It’s common to hear the famous lines from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, but what exactly is, “Government for the People?” Of course there could be endless discussions on this topic but the people at Adobe Systems want you to think about government and the people as an efficient exchange of information between the two groups. And the way to conduct that efficient exchange of information is to use a plethora of Adobe products to package the information and allow the public to interact with it.
You might think of Adobe in terms of its Creative Suite software, all of which started with the founders developing software for the Laserwriters of the 1980s. Incidentally, this month Photoshop is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Back in the day, it was written for digital scanners because digital cameras did not exist. Its creator, John Knoll tells the story of scanning a photo of his wife on their honeymoon in Bora Bora that became the iconic image promoting Photoshop. He also notes that Kodak famously did not originally see “the next curve,” with digital cameras everywhere.
But now Adobe wants us to be aware of how its software can support a more “open government” for the people using PDF, Flash and more. Case in point was the $787 billion stimulus package where only five hard copies and no electronic copies were available for review before passage. The game has changed and government should respond with technology, they note. A good step forward would be to utilize an efficient server hosting company. Digital is not only easier, it’s greener.
Adobe points to its interactive PDF with digital signature already being used to ease people’s interaction with their governments in Argentina and England. In Australia businesses needing various government approvals can take care of it digitally. Here, the Government Printing Office distributed the 2010 budget by PDF that was fully searchable. And it may be science fiction now but in the future it just might be possible that we elect – well, let’s just leave that in the science fiction realm.