Notice a difference?
If not, the designers have done their jobs right.
The Gazette is in the middle of major technological transition behind the scenes, from Macs using QuarkXPress (version 3.32, circa 1996) and other specialized programs to PCs using Adobe InDesign under a system called Saxotech. Tech business reporter Jason Magder has been describing a bit of the process, particularly from a reporter’s point of view.
The changeover has been happening in stages, as staff in various sections get training on the new system (while other staff, including additional hired help such as myself continue to put out the paper every day). The features sections went first, then business. This week was the go-live for the A section. The pages on the left (Tuesday and Wednesday) were created in QuarkXPress. Those on the right (Thursday and Friday) were done in InDesign.
Because the transition is being done in phases and not all at once, the designers had to create templates and stylesheets in InDesign that matched the old Quark pages. Some minor changes were made to clear up inconsistencies or make things easier for editors, but as you can see most of it basically looks the same.
To be clear, readers should not notice any major changes to the design, and no changes at all to content. (Although a bug in a process that is supposed to make it easier to copy articles from print to web causes random words to appear in the middle of sentences, which has peeved a few web readers.)
The next – and last – section to be moved over is sports, which has the latest deadlines. That’s next week.
I wish I could say more about how the system works, but I’m in the very last group getting training (in a group that incidentally includes the editor-in-chief, so I guess I should be on my best behaviour). This puts me in the odd position of knowing less than almost all my colleagues when it comes to a computer system. You can’t imagine how frustrating that can be for a guy with a computer science degree. But I’ll muddle through these last couple of weeks.