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Chapter 21: A Roadmap for iText

Trivia

Opening Quote  

The opening quote "I swear to you, sitting a throne is a thousand times harder than winning one" was taken from the books A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.
Fragment from the book A Game of Thrones
I've read all the books that were published so far. Due to lack of time, I only watched the first couple of seasons of the HBO series Game of Thrones .

Buy A Song of Ice and Fire on Amazon .com / .co.uk / .es / .it / .fr / .de

PDF Standards

Being part of the ISO committees and contributing to the PDF standards has always been important for iText. This is a tweet I sent during the ISO meeting in San Jose in 2015.
Tweet from ISO meeting in San Jose in 2015

In 2016, the meetings of the ISO committee took place in Ghent. From left to right, you see Matthew Hardy (Adobe), Ferass Elrayes (NetCentric), Raf Hens (iText), Leonard Rosenthol (Adobe), Olaf Drümmer (Callas), Adam Spencer (Accessibil-IT), and Matt Kuznicki (Datalogics) discussing "structure" in text in a meeting room at the iText offices.
ISO meeting at iText offices in 2016
© 2016, personal collection Lowagie-Willaert

Project Tyrion: iText DITO

A recent video shows what iText DITO is about.

Book Quotes  

  • We could have rested on our laurels after winning on so many fronts. All the signs showed that our strategy was working. The changes we applied in 2014 went smoother than expected. I could have hoisted myself on a throne to enjoy the spectacle, but I was reading George R.R. Martins A Song of Ice and Fire series at the time. Those are the books on which the HBO series Game of Thrones (GoT) was based.
    I realized that a throne is a very dangerous place to sit on. To ensure that iText would survive in the long run, I wrote a paper in which I presented a dozen of start-up proposals. Each proposal had a link to PDF and could result in a spin-off company for iText.
    Internally, I referred to this paper as the “Game of Thrones document” because I had given each of my ideas the name of a character from the books as codename. In the series, George R.R. Martin isn’t afraid to kill his protagonists. I assumed that I would have to do the same with some of my ideas. Not every idea would result in a project; not every project would result in a product.
  • We decided to align the release of a rewritten iText with the publication of the new ISO standard for PDF. Apache FOP, PDFsharp, and PDFBox didn’t have the bandwidth to participate in the ISO process. They weren’t ready to start implementing PDF 2.0. This gave us a significant competitive advantage when compared to our FOSS competitors.
  • There’s a saying that warns you not to sell the skin of a bear before you’ve killed it. That saying is hopelessly outdated. Nowadays, you shouldn’t kill a bear unless you have a customer to purchase its skin. That’s much better from both an economical and an ecological point of view.

Movie References  

Project Arya was named that way because of the list Arya made with all the enemies she wanted killed. I kept a list with all the flaws in iText until it was long enough to rewrite the library from scratch.

Project Tyrion got its name because the goal was to create a product with the potential eclipse iText in terms of sales; eventually, it was my goal to offer iText under a permissive license.

Buy Game of Thrones (complete series) on Amazon .com / .co.uk / .es / .it / .fr / .de

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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