This week there was news about Acrobat DC, DC for document cloud. More cloud aspects to come, more about signatures, easy access through touch screen devices. I have seen the video but have not got much idea of detail.
But it is very interesting. I lost track of Acrobat round about version 9. This was all about Connect, a video conference option through Flash. I still don't understand why this was part of Acrobat. But at the time of the Macromedia purchase everything went Flash. The PDF fans were a captive market for any new product. Later Connect seems to be a different product. Not much mention of it in the video.
Kevin Lynch became Chief Technology Officer, a post previously held by John Warnock. My impression was that any development on PDF just stopped. The MARS project to rewrite in XML was cancelled. So PDF was not suited to reflow or variable width of screen. So it has fallen away. From the video maybe it will work better on mobile devices but not clear how. It could just be tracking and signing and maybe a comment.
Then Kevin Lynch went to work for Apple, still shown on klynch.com . I can't find any news items on when he went back to Adobe. Could there be some explanation?
My guess is that he is not very interested in PDF. Also PDF is not very well suited to the situations in the video. He would be much better suited to presenting Adobe options around all their products, mostly those from Macromedia. Meanwhile after a check in the Wikipedia I can confirm that both John Warnock and Charles Geschke are in their mid 70s. Will they continue indefinitely? If Shantanu Narayen changed job maybe there would be a gap. This is obviously speculation but I mention it in a blog post to check out the comments.
It makes more sense than Kevin Lynch sticking with PDF for any length of time. Just my opinion.
But maybe this is way off. I will look carefully at what Acrobat has to offer. Also how it compares with other PDF related software. Acrobat seems to be aimed mostly at corporate situations. The signature capability will meet some real problems. But the original purpose of PDF was as a screen equivalent for Postscript. Even as Adobe moves into the clouds there is still a mass of content left on the land that is hard copy, from the product sectors long forgotten by the marketing department. The office workers who but Acrobat are rarely reminded that a PDF can include JDF, all the requirements for a print job. This can be packaged in various ways so well worth looking at again. But my guess is that Adobe is no longer interested so it may appear from somewhere else.
By the way, whatever happened to Freehand?