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1997FAGAT(China)
Information Exchange Meeting

Pre-press software of Founder:
Scanning the New generation of Pre-press
Software in China

Mr. Li Pingli
Institute of Computer Science & Technology
Peking University

1. The Development of China Pre-press Software

China Printing Industry has stepped into the information era in the 1990's. Many enterprises and companies have been built up, and played different roles during this course. At the same time, China pre-press software is developed from zero to flourish, gradually and firmly.

During this course, one of the most important organizations is the Founder (Group) Corporation, whose predecessor is the Institute of Computer Science & Technology of Peking University. The institute began to research in the field of Computer Aided composition and Printing from the 1970's, and became one of the most important leaders of this field after 20 years' development. Today, the founder Group is the most powerful DTP (desktop publishing) software producer and integrator in China, cooperating closely with many famous software companies in the world. The DTP software of founder Group has occupied more than 70 percent of the China market, and is stepping into the international software market. The pre-press solution of the Founder Group is an integrated system., including page layout, text processing, proof printing and ripping, with the support of a series of powerful software. Furthermore, it is able to provide powerful support to you, from office automation to workflow management.

2.The Development of the founder Group

The pre-press software of Founder Group has been transformed from special system to an open, standard system. From the 1980'ss to early 1990's, a revolution took place in China Printing Industry. Printing technology left the era of " Lead and Fire ", and came into the information era. Computer composition took place of the hard labor---manual typesetting, promoting the automation level of this industry.
Previous pre-press software were all special closed software. Composition software and output software, scanning equipment and imaging device, display fonts and printing fonts, all of these were integrated into a specialized system. After the beginning of china reformation especially in 1990's China software market became on the track of international software market gradually. A lot of excellent software come into China market.
Founder's pre-press software was also transformed from a closed system to an open system. WITS, the representative desktop pre-press software of Founder Group in 1990's is the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) composition software in China, equipped with the special professional fonts made by its own, In several years, WITS took the largest share of China desktop publishing software market quickly. Afterwards, founder Group finished FIT, a new composition software that follows the latest trend of software technology development. FIT is the first open, standard and integrated composition software that use Object-Oriented technology. It integrated most the necessary press features and provides users a more friendly, expendable interface. As it also support multi-language composition, it becomes the pioneer of Founder group in the international software market.
Another outstanding software of the Founder Group is PSP, the PostScript RIP. Specially designed for Chinese double-byte code system (on MS Windows 3.1), it can process the rasterizing of Chinese fonts very efficiently. PSP utilizes the professional PS fonts made by the founder Group. With the development of software technology, PSP is improved constantly. The latest Windows NT version PSPNT is a standard Postscript interpreter. Except the advantage of its good performance of processing Chinese, its comprehensive performance has been improved greatly. The most important is that it is compatible to most of common commercial fonts in the market.

Overall, Founder Group, the representative of China composition software producer, has successfully conquered its limitation, and merged into the main stream of the development of software technology in the world. A new history is creating.
After a long time development, the Founder Group played the most important role in China printing industry. The Chinese character encoding of the Founder Group, standard 748 encoding is the basis of China National Standard Expanded Chinese Character Encoding (GBK). Founder's composition language, the BD language is accepted extensively. And one of its file formats S2 ( a Page Description Language developed by Flounder) is accepted by some government departments as an electronic document standard. All of these illustrate the influence of Founder Group upon china printing industry.
By introducing FIT, the representative software of Founder Group, I will state the new characteristic and trend of China pre-press software.

3.The Characteristic of FIT

FIT is an excellent composition software, which integrates the features of text processing, image processing and graph processing. It has an DBCS (double-byte character set) text processing kernel. At the beginning, FIT was developed on MS windows 3.1. After several upgrades, it has the latest version on many platforms including Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT and MacOS. Therefore, FIT is the first cross-platform large page layout and composition software of China. In the field of Chinese text processing, Founder's technology is beyond challenge. With inheriting the advanced achievements of Chinese Composition technology of Founder, FIT provides incomparable efficiency and quality of Chinese composition.

Now , most of the popular western composition software are based on SBCS (single-byte character set). They only use some alternative methods to process double-byte language. Because of their lack of rigorous structure, they can hardly achieve professional level when they process Chinese professional composition. The advantage of FIT is its direct support of double-byte language in its core module, and its meticulous processing of the difference between the western language and eastern language. Based on this double-byte processing core, FIT has traditional Chinese version (Big5 version) and Japanese version successively, and in about one year, Korean version. Furthermore, FIT has realized multi-language composition, such as Chinese -Japanese composition and simplified-traditional Chinese composition. In this field, Found group is the most forward position in the world.

