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Chapter 5: My First PDF Library


Opening Quote  

The quote "Men who are doers can also be thinkers, but the thinking is done on the move, in the midst of events” was taken from the sixth book in the Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough. I read the first three book in Dutch; the rest in English.

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Master of Rome series Colleen McCullough

Acrobat History

This is a picture of the paper for "The Camelot Project" by John Warnock , displayed in the Acrobat museum in Adobe's Headquarters in San Jose:
The Camelot Paper John Warnock
© private collection Lowagie-Willaert

When writing the book, I tried to check the story of the tentative names for Acrobat online, but I didn't find any references. What I wrote about the choosing a name for Acrobat is based on the notes I took in Seattle during the talk Stories from the early history of Acrobat and PDF by Bob Wullf on August 15, 2013.
Bob Wulff talking about the history of PDF and Acrobat

Other PDF Libraries in 1998

When searching for a PDF library in 1998, I found two projects:

  • PJ by Nassib Nassar . When I look at the SourceForge page, I see that it was added on August 17, 2003, but it already existed much longer. The company Etymon was founded in 1998, but when I visit its original website, it gives me a "This site can’t be reached" error. I can only find it on the WaybackMachine and the information about the PDF library is quite outdated.
  • retepPDF by Peter Mount. This project was registered on SourceForge on February 6, 2000, which is earlier than iText. The project was renamed to gnujpdf which was registered on SourceForge on June 3, 2001. I have the impression, it hasn't been updated since 2013.

Unless someone can point me to more recent information, I think it's safe to say that both projects died a silent death.

Book Quotes  

  • I realized that I didn’t love PDF because I hadn’t captured the essence of the document format.

Movie References

The sentence "A Lowagie always pays his debts" is a reference to the Game of Thrones quote: "A Lannister always pays his debts."

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Soundtrack for this Chapter  

I listen to music, but my taste in music is questionable. I've selected a handful of songs for every chapters. Sometimes, there's a link to the chapter, sometimes I just like the song.

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