Friday, 17 May 2013

Ubuntu Touch: Poppler or MuPDF as PDF renderer

Hi,

during my thoughts about the printing stack for Ubuntu Touch [1] I came
to the conclusion that printing needs a PDF renderer to turn incoming
PDF into the printer's language (PWG Raster, PostScript, PCL, ...) but a
PDF renderer needs already to be on a mobile device to make it able to
display PDF files on the screen.

The Ubuntu desktop uses Poppler for screen display and Ghostscript for
printing. On a mobile device this is overkill. We need only one PDF
renderer and also no PostScript interpreter as for printing we expect
all apps to send PDF.

So Ghostscript is out of the question here as it is large and the PDF
interpreter is written in PostScript. Poppler has the advantage of
having a long history and so it should deal best with quirky files.
MuPDF is written with lightweightness in mind, is the only free software
which allows filling and saving PDF forms, and is written by the
Ghostscript developers who are experts on the field of printing.

So I want to call for testing the two (Poppler, MuPDF) and for discussion.

We have also a Blueprint [2] and a Wiki page [3].

Till

[1]https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/client-1305-printing-stack-with-mobile-in-mind
[2]https://blueprints.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/client-1305-pdf-renderer-for-ubuntu-touch
[3]https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/PDFRenderer

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