by Joerg Palmer

I come from a transforms-focused background, so to me, 2017 looks like a great year for AFP to continue to push further into non-print channels, such as email and web presentment. Of course, AFP already plays nice with many different presentation platforms, but I think in 2017 we have a real shot at going even further.

For example, we’ve been talking a lot about doing more with metadata, especially when it comes to improved accessibility for visually impaired users. But, as important as that is, it’s not the only thing metadata can help AFP do. More metadata can open up completely new sets of examples, such as using document structure to facilitate screen reading via audio, being able to create structured information like html5 for using digital communication channles, or embedded video available in digital viewing environments.

We talk about wanting AFP documents to be more readable for visually impaired people, and that’s important and worthwhile, but on top of that, I’d also love to see AFP itself become more human readable. The AFP Consortium as a concept is all about opening up AFP’s development to new perspectives, and making the code easier to parse takes that to the next level, inviting new points of view in that can only serve to strengthen the architecture as it continues to adapt and evolve into the future.

AFP hasn’t “just” been a print architecture for years now – that’s why we changed the name from Advanced Function Printing to Advanced Function Presentation, after all. I’m hopeful that in 2017, we can continue to “go digital” and go further!