One of the trends of computer software technology is from specialization to generalization. Many professional organizations and countries have established their own standards. An open system should obey these rules. One of the characteristics of FIT is its standardization, which enable FIT to accept many different documents formats and output PostScript file (page description language). Something worthy to mention is that the technology of PostScript interpreter, PSP, has achieved the most advanced level in the world.

Another advantage of FIT is that it provides not only powerful character processing features, but also image and graph processing features, which are more Powerful than the other common composition software. Today, FIT research division are progressing on the integration technology and trying to integrate the core module of its large-scale image processing software into FIT. To improve the quality of this product, this group finished trapping feature successfully by hard and creative research. They also serialize the embedded color management system which can not only utilize its own management module, but also be linked to the color management system of other companies. With those technology just mentioned, FIT improves the quality of its color output greatly. Therefore, FIT is playing an important role in printing industry and advertisement originality in China.

As the latest open composition software of the Founder Group, FIT has inherited the experience and achievements in Chinese composition field that obtained by many years of diligent research. The fancy library and pattern library of the Founder Group, whose unique styles and character decorations are highly praised by their customers, are accepted extensively by China printing industry. FIT is improved on the basis of these libraries and supplied it with more exquisite raw material library, which is expendable by customers. In addition, FIT has some very attractive features such as clipping image by character, composing in any closed area, and composing along any curve.

4.The software Component Hierarchy of FIT

Particularly, FIT opened its expandable interface-the software component hierarchy this year. This system improves expandability of FIT. Thus it makes FIT and brilliant composition software platform.

In the international software market, many the main software producers set up their own extension interface standard, which enable them organize their own software production group, furthermore, their software culture. By opening its extension interface standard, founder Group makes great strides to production socialization.

The software component hierarchy of FIT is an extension interface standard based on Object-Oriented technology. It enables FIT to do some work used to be incompetent by attaching many auxiliary modules-software component modules. Then, FIT BECOMES AN VITAL SYSTEM THAT CAN BE SELF-IMPROVED CONSTANTLY. This expansion is ongoing inside Founder Group, and in those producers who are cooperating with Founder.

The market response to FIT software comp0nent hierarchy is positive. It attracts man new customers as well as old customers. The Founder research and developing center is working on connecting several large-scale systems into one (the next version of FIT) on the basis of software component hierarchy. The new software under developing includes a powerful image processing module, a graph editing module, a press workflow management module, which integrated by software component hierarchy and become an incomparable powerful solution. On the other hand, software component hierarchy is making great contribution to the founder Group's international market stratagem. FIT is capable of meeting specific requirements of different languages with the help of software component hierarchy.

Today, the Founder group has finished new versions of FIT that support different languages by using software component technology. Besides, FIT research division produced man special versions for the special purposes, such as professional magazine and real estate advertisements. This group consists of a consolidate, efficient leader group and a huge peripheral support group, whose meticulous work provides necessary support to meet customer's different distinct requirements. This division is cooperating with several famous software producers to develop this system more thoroughly and to exploit international software market.

5.The Research and Developing Center of Founder Group

The Research and Developing center of Founder Group consists of hundreds of researchers and gets strong support from china National Key Laboratory of Text Processing. This research center consists of several highly experienced professors and graduates from many high-ranking universities in China, who bring freshness and originality to it. The FIT research division consists of professors, 3 Ph.D. and tens of postgraduates and graduates. The reason why Founder group becomes the representative of China software industry is that each one in it emphasizes new science and technology. A high grade manager of a famous American software company explained that it is rare that a company like Founder Group, considering of its size, has so many researchers with high degree. The foundation of Founder's research is Peking University, a world-wide famous university, which supports founder Group in every aspects. Besides, many brilliant young scholars from all over the nation came to the founder Group and devote their energy tot he career. It is them who make Founder Group progress steadily.

6.The Characteristic of China Pre-press Software

The history of the development of Founder Group is an epitome of the history of the development of china electronic publishing technology. In only a decade, China printing industry take place of mechanical equipment by electronic equipment, and enter the most forward position in the world. Today, the electronic publishing technology of Founder is very popular in China printing industry, and plays an important role in Asian. After several upgrades, China pre-press software become more generalized, more integrated and more open, earning more and more international fame. At the same time, it has more advanced technology and better localization, which has the ability to admit those complicated local requirement smoothly. China pre-press software is making a great success in the international market. China, which is still a developing country, needs more and more brilliant scholars to work hard to develop of China software industry. China pre-press software is forming a powerful group, advancing to the international market. In the foreseeable future, China pre-press software will definitely become a spectacular strength in the international market.


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