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Adobe MAX 2008 San Francisco: Ali’s Debrief

Did you make it to Adobe MAX 2008 in San Francisco last week? If so, I hope you found it valuable, and just as importantly, I hope you were inspired to use more of the technology available to you, and made some new connections and friends. I was fortunate enough to be one of the presenters this year, my first at MAX. Here’s a recap from me on the sessions I participated in or presented as they relate to collaboration, Acrobat software and PDF files.


If you are going to be at MAX 2008 Europe or MAX 2009 Japan, this will be a preview for one of the sessions that will be repeated there, and hopefully encourage you to register for that and others too. For those of you that missed the event or these sessions last week in San Francisco and won’t be going to Milan or Tokyo, I’ll update this blog entry once the final recordings are posted later.

First up, the “Adobe Roadmap: Enterprise” session. This was a presentation on the ways current and future Adobe technologies can be used by everyone within the enterprise to create engaging experiences and get work done. Acrobat is presented as a solution for ad-hoc projects: one way is how Acrobat’s new Page View Sharing, based on the Adobe Labs Cocomo project, can be used to ensure that important information contained within documents is presented and understood correctly and quickly.

Later that day I joined Tad Staley and Phil Ice to present at the session entitled “Collaboration: Lessons From The Field”. Tad gave a nice overview of the collaboration services available with Acrobat.com.

Phil, Director of Course Design, Research and Development at American Public University System in West Virginia, presented some fascinating research findings on how students fare better when authoring and sharing documents in a collaborative way. Wait for the recording and posting for the slides to see his data. I found it interesting that those 34 (35?) and younger found it a natural process to start authoring collaboratively with others.

I had the pleasure to present how the University of Massachusetts Medical School use Photoshop, InDesign and Acrobat to teach students Neuroanatomy using “Atlases” digitally and collaboratively. These are the 2D scans of the human brain and spinal cord you may have seen elsewhere (like one of the medical shows on television that I have just been watching). Dr. Susan Gagliardi uses the highlighting tools in Acrobat to highlight areas of the scans in PDF versions that students should know about. Then, through enabling for commenting and analysis in Adobe Reader, students work collaboratively using Acrobat or Reader to highlight potential problem areas and demonstrate understanding. This electronic version of teaching and learning in a collaborative way mimics the way it was done before in the paper world, but is far easier to deal with and provides access to even more materials that were previously unavailable or unwieldy.


Finally, many thanks to those of you who came to my, and indeed all the Acrobat sessions, and stopped by the Acrobat User Community booth. As exhausting it can be to work and present at these conference, I had a ball!



    Thanks for coming to max to doing the session Acrobat and PDF for the Web Designer.

    I got a lot of good information from that.

    Do you know if you or Adobe are going to post your slides online?


    [FROM ALI: Thanks Mathias! I am glad you found ti useful. Yes, Adobe will eventually be posting the presentations and recordings soon. I do not have a date when that will happen.]

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