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.