Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Will Publishers Swallow the PIL? New Page Layout Spec Could Cure PostScript Publishing Headaches

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Will Publishers Swallow the PIL? New Page Layout Spec Could Cure PostScript Publishing Headaches

Article excerpt

New page layout spec could cure PostScript publishing headaches

There's a new cure for electronic pagination headaches. The digital analgesic, called Page interchange Language (PIL), is billed as a specification that will allow different editorial and page composition systems to talk to each other. The initial version was first demonstrated at the American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA) conference this month.

Developed over the past year by a committee of a dozen or so computer publishing vendors, the PIL page geometry spec is expected eventually to take its place alongside the already well-established Open Prepress Interface (OPI). OPI is a mechanism for digitally designing a page layout with low-res versions of high-resolution graphics, and getting high-end color electronic pre-press systems to output the high-resolution results.

But while OPI has become fairly well entrenched with leading publishing system vendors, PIL is still evolving. "It isn't going to be an either/or alternative to OPI," says Paul Trevithick of Archetype inc. Both are worthwhile standards, he believes. Once PIL is established, he adds, professional publishers can expect cost and time savings, as well as an end to PostScript performance hang-ups.

By definition, PIL is a way to describe the layout of various components that make up an electronic page. The page description data are stored as an ASCII file. What makes PIL potentially valuable is that it handles different elements-headlines, stories, captions, graphics and ads-done in PostScript, TIFF, PICT, SGML and various vendor and typesetter-specific formats. …

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