Announcing Poppler

Kristian Høgsberg krh at
Tue Mar 1 07:39:15 EET 2005


A couple of weeks ago there was some discussion about forking xpdf into 
a pdf rendering library.  The thread sort of died, but it's an important 
issue, so I've gone ahead a created this thing and called it poppler. 
I've talked to evince and kpdf authors about the idea, and there seem to 
be consensus that this is a good idea, and that these applications could 
move to poppler once it's usable.  Bryan Clark has been talking to Derek 
Noonburg, the Xpdf author, and says that Derek is OK with us forking Xpdf.

I have a first snapshot available on

which is based on the Xpdf fork in evince, so it has the latest CAN 
security fixes in it.  Aside from rearranging it to compile and install 
as a library I've changed the following:

  - Added Alex Larsons cairo output device and add an optional GTK+ cairo
    test program.
  - Made splash backend conditional.  When the cairo backend is more
    mature it might make sense to remove splash entirely, but for now I'm
    keeping the splash backend as an option.
  - Added optional GdkRGB based test program
  - Renamed files and functions in goo/ to GooHash, GooString etc. to
    avoid nasty glib clash.
  - Added pkg-config files poppler-cairo.pc and poppler-splash.pc
  - Removed xpdf application and command line tools.  It might make sense
    to add back the command line tools later.

I was talking to Albert about some of the changes they have in the kpdf 
fork, and there's a number of changes theres that we want to pull in:

  - String constification
  - Some support for using fontconfig for font lookup
  - Better support for printing subset of pages

The 0.1 snapshot is immediately usable with evince.  The in 
evince only need to check for poppler using pkg-config and the pdf/ 
subdirectory now looks like this:

The details are in this patch except for the removal of the xpdf files:

A similar simplification should be possible for kpdf, but I'd like to 
get this into CVS and pull in the kpdf changes first.

Sitewranglers: could you help set this up?

Project name: poppler
Short Description: A common PDF rendering library for integrating PDF 
viewing into desktop applications.
I already have an account (krh) on


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