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 Premiere 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.

    Premiere 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 Premiere 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 Premiere 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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