Library for reading and writing PDF files.

PDF files can be opened and all PDF objects are available as Smalltalk objects, which can be manipulated in any way you like. Likewise, any Smalltalk PDF object (net) can be written out as conforming PDF file.

The library implements the PDF specification (ISO standard PDF 32000-1:2008) in Cincom's VisualWorks Smalltalk.

The syntax and basic machinery is covered comprehensively, which let's you read any PDF file and write any PDF object in a conforming way.

The library is for programmers who want full control over all details of PDFs.

See the release notes for details.

The licence is MIT.

PDF objects are typically dictionaries or arrays. The object types and their attributes are well documented by the PDF Specification. The library defines many PDF objects as Smalltalk objects (and it is easy to add more PDF types).

The code is as close to the specification as possible. The names of types and attributes are directly used for the implementation when appropriate. When studying the PDF specification (a nice read in most parts!), it is easy to find the relevant implementation in the library.

The library code is annotated with the original descriptions and definitions from the specification, so that learning about PDF itself is well supported.

Included is a UI tool to inspect PDFs: the PDFExplorer (internal version of the PDFtalk Snooper application).

The slides "PDF in Smalltalk" from the ESUG 2011 talk give an overview.

The slides "PDFtalk for Gemstone" from the ESUG 2017 talk.

The project was discussed in a podcast (German) from Smalltalk Inspect (mentioned in Joachims Small World).

Bob Nemec is using the library to build a report generator!

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  • Last modified: 2022/03/01 10:35
  • by christian