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David Lawrence
How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:07:00 am
Last Edited By David Lawrence on Jan 22, 2014 at 6:38:32 am

A good article from Ars Technica:

How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
"Quark's demise is truly the stuff of legend. In fact, the story reads like the fall of any empire: failed battles, growing discontent among the overtaxed masses, hungry and energized foes, hubris, greed, and... uh, CMYK PDFs. What did QuarkXPress do—or fail to do—that saw its complete dominance of desktop publishing wither in less than a decade? In short, it didn’t listen."

(as the author concludes) Sound familiar?

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Andrew Kimery
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 8:41:38 am

But Quark offered perpetual licenses which means by default they rolled out awesome feature upgrades with each new version, listened to users and kept prices competitive. ;)

So in short, selling over priced, slow to update software and telling your largely Mac user base to suck eggs and switch to Windows might be bad for businesses. Pretty similar to Avid losing it's grip on the NLE market to FCP Legend (though not nearly as dramatic obviously).

I can only really speak about Adobe from an editor's perspective (I'm not in touch with what's going on in the print or photography worlds) but from where I'm sitting they aren't walking the same path Quark and Avid did. Adobe's software has seen a lot of updates in the past few years, they continue supporting a variety of system (Mac & PC, OpenGL & CUDA, etc.,) and the cost of entry is historically low. Obviously the subscription model has been divisive but it will take 2-3 years IMO to get an idea of how things are going to play out.




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Florian Sepp
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 10:12:40 am

it never is a good idea to ignore the will of his customers for to long.
that was true with quark and that is true with adobe.
they might not jet feel it, but looking at the responses in the net and in my surrounding, they will feel it.
they might even already feel it, but they are stuck between unhappy customers and happy shareholders.
what they dont seem to recognise is that the customers pay there wage not there shareholders.

unfortunately I have the impression that the switch to mandatory CC is less a irreplaceable necessary Business decision but more driven by the egoistic wish of the management to be the first to implement rental software for the masses, and to be recognized for it.

its a egotrip of some that harms a well reputated company and forces everyone who wants access to his work to invest time and energy to change his workflow.

adobe earns less and less (espezially with the cloud)
how could someone believe the statement that developement will profit from it (in the long run).

Florian Sepp visual arts
http://www.floriansepp.com


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Rainer Schubert
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:47:25 pm

Excellent in my eyes.


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David Lawrence
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 5:11:05 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Obviously the subscription model has been divisive but it will take 2-3 years IMO to get an idea of how things are going to play out."

Agreed.

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Herbert van der wegen
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 10:48:13 pm

Adobe as a company and its execs are accountable foremost to their shareholders, and (perhaps) second to their customers. Whether we like that or not. It has created and is still creating discord.

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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 2:51:50 pm

Quark's management also had an elitist attitude. In the early 90's I was a producer at PCTV Live!, a weekly show on computers and software that reached a large audience, mostly in North and South America. We regularly featured the "latest and greatest" software on the show, and would receive a demo version in advance, which I would pore over and use to develop my interview, then a corporate rep would come in and demo it on the show. When we contacted Quark, we were told coldly that they "didn't send demos" to anyone. Period. In that same time period we were sent demos of Pagemaker, and even MS Publish. InDesign did not exist yet, and Pagemaker may have even still been owned by Aldus.

At any rate, I think their attitude was a large part of their downfall, as, in my opionion, AVID's "better than thou" attitude has had basically the same results. When you stop believing that you have to go out and sell, it's all downhill from there.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Chris Pettit
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 4:29:38 pm

Interesting perspective. 2014 will tell us all a lot about who's right:

All this love for InDesign could be read as a ringing endorsement for the current versions of Adobe’s flagship layout program, but that’s definitely not the case. InDesign is not perfect, and Adobe’s abysmal Creative Cloud license policy has really shown the company's true colors when it comes to exploiting monopoly.

With my main magazine contract, we tried to make the switch from InDesign CS5 to CS6 because we, like everyone else, wanted to avoid hooking up to the great wallet-milking machine that is the Creative Cloud rental model. Quickly, it became clear that this couldn’t happen. The application crashed a ton when linking Incopy text, a problem reported in CS5.5. But Adobe apparently couldn’t have been bothered to fix it, and I’m sure it’s probably getting plenty of attention now that Adobe holds the keys to InDesign Creative Cloud documents. Sound familiar? A leading company gets too comfortable and stops paying attention. The shoe is apparently on the other foot now. Like the XPress days of yore, our publication is using InDesign (CS5) to avoid a company's cash-grab.


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 22, 2014 at 9:41:00 pm

David,

I saw that article, but my feeling was that the ultimate crux of it all was a hungry competitor.

My feeling over the past few years is that Apple, Adobe, and (on auto-pilot) Avid are not particularly interested in me and my particular "use-case" (or whatever lingo they would use for it).

