Quark has released more details of the forthcoming version 5.0 of Xpress, showing off its Web publishing features that the company hopes will turn the package into a media-independent creative environment.
Version 5.0 will include support for standard HTML elements, including hyperlinks, imahg maps, rollovers, metatags and forms. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) support is also included, as is the ability to work in XML.
XML is a specification from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that allows Web authors to define custom tags and attributes, enabling XML documents to include metadata, or information about document content. Many vendors, Web designers and programmers point to XML as a superior method of exchanging data over the Internet because its use does not require standardized interfaces or specific programming tools.
Such an agnostic language ultimately could lead to a drop in the cost of Web publishing by 30 per cent to 50 per cent and a significant reduction in the time it takes to produce sites, according to Tim Gill, chairman and chief technical officer of Quark Inc. and one of the speakers during a special keynote presentation at the Seybold show.
XML further gives the Web an advantage over traditional print, he suggested.
"I don't believe that there is any innovation in print that is going to save us even 10 percent in costs," he said, adding that this is a key reason why venture capitalists have fled from traditional print and are swarming to provide funding to Web publishers.
Gill was quick to add that he is not suggesting that traditional print is unimportant or will not last, but the cost savings that will accrue to Web publishers with what he called the "wholesale adoption of XML" will create opportunities for companies to make money through Internet publishing. Companies will be more easily able to resell their own content as well as to buy and use content from other Web publishers.
The Web further allows anyone who wants to post content to become a publisher, he said.