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Web browser object?

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vertigre
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Joined: 2006-02-17

I think this project should try to include a web browser object as well. There are various java based web browsers out there (like the one integrated into NetBeans), and you could get a good start on the problem by absorbing one of those.

A web browser is a critical component of building useful user applications such as this. It allows nice formatting of help messages (for instance), and so much more. We don't want the users to always need to switch to a web browser to view every little piece of formatted data.

I think this would be a substantial help to the java community.

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Joshua Marinacci

I think your case is perfect for Flying Saucer. FS is based on two
postulates:
1) Rewriting a general webbrowser in Java with support for any broken
page is really, really, really hard. Writing a renderer only to
W3C specs is much easier.
2) Any program which wishes to embed an HTML component within it
probably has control over the webcontent to be displayed, and therefore
can ensure it is W3C compliant.

Any program that fits this way of thinking could make use of Flying
Saucer. Something that wants to view general webpages (say a custom
browser that video tapes every site you visit) would need to use a
platform native webbrowser.

Does that make sense? What sort of program are you making?

- Joshua

Andy Depue wrote:
> I can see where JDIC has its uses, and I'm definitely chearing for the project
> - but in many rich clients, JDIC would not be an ideal solution. Because
> JDIC relies on a native browser, it is not as WORA as the rich client itself.
> If you are deploying primarily to Windows, this may not be such a big issue.
> However, for many projects (including our own) this creates a problem for the
> less popular operating systems. Moreover, you would be using different
> browsers on different platforms. JDIC may use Internet Explorer on XP and
> another browser in Linux. This complicates testing and forces one to deal
> with all the slight incompatabilities between browsers. I believe that a
> robust rich client platform needs its own HTML browser component. This does
> not rule out JDIC entirely. Our rich client application would primarily use
> an internal 100% Java browser component for its own presentation needs,
> enabling a consistent and compatible experience within the rich client
> itself, but for links to external sites and some other cases, it could be
> very useful to launch the native browser in a separate window or something.
> We are currently using JEditorPane, but will soon grow beyond its
> capabilities and be up a creek.
>
> Just my $0.02 worth.
>
> - Andy
>
> On Thursday 19 August 2004 11:57 am, jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
>
>>>I think this project should try to include a web
>>>browser object as well. There are various java based
>>>web browsers out there (like the one integrated into
>>>NetBeans), and you could get a good start on the
>>>problem by absorbing one of those.
>>
>>This project already exists (indeed, a kind of 'sibling' project of JDNC),
>>and is called JDIC (https://jdic.dev.java.net/).
>>
>>
>>>A web browser is a critical component of building
>>>useful user applications such as this. It allows nice
>>>formatting of help messages (for instance), and so
>>>much more. We don't want the users to always need to
>>>switch to a web browser to view every little piece of
>>>formatted data.
>>
>>May Swing components, including JLabel, formate short messages nicely
>>(http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing/components/html.html). For
>>larger texts, we also have the JEditorPane (with the HTMLEditorKit). ---
>>[Message sent by forum member 'ronaldtm' (Ronald Tetsuo Miura)]
>>
>>http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=23798島
>>
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>
>
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Amy Fowler

jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
>
> All I CAN say is that java2d and pdf go together really, really well. In half a week I had basic rendering, and in another couple of days decent performance. The PDF file format is really a glorified hashtable data model with a limited form of postscript. If FlyingSaucer is rendering to java2d now, then getting it to save to PDF shouldn't be too difficult.

On a historical note -- Adobe was a primary player in the initial definition
of the Java2D api, long before the JCP existed.

Aim

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Joshua Marinacci

facinating! Then it might even be possible to pass a fake Graphics2D
object to a component's paint() method, which would then serialize all
of the calls into a PDF stream! Nifty.

