Community PDF Project (was Revenue and the Open Source edition)

Kevin Miller kevin at
Thu May 5 07:52:09 EDT 2016

I think its worth a quick chime in here. The total development costs for
XPDF ran into the tens of thousands of dollars. Our acquisition/trade cost
for them was not cheap either. It is unlikely we could recoup that
investment or invest in them further (as we plan to do) selling these as
low cost add ons. They need to within the Business license. That isn¹t to
say that from time to time some features might trickle down but we have no
immediate plans to do that at the moment.

Of course we¹d welcome a community project to display PDF and if you want
support and pointers on how to do that with a widget we¹ll be happy to
help. Bear in mind however that basic display is already possible with the
browser included in all editions of LC.

Kind regards,


Kevin Miller ~ kevin at ~
LiveCode: Everyone can create apps

On 04/05/2016, 18:28, "use-livecode on behalf of Paul Dupuis"
<use-livecode-bounces at on behalf of paul at>

>On 5/4/2016 12:13 PM, RM wrote:
>> I would suppose the ideal thing would be both something that allows
>> one to render a PDF document,
>> and extract all or part of an embedded text layer (if one exists in
>> the original PDF).
>The XPDF external from LiveCode for OSX and Win is based on Google's
>PDFium library. I can say this because I know something about the
>details of XPDF. Researchware (my company) development XPDF and recently
>transferred the rights to LiveCode.
>Richard is correct in that the XPDF external not only opens and displays
>a PDF, but allows zooming, navigation, layout, hyperlinks, selection of
>text (for PDFs with editable text) or any potion of any page as an image
>selection, and allows you to extract text or images. It also supports
>password protected PDFs and more. Therefore, if ALL you want is just to
>display pages from a PDF it is certainly more than you may need. The
>same could be said about the feature set of LiveCode itself.
>Richmond just showed that some people want more - in his case,
>extraction of all of part of the text. If you ONLY want to do that under
>script control, then that would be an incremental effort over just
>displaying a PDF.
>If you want the USER to be able to select text (or images), then that is
>a significant chunk of work beyond just displaying a PDF as the PDFium
>library contains NO APIs for user selection and that must be original
>code added by the external. A large amount of effort went into making
>sure user selection of text was as good as Adobe or Preview or Foxit's
>PDF viewers, which was definitely not as easy as one might expect (or
>I can tell you that a LOT of developer time (i.e money) went into the
>creation, QA testing, and refinement of XPDF.
>Obviously, since Google PDFium is open source, anyone can create an
>alternative to XPDF, perhaps an even better version. If people want to
>build one, I encourage it. A competitive market of LiveCode PDF widgets
>just gives me more choice for my company's PDF needs ;-) However,  I
>offer the caution of experience that there are a lot more little
>"gotchas" in working with PDFium that anyone may realize, even after
>reading the APIs, and making another from scratch may be much more work
>than people might expect.
>I think those interested in PDF might be better off continuing to lobby
>for LiveCode to offer XPDF as an add-on (like so many other excellent LC
>add-ons from Chartmaker to Wordlib to RRP Spell) for a appropriate
>price. It seems only logical that eventually they would convert it to an
>LC8 Widget as well.
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