Welcome to the January 2001 issue of Citation
Software News, which is an email
newsletter that is published periodically by
Citation Software Inc. This
newsletter contains information about
software, events, and technical
developments that are important to
and mailing-industry technology.
This issue of Citation Software New
focuses on the following topics:
- Who We Are and What We Do
- Seybold Boston 2001 Happens April 8-13, 2001
- Citation Software Inc. Adds "Support & Troubleshooting" Page to its Web Site
- SVG: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?
Who We Are and What We Do
Citation Software Inc. is a provider of
services and products related to
electronic-publishing technology. Here
are some of the services that we offer:
You can learn more about our company at www.CitationSoftware.com.
- We write software that creates and modifies PostScript files & PDF files.
- We can help you to develop a variable-data-printing/publishing system.
- We do Web development.
- We know how to exploit Extensible Markup Language (XML) technologies.
- We understand how to work with Adobe Acrobat/PDF tools.
- We can help you to develop a PDF-based workflow system.
- We understand U.S. Postal Service bar codes and envelope-layout rules.
- We create mailpiece-design software for the mailing industry.
Seybold Boston 2001 Happens April 8-13, 2001
The Seybold Boston 2001 Seminar will take
place in April at the Hynes Convention
Center in Boston, MA.
As many readers of this newsletter are aware,
Seybold is a twice-yearly
electronic-publishing conference and expo
which normally takes place in San
Francisco in the autumn and in Boston in
the spring. At Seybold, you can:
The conferences run from April 8th
through-April 13th, and the exposition (trade
show) runs from April 10th through April 12th.
- see and try out cutting-edge products from approximately 300 exhibitors
- learn about the latest publishing technologies from industry pundits.
Whether you are a software developer, a
graphic designer, a pre-press expert, a
marketing pro, or a printer, there is
something for you at Seybold! At
you can get all the details you'll need
about this important event.
Here is our "in-a-nutshell" look at Seybold Boston 2001:
The exposition (or trade show) features exhibits and special events hosted by
companies who are well known in the electronic-publishing industry and related
industries. As we've said, the exposition runs from April 10th through April
12th. Here are just a few of the companies who will be exhibiting:
- Adobe Systems Incorporated
- BCL Computers
- Cahners Publishing
- Chrystal Software
- Collabria, Inc.
- Datalogics, Inc.
- Dynagram Software
- Everybook, Inc.
- Harlequin, Inc.
- Markzware Software
- OneVision GmbH
- Pantone, Inc.
- ScenicSoft, Inc.
- Media Bank
Attend one of the following all-day conferences to get up to speed on a
The "Digital Rights Management Day" Conference,
Monday, April 9th. This
conference explores technical and business issues pertaining to digital rights
The "On-Demand Printing Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. Here you can learn
technical information about direct imaging, spray-on plates, digital color
printers, imposition, digital proofing, digital workflow, and e-commerce links.
You can also learn about particular digital-printing products, and in addition
you'll hear about the business aspects of on-demand printing.
The "PDF Print Publishing Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. Here you'll
discover how to use the Adobe Acrobat PDF file format successfully in a print
publishing workflow, and you'll find out about software tools that are available
for PDF-based print publishing.
The "XML for Publishers Day" Conference, Monday, April 9th. This conference
focuses on how XML has changed the business of publishing, what lies ahead, and
what relevant products developers are working on.
The "E-Book Day" Conference, Tuesday, April 10th. At this conference, you'll
learn about the tough questions facing professionals who are making or selling e-books.
The "PDF for Electronic Documents Day" Conference, Tuesday, April 10th. Attend
this event to get a sense of where the Adobe Acrobat PDF format is today and
where it's going. You'll also find out about the advantages of using this format
for electronic documents. In addition, you'll learn about software tools for
publishing, and you discover how some corporations and commercial publishers are
The "Digital Asset Management Day" Conference, Wednesday, April 11th. At this
event, you'll find out about various Digital Asset Management (DAM) solutions
that are available, you'll hear a discussion about return-on-investment
analysis, and you'll discover how to optimize your DAM system for results.
The "Managing the Web-Enabled Company Day" Conference, Wednesday, April 11th.
Here you'll learn about content requirements for Web-centered business models,
you'll hear about the pros and cons of hosted services and applications vs. in-
house services and applications, and you'll hear from innovators who are
changing the way that companies deal with the Web.
The "Color Production Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Learn about color
spaces and color profiles (ICC), RGB workflows, color proofing, and more.
The "Corporate Portals Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Find out about
portal technologies, models, applications, and more.
The "Digital Imaging Day" Conference, Thursday, April 12th. Attend this
conference to learn about photography for the Web, digital video devices and
software, and other exciting topics.
49 tutorials are offered at Seybold Boston 2001. Here is a description of a few
of the ones that (in our opinion) are the most interesting:
Effective and Usable Web Interface Design; XML in 180 Minutes; Search Engine
Strategies; Web Color: Theory and Practice; Simplified Color Management; PDF for
Prepress; PDF Workflow; XML and Print; Crash Course in Writing for the Web;
Making the Transition from Print Design to Web Design
Remember, you can get details about all this and more at
Citation Software Inc. Adds "Support & Troubleshooting" Page to its Web Site
Citation Software Inc. has added a "Support & Troubleshooting" page to its Web
site, www.CitationSoftware.com. To get to the "Support & Troubleshooting" page,
click on the "Support & Troubleshooting" link from any page on the site.
The "Support & Troubleshooting" page contains tips, tricks, and troubleshooting
strategies for users of our on-line mailpiece-design software, Mailpiece Creator
and for users of our PC-based mailpiece-design
software, Reply Mail Designer
Go to the "Support & Troubleshooting" page for help if you're having trouble
using the mailpiece file that you created on line, if you're having trouble
getting your new printer to work with Reply Mail Designer, if you're not sure
what to do with the EPS file that you created with Reply Mail Designer, or if
you're having any other problems with our mailpiece-design software or with the
mailpiece files that you create.
