Ben Litchfield wrote:


I'll start by answering your questions

1)What is minimum JDK required by PDFBox?

PDFBox currently requires 1.4, because it uses ImageIO and a couple other things that make development much easier. PDFBox was compatible with 1.3 for a long time, but I made a decision that sticking with 1.3 would cost too much in development time versus using existing stuff in 1.4. In addition 1.3 is now two major versions old and in the EOL phase. As this effort will take some time before it could be released would it be reasonable to move the minimum requirement up to 1.4 for Batik and FOP at that time?

I don't think FOP should step up to a minimum of 1.4. Just last week a user was saying on the user mailing list that needed FOP to run on JDK 1.2. A lot of big corporates are slow to upgrade their unix operating systems. And sometimes it is very difficult to get later JDK's working on older Unix platforms. Now since FOP is used a lot in batch processing, we should not be so quick to exclude these big corporations with old Unix platforms from using FOP.


Some additional comments,
*After the 0.7.2 release, PDFBox split the font infrastructure into another project, so aptly named FontBox. No official version has been released yet but the project was created and all font parsing logic was separated from PDFBox. As far as I can tell there is no open source font library and for many of the same reasons we have discussed I thought it would be better as a separate project. It sounds like there has already been some discussion on making a separate font library project, I would be happy to collaborate on and donate what little font parsing code I have to that project. It only makes sense for PDFBox/FOP/Batik/... to all use a single font library. It is starting to sound like a unified font system might be the first task.

As Jeremias already mentioned FORay Font is a standalone Font library that has evolved from FOP 0.20.5. Take a look at the FORay project for more details:

*I did not realize that other projects(Batik) were using FOP's pdf library, again a separate PDF&Font library makes that cleaner. As a side note, PDFs can contain SVG graphics, so I eventually saw PDFBox utilizing Batik, which makes things interesting :)

yes the dependencies between batik and FOP gets confusing at times :)



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