Adobe MARS

December 11, 2006

Eliot Kimber has some nice things to say about Adobe MARS: –

After seeing Adobe’s presentation and talking to the guys from Adobe it’s clear that what they’ve done is a sincere and well-thought-out attempt to Do The Right Thing rather than a cynical recasting of proprietary stuff into markup so it’s “open.”

MARS tries to use standards as much as it can and it seems to do so to a remarkable level of completeness. It uses SVG for representing each page, supports the usual standards for media objects (bitmaps, videos, etc.). Uses Zip for packaging, and so on.

A few things strike me about this. Firstly, MARS could throw document preservation a lifeline. The ODP/M$ tangle looks like it’s going to go the full 10 rounds, and possibly not fall out the way we would like for preservation.

Next, this could be the shot in the arm SVG needs. With the benefit of hindsight, it seems crazy that Adobe pulled support for their SVG viewer plugin at such an early stage (as soon as there was nodding support for SVG in browsers). Just imagine what web2.0 would look like if they’d had graphics to mash up (on the client side). We did this to a certain extent at Paribus; thematic maps (or chloropleths, to give them their proper name) were done by serving static SVG and dynamic CSS.

Finally – does this mean I might finally get the super-duper SVG viewer I want to zoom around my concept maps in presentations?

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