa­nies bears this out in every instance.

    Second, Adobe isn’t lean­ing toward Windows users. Don’t believe the rad­i­cal rant­i­ngs of MacUser, a mag­a­zine that got ticked off when impar­tial bench­mark­ing placed the top-of-the-line G4 well below the aver­age Intel machine. Adobe stopped devel­op­ment of a cou­ple of applications--and didn’t ini­ti­ate devel­op­ment of cer­tain new applications--on the OS X plat­form because Apple already owned com­pet­ing prod­ucts, and Apple had com­mu­ni­cat­ed quite clear­ly that it would do what­ev­er was nec­es­sary to ensure the dom­i­nance of those appli­ca­tions.

    While Adobe is the most vis­i­ble of those who have suf­fered under Apple’s monop­o­lis­tic appli­ca­tion prac­tices, it is not the only one. For instance: Is there anoth­er data­base appli­ca­tion for Mac beside FileMaker Pro (a for­mer Apple prop­er­ty)? I love FileMaker, but it’s not the most pow­er­ful db app out there. It’s web func­tion­al­i­ty was late and is still sub­stan­dard. Still, Apple forced it on the mar­ket until devel­op­ment of all com­pet­ing apps had been halt­ed.

    By the way, please don’t applaud Apple’s use of strong-arm, monop­o­lilis­tic tac­tics to guar­an­tee the suc­cess of its apps on its own plat­form. It real­ly makes me pity those hyp­ocrits who applaud Apple while con­demn­ing Microsoft for iden­ti­cal actions.

    Back to the point, Adobe ceased devel­op­ment of Première for the Mac because Apple said it would give away Final Cut Pro if need­ed to gain mar­ket dom­i­nance. Just like with Microsoft--Windows Media Player, MS Office, Internet Explorer, etc.--no one can com­pete against a com­pa­ny that will give it all away for free. And why would one want to? Apple was so focused on guar­an­tee­ing that Final Cut Pro be the only video edit­ing sys­tem on the Mac that Adobe knew it couldn’t com­pete. Apple and Microsoft own the OSes, and they can bun­dle what­ev­er they please against future sales.

    Première is the only app Adobe has ceased devel­op­ing for the Mac. Some of the new Adobe apps, how­ev­er, are not being built for Mac for the same rea­sons Première ceased. Let’s look at them: Audition, Encore DVD, Atmosphere, Acrobat Capture, and the server-based prod­ucts (Acrobat Distiller Server, Content Server, etc.).

    Encore DVD and Audition weren’t brought to the Mac for the same rea­son devel­op­ment of Première stopped: Apple owns sim­i­lar appli­ca­tions, and it will use its OS to to stran­gle any com­pe­ti­tion.

    I imag­ine Atmosphere wasn’t devel­oped for the Mac because web servers rarely run on Macs (Atmosphere requires serv­er soft­ware for inter­ac­tion between users), and there are very few 3D appli­ca­tions for the Mac. Other 3D apps will be need­ed for pro­duc­tion of assets for use with­in Atmosphere. Then again, Atmosphere only released the oth­er day; it may one day appear for the Mac.

    Acrobat Capture: Even OS X still can’t han­dle the tasks Capture 3.x per­forms.

    Most of the server-based prod­ucts were orig­i­nal­ly devel­oped before OS X, when OS 8 and 9 were the Mac stan­dard and sim­ply could not han­dle the tasks involved. More impor­tant­ly, these are enter­prise tools, and enter­prise busi­ness needs more choice, more exten­si­bil­i­ty, and high­er value-to-cost ratio than is offered by Apple com­put­ers.

    The third issue I take with your above state­ment is “the indus­try core of Mac users.” To which indus­try are you refer­ing? You men­tioned Director, Flash, PageMaker, and InDesign all imme­di­ate­ly before that, and among these are three dis­tinct indus­tries, only one of which still con­sid­ers the Mac its pri­ma­ry plat­form.

    I’m a cre­ative pro. I cut my teeth on Apples, and I’ve relied on them the major­i­ty of my career. I am, how­ev­er, objec­tive enough to real­ize that adher­ence to the Mac as a cre­ative plat­form is no longer fueled by plat­form supe­ri­or­i­ty. Rather it is a prod­uct of habit, brand loy­al­ty, and mar­ket­ing. Apple has (cor­rect­ly or incor­rect­ly) vil­li­fied Microsoft, and the com­mon hatred of Microsoft is at least as respon­si­ble for Mac sales and use as any fea­ture or func­tion that the Mac actu­al­ly pro­vides. As much as I love OS X--and before it OS 9--the plain truth is, there is more pow­er and func­tion­al­i­ty per dol­lar on a PC.

