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August 19, 2005

Week in Review

On Tuesday of this week, I delivered a 6-hour hands-on session on LiveCycle Designer. I anticipated a developer audience, but the attendees were a mix of users and developers. The 14 attendees composed primarily of US Federal Government agencies and Government contractors. The feedback was good, but I learned a few lessons:
– Although we claim Designer is easy for a developer to use (to create forms), the biggest challenge is learning where all the attributes are in the palettes. For example, which palette contains controlling margins (Layout); which palette contains binding information (Object); and so on.
– We still have some challenges in the area of JavaScript parity between Acrobat-created JS and Designer-created JS. Some JS functions available in Acrobat do not have a reciprocal function in Designer. I’ll be happy when this is resolved.

Thursday, I traveled to Hartford, CT to deliver a presentation to 80 consultants (mostly civil engineers) at the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) on Acrobat 7 for AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) I focused on PDF as a Standard, Create & Combine PDFs, Review PDFs, and Secure PDFs. Many of attendees approached me after the talk saying ‘I didn’t know you could do that!’ and ‘That was great. That’s exactly what we need’.

For me, hearing comments like that is what drives me to continue evangelizing PDF.

Next up — PDF Tour in the Nordic Region (Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm). This will be a fun week as many PDF ‘gurus’ get together to present case studies, tips & tricks, and lessons learned. Additionally, I’ll be hosting lunch sessions in each city to talk with developers about their experiences with our current developer tools and their expectations moving forward. If you’re in one of these cities the first week of September (5th-8th) please feel free to contact me for information on registration.

COMMENTS

  • By Rob McDougall - 10:56 AM on August 22, 2005  

    Lori,

    It’s great to hear someone from Adobe talk about their products’ shortcomings. The Designer is a great product but there are always some areas where there’s room for improvement. Reading your thoughts on the lessons learned during the Designer session is both carthartic for me and gives me hope that these issues will be addressed in the future. Thanks for the great blog!

    Rob

  • By Paul M - 11:09 AM on August 27, 2005  

    Hey, Lori. Great to see Adobe getting closer to their partners and customers with this blog idea.

    [For me, hearing comments like that is what drives me to continue evangelizing PDF.] – true, never found an audience yet who just said ‘Big deal..’ when they saw live what Acrobat can offer – just think of those poor techies who have to demo less interesting software :o)

    The Adobe site has improved 1000% over the past year or so, and it’s great to see you and your colleagues adding quality materials for Acrobat and Designer in particular.

    In the absence of initial documentation (cough…) we had to learn Designer 7 from the Help menus. Actually, pretty well written but one area we found tricky was the ‘pattern’ dialog box stuff – display / edit / validation etc.

    Didn’t make a whole heap of sense here – any chance of that being the next tech sheet in the queue?

    p.s. the Acrobat Pro ‘Comment Enabling in Reader’ and Designer submit-by-email in Reader forms are such a new concept for clients that I think it is taking a bit of time for firms to really take advantage of this unique technology. I know that in the past Adobe has sidelined stuff when it has not been immediately ‘rewarding’ – please, please don’t let them do the same thing here !!!