- Joshua

Amy Fowler wrote:
> jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
>
>>
>> All I CAN say is that java2d and pdf go together really, really well.
>> In half a week I had basic rendering, and in another couple of days
>> decent performance. The PDF file format is really a glorified
>> hashtable data model with a limited form of postscript. If
>> FlyingSaucer is rendering to java2d now, then getting it to save to
>> PDF shouldn't be too difficult.
>
>
> On a historical note -- Adobe was a primary player in the initial
> definition
> of the Java2D api, long before the JCP existed.
>
> Aim
>
>
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rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

> Interesting. I know that there are some PDF renderers
> already in the
> form of Batik, FOP, and iText. However they all
> involve working with the
> PDF layout model, or a proprietary one, which can be
> cumbersome. I think
> there would be a lot of interest in something that
> could render straight
> XHTML to a PDF. Then you could write your PDF in a
> a more familiar
> language. How difficult do you think that would be?
> We are planning on
> doing printing support (ie, calculate inchs an cm's
> at printer
> resolution and supporting CSS page breaking hints),
> so PDF rendering
> could work in to that pretty nicely.

OH, sorry, I don't mean to say it renders to PDF, but parses PDF and renders to java2d. I don't really know much about XHTML specifically, so I couldn't really say. All I CAN say is that java2d and pdf go together really, really well. In half a week I had basic rendering, and in another couple of days decent performance. The PDF file format is really a glorified hashtable data model with a limited form of postscript. If FlyingSaucer is rendering to java2d now, then getting it to save to PDF shouldn't be too difficult.

A note about my code: it doesn't work with any generic pdf file yet, but was coded with the specific goal of getting jasperreports pdf files to be parseable, and at least for the reports we are generating in our inhouse app it works flawlessly.

Rich

Way off topic, I know, sorry.

Andy Depue

This is way cool. We will be in the exact same boat soon. It is easy enough
to deal with pdfs in a web app... just send it to the user, and the user's
browser will take care of the rest. But in a Java rich client, something as
simple as viewing a pdf file can become difficult. We need to generate pdf
so that the user can save it, e-mail it, print it, distribute it, and so
on... but they are also going to want to view the report in the rich client
itself before doing any of those things.

- Andy

On Friday 20 August 2004 12:20 am, jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:

> OH, sorry, I don't mean to say it renders to PDF, but parses PDF and
> renders to java2d. I don't really know much about XHTML specifically, so I
> couldn't really say. All I CAN say is that java2d and pdf go together
> really, really well. In half a week I had basic rendering, and in another
> couple of days decent performance. The PDF file format is really a
> glorified hashtable data model with a limited form of postscript. If
> FlyingSaucer is rendering to java2d now, then getting it to save to PDF
> shouldn't be too difficult.
>
> A note about my code: it doesn't work with any generic pdf file yet, but
> was coded with the specific goal of getting jasperreports pdf files to be
> parseable, and at least for the reports we are generating in our inhouse
> app it works flawlessly.
>
> Rich
>
> Way off topic, I know, sorry.
> ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'rbair' (Richard Bair)]

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ddogg
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Joined: 2006-02-17

< If you ever decide to start a PDF rendering project,
> let me know. I have a code contribution ready to go.
> Actually, anybody who's interested give me a ring. I
> don't have time for the project, but basic
> parsing/rendering (100% java, no dependance on any
> external pdf libraries) works, and is pretty fast
> (about a half second behind Adobe acrobat).

Sir:

I am trying to make a web browser using swing and I would like to do actually pdf rendering. So I would love to see that code-I am just doing it for a school project-so I am not developing it as a huge project-just something to get me by.

Thanks for your time.

rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

Hey,

the pdf rendering code is in the jdnc-incubator.dev.java.net project. In CVS, it is in src/java/org/jdesktop/jdnc/incubator/rbair/swing/pdf. A JPDFPanel is in src/java/org/jdesktop/jdnc/incubator/rbair/swing/JPDFPanel.

Note that the code is raw, and works (for the most part) for simple PDF files. A more complete PDF renderer might be available in the not too distant future, but that depends a lot on community involvement.

Good luck
Richard

idk
Offline
Joined: 2005-01-12

Hey,

Adobe has a "Acrobat Viewer JavaBean"
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrviewer/acrvdnld.html

Not sure what the license is.

Best,
Igor

rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

Hey Igor,

Ya, that was one of the first PDF viewers I used when looking around early last year. It was so bad, I wrote my own :). I don't know if they've updated theirs, but I doubt it since the required JVM is still 1.1.8 (AFAIK).

Thanks
Richard

milicevic
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Joined: 2006-02-17

Have you considered extending Flying Saucer to accept JNDC markup? Basically allowing Swing to be inserted in html content (rather than html inserted in a Swing application)?

It would be really cool to extend your DOM to make Swing a first-class html citizen.

