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

June 17th, 2011 in Technology / Software
Firefox

(PhysOrg.com) -- 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 Mozilla.org 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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"Firefox looks to use HTML5 to run PDFs in the web browser." June 17th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-06-firefox-html5-pdfs-web-browser.html