Adobe Mars and Print-ready PDFs

Random question popped into my head whilst having a shower: does Adobe Mars, the new project to represent PDF as a packaged XML format, support PDF’s strong print/prepress heritage.

Things like CMYK, colorspaces, high-dpi images, Postscript fonts, trapping settings (overprint/knockout) and the Crop/Bleed boxes. All those high-tech printing things.

The short answer is yes.

(testing process: InDesign document, export as PDF 1.3, open in Acrobat 8 Professional, Save as “PDF in XML Format” using Mars plugins, re-open, check with Acrobat 8 Advanced>Print Production tools. Open SVG as text)

XML Goo-i-ness Inside

Microsoft pre-released their XAML-in-the-browser technology, WPF/e earlier this week. XAML inside.

XAML “smells” like the W3C’s Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). DOM-inside-a-DOM, Declarative animation, 2D graphics. XAML maybe not SVG, but it certainly tips its hat to SVG.

Adobe today pre-released their XML-in-a-PDF technology, Mars, for Acrobat 8. Essentially, Mars as a technology is presently delivered as plugins for Adobe Reader 8 and Acrobat 8 Professional. You can save an existing ‘binary’ PDF out as a .mars file. These .mars files are like .jar or .war files: manifested, structured ZIP files. Looking inside a description of a page, you have an SVG Tiny 1.2+ (as Adobe state, SVG/FSS0 representation. The specification clearly documents that .mars takes the current concept of PDF, a document format, and extends this as XML.These technologies do not directly intersect: an XML representation of SWF rather than PDF would be closer to XAML. Having cross-platform viewer support for Microsoft’s XPS would be closer to PDF.

I was premature in saying SVG was deprecated.