Joshua Marinacci

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but yes we are looking at
integrating Flying Saucer with other projects. Several people have
asked about using xhtml to lay out screens instead of LayoutManagers.
We welcome these kinds of projects, but all of our efforts are
currently devoted to CSS 2.1 compliance. We always welcome outside
contributions, of course. :)

Thanks,
- Josh

On Apr 21, 2005, at 8:09 PM, jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:

> Have you considered extending Flying Saucer to accept JNDC markup?
> Basically allowing Swing to be inserted in html content (rather than
> html inserted in a Swing application)?
>
> It would be really cool to extend your DOM to make Swing a first-class
> html citizen.
> ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'milicevic' (Marko)]
>
> http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=73818
>
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puccio_13
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Joined: 2005-04-18

Hi, I am trying to find a 100% java open browser which could provide me back with useful APIs for document manipulation even on user input, things that cannot be done with the embedded native browser solution adopted in JDIC.

I saw the xhtmlrenderer project, and componing various projects I think a real (but minimal) browser could be done in little time, using:

-[i]HttpUnit[/i] to emulate browser behaviour
-[i]NekoHTML[/i] or [i]JTidy[/i] to clean html pages
-[i]xhtmlrenderer[/i] to display the xhtml+css

Other things could be added later I guess.

What do you think about it?
Alessio Pace

Patrick Wright

Hi Alessio

I'm one of the xhtmlrenderer developers. FYI, it is completely
independent of JDNC.

On 4/21/05, jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> Hi, I am trying to find a 100% java open browser which could provide me back with useful APIs for document manipulation even on user input, things that cannot be done with the embedded native browser solution adopted in JDIC.
>
Not sure what you mean. You need a) a browser and b) document
manipulation, like JavaScript/DHTML?

In the latest CVS code (we're aiming towards a release in a few weeks)
we are able to get some dynamic behavior--we can handle changes on
hover--but a bunch more work needs to be done before we can handle
document manipulation by external code, mainly for efficiency
reasons--we can't currently repaint just portions of the screen, for
example, and the layout/styling code isn't meant to be dynamic right
now.

> I saw the xhtmlrenderer project, and componing various projects I think a real (but minimal) browser could be done in little time, using:
>
> -[i]HttpUnit[/i] to emulate browser behaviour
> -[i]NekoHTML[/i] or [i]JTidy[/i] to clean html pages
> -[i]xhtmlrenderer[/i] to display the xhtml+css

With the latest CVS code you can specify any XML parser that you want,
and I've tried JTidy as well as TagSoup for "cleaning" pages. That
sort of works, but there are a lot of pages "in the wild" that we
currently can't render due to other limitations. That is--the parsing
works, just that the styling or layout people are doing "in the wild,
wild internet" doesn't always work.

We have a very simple loading system and caching system. We aren't
aiming to be a "browser" so it will remain simple, although if someone
want's to provide an adaptor for an HTTP client package (Apache
Jakarta has one), that could do cookies, proper headers, etc.

All those caveats aside, it's turning into a very nice package, and
the code is improving steadily.

All that said, it is the best non-commercial pure-Java X/HTML & CSS
renderer out there, AFAICT. In its current state it's certainly usable
as long as you follow the straight and narrow. Please join our mailing
list to contribute ideas and code!

Regards
Patrick

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puccio_13
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Joined: 2005-04-18

In pratice here at my university we would like to write an application which needs an embedded a brower to extract some useful data from the web (FIFA players for example :)

I say a browser because we potentially need to navigate through remote web pages that are accessible only with support of cookies, javascript (you know some web pages have javascript navigation menu), and web form to provide login info to access protected portion of the web site.
All of the above is perfectly possible "behind the scenes" with HttpUnit.

Then, we would like the user to select what part of the page he is most interested in: "selecting" in the web page we would like it to result in "selecting" into the DOM associated with the page, something that actually could be done with some JavaScript (but this solution does not integrate well with a Java project, and we hate developing in JS :)

I think maybe some students could be interested in provinding some user base (or even some "developer base"), but those are our requirements now, and actually we may need to buy IceSOFT Browser :(

By the way, which of the various xhtmlrenderer mailing lists have I to join' I am pretty new to dev.java.net ?

