Adobe Co-founder and Ex-CEO John Warnock Has Died – Slashdot

Adobe Co-founder and Ex-CEO John Warnock Has Died – Slashdot


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from the sad-news dept.

Slashdot reader Dave Knott writes:

John Warnock, co-founder and ex-CEO of Adobe, has died at the age of 82. Under his tenure, Adobe created Postscript, Acrobat, Photoshop, and many other technologies and software products that have become industry standards in publishing, graphic design, video editing, photography and more. A cause of death has not been released; he is survived by his wife, graphic designer Marva Warnock, and his three children

Slashdot covered the death of Adobe co-founder Charles ‘Chuck’ Geschke in 2021:

The company started in co-founder John Warnock’s garage in 1982, and was named after the Adobe Creek which ran behind Warnock’s home, offering pioneering capabilities in “What you see is what you get” (or WYSIWYG) desktop publishing… [Gizmodo writes] after earning a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University, Geschke met Warnock while working at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, according to the Mercury News.

“In the Spring of 1991 Dr. John Warnock wrote a paper he dubbed ‘Camelot’ in which the Adobe Systems Co-founder and CEO laid out the foundation for what has become Acrobat/PDF,” remembers this 2002 Slashdot post.

And last year Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum publicly released “for the first time, the source code for the breakthrough printing technology, PostScript. We thank Adobe, Inc. for their permission and support, and John Warnock for championing this release….

From the start of Adobe Systems Incorporated (now Adobe, Inc.) exactly forty years ago in December 1982, the firm’s cofounders envisioned a new kind of printing press â” one that was fundamentally digital, using the latest advances in computing. Initial discussions by cofounders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock with computer-makers such as Digital Equipment Corporation and Apple convinced them that software was the key to the new digital printing press. Their vision: Any computer could connect with printers and typesetters via a common language to print words and images at the highest fidelity. Led by Warnock, Adobe assembled a team of skillful and creative programmers to create this new language. In addition to the two cofounders, the team included Doug Brotz, Bill Paxton, and Ed Taft. The language they created was in fact a complete programming language, named PostScript, and was released by Adobe in 1984.

By treating everything to be printed the same, in a common mathematical description, PostScript granted abilities offered nowhere else. Text and images could be scaled, rotated, and moved at will, as in the opening image to this essay. Adobe licensed PostScript to computer-makers and printer manufacturers, and the business jumped into a period of hypergrowth….

Today, most printers rely on PostScript technology either directly or through a technology that grew out of it: PDF (Portable Document Format). John Warnock championed the development of PDF in the 1990s, transforming PostScript into a technology that was safer and easier to use as the basis for digital documents, but retaining all the benefits of interoperability, fidelity, and quality.

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