Day Two at the Orlando PDF Conference

Editor’s Note:
Formerly CEO of Planet PDF, Karl De Abrew is now the CEO of Debenu ( — maker of the Quick PDF Library (formerly iSEDQuickPDF | QuickPDF) (, a powerful royalty-free PDF developer SDK, and Benubird Pro, the easy-to-use personal document management system.

First up, with regard to the wild
rumors that I’d discussed yesterday, well, it seems that
these were indeed just that. I’d heard on the grapevine that Adobe
was planning to remove support for AcroForms in preference for
Adobe Designer in an upcoming version of Acrobat and, although initial
Adobe reps were unwilling to either confirm or deny this wild
speculation, Adobe Acrobat Group Product Manager Rick Brown
categorically dispelled the rumor and stated that not only will
AcroForms be fully functional, but that you’ll also be able to
create them from within Acrobat as well.

Doh! There goes my excitement for the day. I’ve planned a trip to
some of the more hair-raising rides in DisneyWorld tomorrow to make up
for it.

But getting back to the event, as I mentioned in my conference
reflections yesterday, there’s a general sense of wanting to know
what the result of the Adobe/Macromedia merger will be — exactly how will
it impact on the PDF user community at large? One part of Adobe
Acrobat Group Product Manager Rick Brown’s keynote
discussion identified that in the long run Flash and PDF are two
very key technologies that will be brought closer together.

I had a chance to talk with Apago’s Leonard Rosenthol (one of the key
contents drivers at the conference) and he suggested what users are
most interested in right now was information on what will happen to
Adobe/Macromedia products that currently compete with each other.
People are wondering what’s going to happen to products like Freehand,
GoLive and so on, and the information on the future of technologies like
PDF, Flash and Apollo are really of secondary importance.

Rosenthol would like to see more practical guidance from Adobe
through this phase of the two companies merging so that users can start
to prepare themselves for what’s to come. In
essence — and to steal Microsoft’s old mantra — Rosenthol wants to know,
where does ‘Macrobe’ want to go today? For example, as a Freehand user,
should one make the switch to using Illustrator right now?

Commenting on the rest of the event, Rosenthol felt that the conference
was a good one because it addressed a lot of pain points for end users, and
didn’t spend too long on what might be in the future. By focusing on existing
features and tools that make life as a PDF worker significantly easier today,
the conference helped attendees find tricks and tips that have solved
real world problems. People came here to get solutions and generally
speaking left with them.

Rosenthol said that it’s the technologists that care about continual updates
to technology for its own sake and that end-users care far more about
real world solutions such as those solved in the Power Panel. Since
I’m the moderator for the Power Panel, of course, I heartily agreed.
Oh, and by the way, you can find all of the questions asked in the
power panel located in the Planet PDF Forum under the PDF Conferences

That’s it for this year and AGI’s event. The conference organizer,
Christopher Smith, has confirmed for Planet PDF that the show will be running again at
DisneyWorld, Orlando next year in early May. We’ll will be back once
again, both covering the event and hosting the Power Panel as usual.
Have a magical day!

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About the Author: Karl De Abrew

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