Reading PDF - a cry for help

Graham Samuel livfoss at mac.com
Thu Sep 29 10:01:13 EDT 2011


Folks, for some months now (it seems even longer) I have been seeking a solution to the problem of reading PDF-formatted images into Livecode stacks. What I'm looking for is solution that  looks like an 'import paint' command: in other words, I want to be able to load a small subset of the possible contents of a PDF - just bitmap images - into a stack via script. Sadly I want to do this on a PC, running at a minimum Windows XP. My users want a simple solution that makes reading from a PDF no more complicated than reading a JPG.

I have explored several possibilities, including using a 'free' PDF reader that is somehow hidden from the user of my app, and using say 'shell' to control it and to pass an image to LiveCode. However I have not found a realistic way of doing this, particularly when I include the need to have a very simple installation process - the user should not see any additional application, nor be obliged to provide substantial additional resources, as would be true for example if one used ImageMagick in this way in a PC context.

Short of RunRev itself extending input formats to include PDF (not impossible, but not likely in the short term), the solution would seem to be to licence a third-party library component and integrate it into my app by the use of bridging ('glue') code. I got pretty near with this one, having identified a component with suitable licensing terms and functionality (Sorax DLL). RunRev suggested that I could do the gluing with the aid of a 'C' programmer. It turns out after a lot of research by Thierry Douez, who has been helping me, that what I need is a person familiar with Visual Studio to accomplish this - but I despair of finding such a person who would also be familiar with the externals interface of the LiveCode engine. Maybe I will find such a person, but the trail does seem to have gone cold.

Has anyone any suggestion as to how I might proceed? My app works so nicely with JPG and PNG files, and I have (a little) belief that I could make it work with TIFF files, but without PDF input I am dead in the water.

TIA

Graham




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