Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A zero-install* cross-platform PDF Viewer

After the recent updates to the BFO PDF Viewer applet to take advantage of the Java 6 Update 10 features we have also changed the applet hosting page so that it accepts parameters and passes them onto the applet.

The applet already had functionality to open PDF documents passed to it as parameters, but this provides the ability to open a PDF file in a specified viewer, on any operating system, with a single URL.

For example: http://bfo.co.uk/pdfviewer.html?pdf=http://bfo.co.uk/products/pdf/docs/userguide.pdf&feature.Menus=false

What would be more useful is if this was integrated into your browser so that you can open any links to PDF documents directly in the PDF Viewer - which is what the Firefox extension that I have written does: any link on a page that ends in .pdf will have an extra "Open link in PDF Viewer" context menu option.

Choosing this menu option will open the PDF document in a separate browser window that contains the PDF Viewer applet. You can install the Firefox extension from here: http://bfo.co.uk/bfopdfviewer.xpi

Obviously having Java 6 Update 10 or later makes the applet experience better, although we are specifying that each applet instance runs in its own JVM instance, which might slow down the applet startup a little, but is important for coping with larger PDF documents.

* I know Java requires a JVM installation - but I picked up this bit of marketing bollocks from the early days of Altio and figure desktop Java needs all the help it can get these days :-)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Java 6 Update 12 available

Go get it today - all you people with 64-bit browsers will be pleased with the 64-bit plugin.