It seems that Adobe is not the only company rolling out new versions of Big Software. Today, Quark announced Quark Publishing System 8, QuarkCopyDesk8, and QuarkXPress Server 8, all of which work seamlessly with their recently-released QuarkXPress 8.
What are these things?
Simply put, they’re the other pieces of Quark’s publishing workflow system. (Apologies to Quark: this is my simplified view of what these pieces do…)
Quark Publishing System 8: an editorial system that manages stories and other assets, so that many people can work at the same time, using the same assets, when publishing various editions of printed or website publications. Writers write, editors edit, layout people lay out pages or websites, and artwork editors create and edit artwork. All the while, everything is available in real time to anyone with the permission to use them. It can even output in Flash format.
For a bit more info, check out our stories on the previous versions at Quark Releases Quark Publishing System 7 and Quark Publishing System 7.4 Adds Support for Leopard, Safari, LDAP, Full Text Search, Russian and Polish.
QuarkCopyDesk8: a limited version of QuarkXPress, with additional features dedicated to editing and tracking changes to stories. A layout artist in QuarkXPress decides which page elements should be available for editing by a copy writer/editor, and then that writer/editor can work in real time on the same layout. If allowed to, they can also tweak pictures using Quark’s powerful image-editing features.
You can read more about how QuarkCopyDesk works here, Quark’s Word Processor.
QuarkXPress Server 8: a publishing engine that can generate pages in HTML, PDF, QuarkXPress and other formats, based on either user input or rules that combine images and text and places them on the page.
You can read more about how some folks are using QuarkXPress Server at Seemingly Magical Ad Production.
How do they compare to Adobe’s tools?
Many experts agree that Quark’s system is much easier to implement than Adobe’s server tools, saving lots of setup time and expense, as well as lower ongoing support costs. Here’s a report that explains what I mean:
“Report Analyses Quark Publishing System 7, Smart Connection Enterprise, and K4”
Quark’s press release goes so far as to say this:
“QPS is the most flexible and easy-to-use workflow system available today. Unlike Woodwing’s Smart Connection Enterprise and Softcare’s K4, only QPS offers XML-based Job Jackets technology to evaluate design and content accuracy in order to prevent errors early in the production process. Only QPS offers ready-made integration with Alfresco Enterprise 2, the leading open-source content management system. In addition, it is the easiest workflow system to set up because it is configured through a graphical user interface instead of a browser interface or text-based configuration scripts. QPS also works with more desktop applications than Smart Connection Enterprise and K4.”
What’s this Alfresco thing?
Alfresco Enterprise 2 is the leading open source content management system, allowing users to store assets in a single repository and view and update content in real-time. The “open source” bit is particularly important: all of Quark’s publishing tools use open standards, so you’re never locked in to one company’s vision of how you should do your work.
What else is new?
In QPS 8:
- User interface support for 13 languages including Japanese, as well as hyphenation and spell checking for more than 30 languages, enabling advanced international collaboration. Just like in QuarkXPress 8, you can publish in every major language and share the same document with users in every nation.
- Improved asset management through QPS Connect Client, including multi-page preview, multiple asset check-in, metadata tagging, custom grouping, and full text search functionality. QPS Connect Client is an application for Mac or Windows that lets users manage and contribute content from anywhere with Internet access.
- QPS Web Hub support for East Asian languages, including the support for Rubi and Group Characters. QPS Web Hub lets you use a Web browser to view assignments and write, edit, and copyfit text. Managers can monitor publications and projects, as well as track and adjust user workloads — all using a Web browser.
- Support for native Adobe Illustrator file formats. Enough said.
• Adopts QuarkXPress 8’s new intuitive interface, advanced typographical control, and support for East Asian text.
• Adopts the other poweful new features of QuarkXPress 8, including drag-and-drop from any application, media browser, Adobe Bridge, or the desktop.
Quark says that Quark Publishing System 8, QuarkCopyDesk 8 and QuarkXPress Server 8 will be available in Q4 2008. They’ll be demonstrating it at IFRA Expo on October 27–30, and at Graph Expo on October 26–29.
Jay Nelson is the editorial director of PlanetQuark.com, and the editor and publisher of Design Tools Monthly. He’s also the author of the QuarkXPress 8 and QuarkXPress 7 training titles at Lynda.com, as well as the training videos Quark includes in the box with QuarkXPress 7 . In addition, Jay writes regularly for Macworld and Photoshop User magazines and speaks at industry events.