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Topic: Re: Writing your own PDF viewer
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 58838
From: LeonardR
Date: 5/29/2002 05:35 PM

At 10:43 AM -0400 8/4/00, p-pdf-developer Listmanager wrote:
>I am new to the PDF developer's world. I am looking to develop a pdf viewer.

Good luck! It's a LOT of work (as I can attest, having just
finished one ;), and Adobe continues to make it more interesting as
they add more complex imaging features (like opacity) to the mix.

> Can anyone out there help me? Where can I find the PDF file format.
>What SDK is available and from where can I get it? what are the most
>useful websites and may be the reference books.
You may want to think about licensing the source/binary for
an existing one, rather than starting from scratch - it will EASILY
save you years(!) of work. There are a few non-Adobe PDF rendering
engines that I am aware of (not counting RIPs here):

Ghostscript/GSView () - available for
Mac OS, Windows and Unix. Open source (C), but you would want/need a
commercial license. It doesn't actually render PDF natively - it
instead converts PDF->Postscript and then renders the Postscript.

Xpdf () - available for Unix (XWindows).
Open source (C++), but you would need/want a commercial license. The
renderer is VERY XWindows-centric though it can be ported to other
platforms if you are willing to do a bunch of work

SPDF from Digital Applications () - available
for Mac OS, Windows and Unix. This is a complete PDF library, which
includes (among many other components) a x-platform PDF renderer. It
is API compatible with the Adobe PDF Library.

PDFPlus from Zeon () - available
for Windows and Unix. This is the rendering component of their
PDFCore library, but is not currently available.

jPDF () - a Java 1.2-based viewer.
It's very basic and simple, but a good starting point if you're a
Java person.

Hope that's helpful and feel free to ask any followup questions...

Leonard Rosenthol
Sr. Software Engineer (215) 922-3509 (voice)
Digital Applications (215) 440-0504 (fax)

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