    For the record, I use sys­tems that run OS X, WinXP, OS 9, and Win2000.

    The Director/Lingo mar­ket (what there is left of it) is PC-based. Web design and devel­op­ment is over­whelm­ing­ly PC-based. Layout and DTP, how­ev­er, is still large­ly loy­al to the Mac. You are cor­rect in that. Which brings us to my inabil­i­ty to see how Adobe, with fea­ture par­i­ty between Windows and Mac, is focussing away from the Mac users. InDesign has been hailed as one of the Mac’s sav­iors. Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and so on are all just as pow­er­ful and feature-rich on the Mac as on Windows.

    “BTW, Adobe want­ed K2, but they rewrote it to the point of being almost unre­lat­ed to the orig­i­nal devel­op­ment. If Macromedia bought it and made it as good as Flash, that would have been a win­ner. Instead we’re stuck with a Windows pro­gram mas­querad­ing as a Mac pro­gram with InDesign.”

    Um, where did you get this infor­ma­tion? It’s erro­neous. InDesign CS (and before it 2 and 1) are the orig­i­nal code­base begun by Aldus. This I hap­pen to know for fact.

    MacroMedia isn’t inter­est­ed in appli­ca­tions that print. Look on this page; only one of the two dozen appli­ca­tions, FreeHand, has a log­i­cal rea­son for print­ing to paper. You should also take note that FreeHand is the only MX suite appli­ca­tion that wasn’t updat­ed to MX 2004. MM is build­ing its future around the Internet; it has for­sak­en the print indus­try.

    InDesign a Windows pro­gram? I’ve been sit­ting here try­ing to under­stand that state­ment, and I’m fail­ing. Have you actu­al­ly used InDesign? Have you used Windows? Compare the two. InDesign on the Mac epit­o­mizes the ele­gance and func­tion­al­i­ty Apple want­ed to achieve with OS X, which is why Apple evan­ge­lizes InDesign wher­ev­er Apple goes. What about InDesign strikes you as a Windows appli­ca­tion?

    “Illustrator remains the same annoy­ing pro­gram it was in the 80s when I start­ed using it. I’m con­vinced that the rea­son it’s wide­ly used is because back then it was too expen­sive to switch to FreeHand before com­pet­i­tive upgrades exist­ed.”

    I dis­agree. Well, maybe at some point. Illustrator was the first pow­er­ful vec­tor illus­tra­tion tool for the com­put­er. It was pow­er­ful and cre­ative­ly enabling. It came from a com­pa­ny in which cre­ative pros believed. Those, I believe, are the rea­sons Illustrator was adopt­ed and con­tin­ued to thrive. Would FreeHand have over­tak­en it? I don’t know. They were pret­ty even­ly matched for a while.

    Do you remem­ber Aldus PhotoStyler? Man, I loved that pro­gram. Back then, it was bet­ter than Photoshop.

    I start­ed ear­ly too. I remem­ber type­set­ting sta­tions, before PostScript put the pow­er on the desk­top. I used to cut col­or seps by hand with rubylithe and Zip-A-Tone.

    “I real­ly like the design of your site—very clean, straight­for­ward, good links for nav­i­ga­tion. The two-tone back­ground works so well, although the green is a bit dark. Nice port­fo­lio, too!”

    Thank you!

    I can’t wait for col­or man­age­ment to make it into the browsers so I can have some sense that the col­ors in which I designed the site will actu­al­ly appear on users’ mon­i­tors.

  6. Betty,

    I’m pressed for time, so I’ll only respond to a cou­ple of points right now; I’ll get the rest lat­er.

    re: PhotoStyler and XRes… No. After Adobe and Aldus merged, PhotoStyler was retired, though Adobe retained the tech­nol­o­gy.

    re: InDesign short­cuts… It does have quite a few that make it very easy to use. I’ll ask around and see if I can find you a bet­ter list.

  7. mike says:

    I am a QuarkXpress user and lover (and Macs SUCK by the way, LOL). How the hell do you print screens with InDesign? My new job has it and I can change the lpi, but the out­put comes out the same whether I put it at 15 or 150. Since it’s not screened any grayscale images won’t pho­to­copy prop­er­ly. I love Quark, it’s just too expen­sive for my new com­pa­ny. Please email a response as I’ll prob­a­bly nev­er find this site again. anything_​collectible@​yahoo.​com Thanks in advance

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