Thanks and keep on with the good work!
Alessio Pace

Patrick Wright

Alessio

> I say a browser because we potentially need to navigate through remote web pages that are accessible only with support of cookies, javascript (you know some web pages have javascript navigation menu), and web form to provide login info to access protected portion of the web site.
> All of the above is perfectly possible "behind the scenes" with HttpUnit.

Cookies and such can be added using HttpUnit or HttpClient, but
navigation menus using JS won't be possible right now--it is on our
list, though. HttpUnit or HttpClient have not been integrated at this
point.

> Then, we would like the user to select what part of the page he is most interested in: "selecting" in the web page we would like it to result in "selecting" into the DOM associated with the page, something that actually could be done with some JavaScript (but this solution does not integrate well with a Java project, and we hate developing in JS :)

Hmm. Well, we are using a DOM and can identify boxes (and thus,
elements) on screen by mouse position--this is how hover works, and
how anchors cause the cursor to change. So you could access this sort
of thing programatically, through Java or another JVM language.

> I think maybe some students could be interested in provinding some user base (or even some "developer base"), but those are our requirements now, and actually we may need to buy IceSOFT Browser :(

Well, we welcome the help. Supporting commercial software companies is
a good thing, everybody needs work. We welcome your support and any
help or feedback you can give--even test cases and bugs are very
welcome.

> By the way, which of the various xhtmlrenderer mailing lists have I to join' I am pretty new to dev.java.net ?

The "active" mailing list is "dev"--dev@xhtmlrenderer.dev.java.net

See you there.
Patrick

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Andy Depue

I can see where JDIC has its uses, and I'm definitely chearing for the project
- but in many rich clients, JDIC would not be an ideal solution. Because
JDIC relies on a native browser, it is not as WORA as the rich client itself.
If you are deploying primarily to Windows, this may not be such a big issue.
However, for many projects (including our own) this creates a problem for the
less popular operating systems. Moreover, you would be using different
browsers on different platforms. JDIC may use Internet Explorer on XP and
another browser in Linux. This complicates testing and forces one to deal
with all the slight incompatabilities between browsers. I believe that a
robust rich client platform needs its own HTML browser component. This does
not rule out JDIC entirely. Our rich client application would primarily use
an internal 100% Java browser component for its own presentation needs,
enabling a consistent and compatible experience within the rich client
itself, but for links to external sites and some other cases, it could be
very useful to launch the native browser in a separate window or something.
We are currently using JEditorPane, but will soon grow beyond its
capabilities and be up a creek.

Just my $0.02 worth.

- Andy

On Thursday 19 August 2004 11:57 am, jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> > I think this project should try to include a web
> > browser object as well. There are various java based
> > web browsers out there (like the one integrated into
> > NetBeans), and you could get a good start on the
> > problem by absorbing one of those.
>
> This project already exists (indeed, a kind of 'sibling' project of JDNC),
> and is called JDIC (https://jdic.dev.java.net/).
>
> > A web browser is a critical component of building
> > useful user applications such as this. It allows nice
> > formatting of help messages (for instance), and so
> > much more. We don't want the users to always need to
> > switch to a web browser to view every little piece of
> > formatted data.
>
> May Swing components, including JLabel, formate short messages nicely
> (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing/components/html.html). For
> larger texts, we also have the JEditorPane (with the HTMLEditorKit). ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'ronaldtm' (Ronald Tetsuo Miura)]
>
> http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=23798&#23798
>
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ronaldtm
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-18

> I can see where JDIC has its uses, and I'm definitely chearing for the project
> - but in many rich clients, JDIC would not be an ideal solution. Because
> JDIC relies on a native browser, it is not as WORA as the rich client itself.
> If you are deploying primarily to Windows, this may not be such a big issue.
> However, for many projects (including our own) this creates a problem for the
> less popular operating systems. Moreover, you would be using different
> browsers on different platforms. JDIC may use Internet Explorer on XP and
> another browser in Linux. This complicates testing and forces one to deal
> with all the slight incompatabilities between browsers. I believe that a
> robust rich client platform needs its own HTML browser component. This does
> not rule out JDIC entirely. Our rich client application would primarily use
> an internal 100% Java browser component for its own presentation needs,
> enabling a consistent and compatible experience within the rich client
> itself, but for links to external sites and some other cases, it could be
> very useful to launch the native browser in a separate window or something.

