“Mars Attacks”: XML version of PDF previews

Now on Adobe Labs, preview of a new XML-friendly version of PDF, codenamed “Mars”:

The Mars (code name) Project is an XML-friendly implementation of PDF syntax. Already an open specification, PDF is the global standard for trusted, high fidelity electronic documentation. The Mars file format incorporates additional industry standards such as SVG, PNG, JPG, JPG2000, OpenType, Xpath and XML into ZIP-based document container. The Mars plug-ins enable recognition of the Mars file format by Adobe Acrobat 8 and Adobe Reader 8 software.

The Mars document container is compatible with the recently standardized IDPF OCF. This should naturally lead to new opportunities for tight integration between the industry standard final-form publication format, PDF, and the emerging industry standard for reflow-centric publications, OPS (aka OEBPS).
Note that the Mars plug-ins require Acrobat or Reader 8. Reader 8 also went live earlier this week, and features a fantastic UI makeover. Readder’s still a very capable and featureful piece of software, but IMO the new UI makes its capabilities much more approachable. Both Acrobat and Reader 8 also feature integration with Adobe Digital Editions, our new lightweight consumer-optimized client software for managing and reading eBooks and other digital publications.

7 Responses to “Mars Attacks”: XML version of PDF previews

  1. bowerbird says:

    the mac version requires osx 10.4.3.
    that leaves a lot of macs stranded…
    any plans to support the past better?

  2. Bill McCoy says:

    bowerbird, the Mars plug-in is really a developer-oriented preview, not really intended for end users. It might actually run on older versions but 10.4.3 doesn’t seem like a completely unreasonable requirement for a developer-oriented beta.

  3. John Dowdell says:

    Hi Shelley, Bill… I think the “Mac OS X 10.4.3” requirement may be for Adobe Reader 8… I’m on 10.4.2 at home and the Reader 8 installer didn’t like it either.
    If Mars requires Acrobat 8, and Acrobat 8 requires 10.4.3+, then….
    (Shelley, if you’ve got specific scenarios where you want to deliver to older OS, then those would be good to read about, thanks.)

  4. bowerbird says:

    but i’m not talking about
    the mars plug-in, bill…
    i’m talking about reader v8.
    if it’s a significant upgrade
    — and it sounds like it is —
    then stranding mac users who
    aren’t running 10.4.3 is bad.
    the nice thing about p-books
    is that, if you can obtain one,
    rich and poor can use them alike.
    you don’t need money to open ’em.
    as a _planet_, we simply cannot
    afford to leave the poor behind
    by constraining access to e-books
    to only those with new machines…
    acrobat’s strength in the past
    was adobe’s willingness to port
    the reader to so many platforms.
    i’d like to see you still support
    _os9_ on the mac side, but if not,
    then surely every version of o.s.x.

  5. Bill McCoy says:

    Reader is no longer Adobe’s eBook client solution. Reader is optimized for enterprise and knowledge worker workflows. Reader 8 doesn’t have an eBook bookshelf management feature or eBook DRM.
    Digital Editions is Adobe’s new eBook solution. It is more consumer-focused and lighter-weight, able to run on lower-end PCs and in the future mobile devices. It supports reflowable XHTMl-based content as well as PDF. It is based on Flash Player 9, which have a broader set of system requirements than Reader 8, and for example does support Macs back to Mac OS 10.1.x as you suggest is desirable.
    Reader 8 can call to Digital Editions but Digital Editions doesn’t require Reader to be installed and can have different system requirements.
    Unfortunately, our initial beta of Mac Digital Editions later this month will not achieve full support on every FP9 configuration. The first Mac beta will be Intel-only, and thus 10.4.x only. It will be expanded to PowerPC soon after. This is just based on time constraints; since the main purpose of the initial beta is for early adopters and folks in the industry to evaluate and provide feedback, and many of these are likely to be on MacTel, we’ve decided to go ahead and release Intel-only beta this month, even though it’s clearly not a full solution.

  6. bowerbird says:

    ok. i hope to see it soon. real soon.
    because you know i won’t believe it
    until i see it… :+)

  7. bowerbird says:

    in referencing “shelley”,
    you might be thinking of
    the “burningbird” blogger.
    i’m bowerbird, a different bird.
    (and i’m male, just so you know.)
    as for who i want to deploy to,
    that’s easy — everyone!