Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser

Jun 17, 2011 by Katie Gatto weblog

( -- In the current generation of web browsers if you want to view a PDF in your web browser you are going to need the help of a plug-in to do it. While that may not sound like a major roadblock a growing number of users have expressed concerns over the security of using third party plug-ins on their systems, since they can also potentially be used to run malicious code.

People working at the Firefox project are looking to change all of that. They are currently working on a PDF reader that is developed with HTML5 and JavaScript. This may be a realistic option because web browsers and PDFs do a lot of the same tasks, rendering text and images on an as needed basis. This means that adding a PDF reader function to a is not a large leap forward in technology. The tool just needs a little bit more programming in order to do it.

The project, which has been in development for about a month, has been dubbed pdf.js, and is available on the site as a demo. The system does still have some glitches, since it is not even currently in its , but users can get an idea of how the system may work once the bugs have been worked out of the code.

While no release date has been given on the system the developers hope to be able to get the pdf.js project to render PDFs natively in the Firefox browser itself within the next three months.

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User comments : 5

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4 / 5 (1) Jun 17, 2011
Cool. Now just let me see which script is hanging and let me kill it individually, and I won't have to hunt you Firefox developer bastards down and reconfigure your I/O ports in an humorously obscene manner.
not rated yet Jun 17, 2011
It's great to finally see HTML5 out and working. A testament to open source software and its superiority. It opens up the world, makes my life easier and gives me what I want most, not to be too dependent on a single company. We've seen the harm that can do over the past 2 IT decades... Finally I can choose Adobe or HTML5. Thank you, for letting me choose.
not rated yet Jun 18, 2011
I couldn't get the demo to do anything, but I am glad that there is an effort underway to eliminate the need for a .pdf plug in.

Adobe is getting so difficult to deal with that the elimination of any need for their acrobat reader along with HTML5's ability to eliminate the need for flash video means we may soon be able to dispense with the need for Adobe products.
not rated yet Jun 18, 2011
Chrome works without official plugin from adobe. Rendering is also somewhat different (similar to quick view on google search page for pdf link).

Are they using HTML5 already?
not rated yet Jun 18, 2011
How do you determine what plugins Chrome is using?

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