There's enough options that I'll be able to find a way, but none of them are ideal (or even particularly encouraging).

I don't find much parallel in the Quark story.

Franz.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 12:01:53 am

[Franz Bieberkopf] "I saw that article, but my feeling was that the ultimate crux of it all was a hungry competitor."

yes. Isn't that the real problem? given broad societal computing is exiting general purpose PCs of all forms, we are all leaving centre stage, and the likelihood of a substantial competitor entering now to disrupt adobe's more feral new appetites feels remote to me. I think it feels remote to adobe too.

It feels like we're left in a small side room - with adobe corporate staring at us, and noticing that we have very few valid exit options.

they're a corporation - they exist to extract money. having removed all possible ownership of their software, and with absolutely zero viable new entrants on the horizon for the old monopoly tools like AE PS and ID, we are all pretty much exactly where they want us to be.

On some level its like the block of cheese parable. Granted I'm not sure who exactly is the block of cheese at this point.

either way, it doesn't feel great.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Florian Sepp
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:50:47 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "they're a corporation - they exist to extract money. having removed all possible ownership of their software, and with absolutely zero viable new entrants on the horizon for the old monopoly tools like AE PS and ID, we are all pretty much exactly where they want us to be."

it depends. you are right they are a corporation. their goal is to make money. till now they don't get it with their cloud (quite good visible in their own stats) If they continue to loose money the shares will drop....
.... the prurience of a rental system will not last for ever if it doesn't pay off.

Florian Sepp visual arts
http://www.floriansepp.com


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Rainer Schubert
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 10:16:26 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "It feels like we're left in a small side room - with adobe corporate staring at us, and noticing that we have very few valid exit options."

I felt the whole time, that there is someone staring at me...


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Herb Sevush
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 4:37:37 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] "My feeling over the past few years is that Apple, Adobe, and (on auto-pilot) Avid are not particularly interested in me and my particular "use-case" (or whatever lingo they would use for it).

There's enough options that I'll be able to find a way, but none of them are ideal (or even particularly encouraging)."


Unfortunately, I agree. Although I have often found this to be the case. The number of times I've felt as though a software company was interested in me and the way I work is a fairly small number - the fingers of an old carpenters hand would cover it.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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David Dilling
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:09:33 am

I read this article and it brought back many memories. In all honesty though, the article does not do the "Quark vs InDesign"...



...battles full justice. There is much more and it goes deeper then an arrogant Quark leadership. For instance, I did not see any mention of the third-party developers role in this battle, migration and eventual diminished role in graphic design, but not fully a demise in desktop publishing.

One of Quark's advantages was their open and promoted XTensions developer program.

The handling of XTension developers (QuarkXPress) and the active role of Adobe then to get plugin developers for InDesign, could be a book in-and-of itself. Many would not switch from QuarkXPress unless their production vital Quark XTension would be a plugin in Adobe InDesign.

As time went on, Adobe added many of these inventions that third-party developers created, into Adobe InDesign, as did Quark. Once again, the third-party developers forgotten.

Also, Quark is not dead. There are still many loyal and happy users out there.


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Rainer Schubert
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 23, 2014 at 2:59:57 pm

[David Dilling] "Also, Quark is not dead. There are still many loyal and happy users out there."

Yes, they are. And I´m glad, that I never threw my Quark licenses away because I also had InDesign.
For many tasks Quark is the better choice.


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David Dilling
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 24, 2014 at 8:17:46 am

Hi Rainer, Just curious, which tasks do you prefer QuarkXPress over InDesign for? Typographical or just quicker for certain production tasks in general?

Cheers, David


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Rainer Schubert
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 25, 2014 at 3:02:59 am

Mostly when I have to use very big & complex documents, for example.
May be felt only - But it seems Quark is much (!) faster with handling very big sized files (catalogues and so on) with tons of different, linked files.
There are also some nice benefits like to open Documents same sized and positioned as I closed (which is impossible at InDesign but useful for me - 3 * 30" monitors).
Typographical - InDesign is winner if I count the number of functions (but who needs them all - Quark does everything I need/want).
Also InDesign allows more "playfull" (don´t know a word for...) Designs.
In total, I feel no great difference - that´s right.
But I find, that Quarks GUI is a little bit (I would name) clear, rudimental. Faster to handle.
It´s "feeling" (since last revision) absolutely MAC integrated - much faster and compatibel than ever before.
I also find the color shemes (?) very good and useful.
HTML5 works great.
After all: I can own a license at Quark & I Can´t at Adobe.
That´s why I´m (for the moment) only on Quark (I always used them both) wherever I can.
May be there will be another competitor one day.


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David Dilling
Re: How QuarkXPress became a mere afterthought in publishing
on Jan 25, 2014 at 7:49:45 am

Appreciate the feedback, GUI is a reason we hear a lot, for sure. Take care!


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