Template:Infobox personJohn Edward Warnock (born October 6, 1940) is an American computer scientist and businessman best known as the co-founder with Charles Geschke of Adobe Systems, the graphics and publishing software company. Warnock was President of Adobe for his first two years and Chairman and CEO for his remaining sixteen years at the company. Although retired as CEO in 2000, he still continued to sit on the board of directors with Geschke. Warnock pioneered the development of graphics, publishing, web and electronic document technologies that revolutionized the field of publishing and visual communications.
Warnock's earliest publication and subject of his master's thesis, was his 1964 proof of a theorem solving the Jacobson radical for row-finite matrices, which was originally posed by the American mathematician Nathan Jacobson in 1956.
In his 1969 doctoral thesis, Warnock invented the Warnock algorithm for hidden surface determination in computer graphics. It works by recursive subdivision of a scene until areas are obtained that are trivial to compute. It solves the problem of rendering a complicated image by avoiding the problem. If the scene is simple enough to compute then it is rendered; otherwise it is divided into smaller parts and the process is repeated. Warnock notes that for this work he received "the dubious distinction of having written the shortest doctoral thesis in University of Utah history".In 1976, while Warnock worked at Evans & Sutherland, a Salt Lake City-based computer graphics company, the concepts of the PostScript language were seeded. Prior to co-founding Adobe, Warnock worked with Geschke at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (Xerox PARC), where he had started in 1978. Unable to convince Xerox management of the approach to commercialize the InterPress graphics language for controlling printing, Warnock, together with Geschke and Putman, left Xerox in 1982 to start Adobe Systems, named after Adobe Creek behind Warnock's home. At their new company, they developed an equivalent technology, called PostScript, from scratch, and brought it to market in Apple's LaserWriter in 1985. PostScript technology made it easier to print text and images from a computer, revolutionizing media and publishing in the 1980s.
In the Spring of 1991, Warnock outlined a system called "Camelot", that evolved into the Portable Document Format (PDF) file-format. The goal of Camelot was to "effectively capture documents from any application, send electronic versions of these documents anywhere, and view and print these documents on any machines". Warnock's document contemplated, "Imagine if the IPS (Interchange PostScript) viewer is also equipped with text searching capabilities. In this case the user could find all documents that contain a certain word or phrase, and then view that word or phrase in context within the document. Entire libraries could be archived in electronic form..."One of Adobe's popular typefaces, Warnock, released in 2000, is named after him.
A strong supporter of higher education, Warnock and his wife, Marva, have supported three presidential endowed chairs in computer science, mathematics and fine arts at the University of Utah and also an endowed chair in medical research at Stanford University.