SVG: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?
SVG stands for "Scalable Vector Graphics." It is a graphics language that is
based on Extensible Markup Language (XML).
You might be thinking, "Ho, hum. Another graphics language. What's the big
Well, Citation Software Inc. is here to tell you that SVG is a very big deal,
for several reasons. The main reasons are:
SVG technology is fairly new, and it isn't yet in widespread use.
- SVG is easy to understand.
- SVG can make Web pages load faster and look better.
Before we go into detail about what we've just said, let's take a little side
trip to see SVG in action.
What Does SVG Look Like?
Here is an SVG file that describes a blue rectangle and a red circle.
(To avoid any possible risk of confusion, we'll point out that the SVG code
above is not actually a file - it's part of this email message. It illustrates
what an SVG file might look like, so we are referring to it as an SVG file.)
<rect x="150" y="25" width="100" height="50" style="fill:blue" />
<circle cx="240" cy="175" r="50" style="fill:red" />
The first line of the file functions as a clue to a computer system that might
be processing the file. It tells the computer system that this file contains XML
information that conforms to Version 1.0 of the XML specification. (Remember,
we said that SVG is based on XML. In fact - technically - SVG is XML, but we
won't take the time to explain that concept here.)
The second line of the file says that this file contains a particular XML
The third line of the file describes the blue rectangle. The "x" and "y" values
give the position of the upper left corner of the rectangle, the "width" and
"height" values give the width and height (duh!), and the "style" information
says that the rectangle is blue. The units of measurement are officially 1/72
inch, but on a particular computer monitor, the actually dimensions might vary
depending on the size of the monitor and its resolution.
The fourth line of the file describes the red circle. "cx" and "cy" specify
where the center of the circle is located, and "r" specifies the circle's
The last line of the file, which says
"matches" or "balances" the second line of the file, which says
This concept of "matching" or "balancing" is fundamental to all XML-based
How Does SVG Work?
To see the objects described in an SVG file, your computer must have software
that can understand the SVG code and render the objects described in the SVG
code. Some day in the not-too-distant future, most Web browsers will probably
have such software built into them. Today, however, only a few Web browsers are
able to understand SVG code.
To find out if your Web browser is capable of displaying SVG files, click on
this link, which is a link to an SVG file that contains the SVG code shown
above. If your browser is capable of displaying SVG files, you'll see a blue
rectangle with a red circle underneath it. If your browser doesn't display the
rectangle and the circle, you might want to download the free Adobe? SVG Viewer,
which is a plug-in that a Web browser uses to render SVG.
Now that you know a little bit about what SVG looks like and how it works, we'll
get back to the task of explaining why SVG is so great!
The KISS Principle - Redefined
Everybody knows that the "KISS" in "KISS Principle"
stands for "Keep It Simple,
In honor of SVG, let's assign a different meaning to the "KISS."
We'll say that
it means, "Keep It Simple and Small."
Because SVG - as you've already seen - is simple.
And you are about to see that SVG is small, too.
And then Ed McMahon asked, "How small is it, Johnny?"
SVG descriptions of objects are VERY small, compared to bitmap-format
descriptions of those same objects. SVG is a vector format, not a bitmap format;
and vector-format descriptions of objects are almost always a lot smaller than
bitmap-format descriptions of those same objects. This is a very important
concept to understand, and it's the reason why we said earlier that Web pages
will load faster with SVG technology. This will (hopefully) become clearer as
you read the paragraphs below.
The fact of the matter is that - on the Web today - almost all graphics are
contained in bitmap-format files. The two most-often-used formats for graphics
on the Web are .GIF and .JPG, which are both bitmap formats. Usually, .GIF files
are used for geometric shapes such as lines, rectangles, and circles while .JPG
files are used for photographs.
The reason that bitmap formats are used for Web graphics is simple: most Web
browsers understand bitmap formats but they don't understand vector formats.
The fact that Web browsers don't understand vectors is a problem for Web
designers today. Why? Because it takes a long time to download bitmap graphics
from a Web site to a Web browser. If graphics could be described in a vector
format, it would take less time to download graphic descriptions because the
graphic descriptions would be much smaller. Web designers spend a lot of time
and effort trying to minimize the sizes of the graphics in their Web pages so
that their site visitors won't lose patience while waiting for the graphics to
download and navigate to a different site.
It is for this reason that several high-tech companies have been hard at work
developing a Web standard for vector graphics. That standard is SVG, and some of
the companies that have been working on it are Adobe Systems, Quark, Corel,
Hewlett-Packard, and IBM.
Now let's get back to the question of "How small is it?"
The SVG code above is contained in a file that has 157 bytes. If we used a .GIF
file to represent the same blue rectangle and red circle, the .GIF file would
probably have at least 1500 bytes. So you can see that the SVG file is
dramatically smaller than the .GIF file.
Once Web browsers are improved so that we can rely on them to handle SVG files
properly, Web designers will start using SVG files in their pages instead of
bitmap files. Web pages in general will be much smaller than they are today
(because the graphics files will be much smaller), and because the Web pages
will be smaller they will load into our browsers quickly.
SVG will also make it possible to improve the appearance of Web pages. That's
because SVG graphics tend to look sharper and crisper on the screen than bitmap
For more information. . .
In this article, we've only touched upon some basic SVG concepts. To learn more
about SVG, go to www.adobe.com/svg/overview/svg.html.
If you'd like to learn more about XML, go to www.citationsoftware.com/faqXML.htm.