If you think that comments about QuarkXPress and InDesign are flying thick and fast here at PrintCEO.com, take a look at what they're saying over at QuarkvsInDesign.com. This site is a portal and a blogging venue for all things related to the ongoing rivalry between the two desktop publishing applications. The proprietor/editor is Pariah S. Burke, a designer, author, and trainer who pledges to offer "unflinching, unbiased editorial...from the perspective of in-the-trenches publishing professionals."

Many of these doughboys and doughgirls of the desktop seem to be flocking to the site, where Burke posts their input as cleverly designed sticky notes in a corkboard-like space underneath his articles. Their responses make it plain that designers aren't afraid to charge straight into the enemy's guns when they want to take a piece out of one application or the other. Calling some of the postings "colorful" doesn't adequately convey their special flavor, as in this choice observation by "tuffy": "Quark XTensions are like marital aids' if you can't do it without them, you gotta wonder if you should do it at all."

But QuarkvsIndesign.com isn't a just a hangout for haranguers. Burke does a commendable service by presenting news and resources for people whose livelihoods depend on how well the two dueling applications get the job done. And if the debate grows heated at times, it's an indication of how passionate the end-users of these products can be, even in their appraisals of the smallest details of performance. If Adobe and Quark aren't paying close attention to the give-and-take that goes on here, they certainly ought to be.

When was the last time you heard anyone get a tad hot under the collar about this press vs. that press or invoke marital aids to assess the features of a platesetter? Now and then, amidst all of the carefully controlled language we're use to hearing about printing and graphic technologies, a little rough talk from the heroes on the front line can be a good and useful thing.