What about using wrapper interfaces, so that it's possible to change the underlying browser implementation? This way we could use JDIC while others aren't mature enough, and it would be easy to switch to the 100% pure java one later.

Well, it should be decided if this project is the right place to this component first, though...

vertigre
Offline
Joined: 2006-02-17

Wow, good stuff all. Personally, I would love to see a java pdf rendering component. I think cocoon can already render XML or XHTML to PDF, so that part is done already.

As for browsers, I think having a native java implementation is key. I like using the webbrowser in netBeans, for instance, to view javadocs. I would say that it might be smart to just appropriate that one as a core to build on, but the XHTML browser sounds like a better idea to me. Looks like you guys are well on your way. It might be fun to bundle up a browser with the XHTML, PDF and JTidy components as a proof of concept.

Amy Fowler

We'll also look into using JDIC's embeddable native browser support
for this functionality. As much as I'd love an all-java solution, the
native browsers are hard to duplicate.

Aim

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ronaldtm
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-18

> I think this project should try to include a web
> browser object as well. There are various java based
> web browsers out there (like the one integrated into
> NetBeans), and you could get a good start on the
> problem by absorbing one of those.

This project already exists (indeed, a kind of 'sibling' project of JDNC), and is called JDIC (https://jdic.dev.java.net/).

> A web browser is a critical component of building
> useful user applications such as this. It allows nice
> formatting of help messages (for instance), and so
> much more. We don't want the users to always need to
> switch to a web browser to view every little piece of
> formatted data.

May Swing components, including JLabel, formate short messages nicely (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing/components/html.html). For larger texts, we also have the JEditorPane (with the HTMLEditorKit).

rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

> This project already exists (indeed, a kind of
> 'sibling' project of JDNC), and is called JDIC
> (https://jdic.dev.java.net/).

Yes, but as I understand it jdic doesn't have a native java html renderer, but utilizes the platform's default html application. This may be good enough. We'd have to poll everybody though. On the other hand, some other fella on javadesktop was starting a browser component and it's better to leverage that than to start yet another one.

> May Swing components, including JLabel, formate short
> messages nicely
> (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/uiswing/compo
> nents/html.html). For larger texts, we also have the
> JEditorPane (with the HTMLEditorKit).

Sure, for simple html it works wonderfully. But for complex HTML it simply doesn't work.

rameshgupta
Offline
Joined: 2004-06-04

> > This project already exists (indeed, a kind of
> > 'sibling' project of JDNC), and is called JDIC
> > (https://jdic.dev.java.net/).
>
> Yes, but as I understand it jdic doesn't have a
> native java html renderer, but utilizes the
> platform's default html application. This may be good
> enough. We'd have to poll everybody though. On the
> other hand, some other fella on javadesktop was
> starting a browser component and it's better to
> leverage that than to start yet another one.
>

I haven't seen Joshua Marinacci's XHTMLRenderer, but you could try that:
http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=13126#13126

Ramesh

Joshua Marinacci

Hi. If you are looking to display the output of a reporting system then
Flying Saucer, my 100% Java XHTML Renderer is probably what you want.
It's not a webbrowser in that it won't display random badly formmated
pages on the web, but it has good compliance with strict XHTML and CSS.
You could also add JTidy in as a compatiblity layer if you really
needed to deal with legacy HTML.

When I first released the code it was pretty limited and slow, but in
the 3 months since it's been on Java.net we've made great progress. Two
of our developers put in a new CSS system that has given us a five fold
speed increase, and we support most CSS properties now. Pretty much the
only things missing are incremental rendering and absolute positioning,
neither of which is probably much of an issue for displaying reports.

Our next big release, R3, has the bulk of these improvments and will be
out in the next week or two. If you are interested then please join the
mailing list and tell us how you'd like to use it and what features
you'll require.

Thanks for your interest,

- Joshua

jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
>>>This project already exists (indeed, a kind of
>>>'sibling' project of JDNC), and is called JDIC
>>>(https://jdic.dev.java.net/).
>>
>>Yes, but as I understand it jdic doesn't have a
>>native java html renderer, but utilizes the
>>platform's default html application. This may be good
>>enough. We'd have to poll everybody though. On the
>>other hand, some other fella on javadesktop was
>>starting a browser component and it's better to
>>leverage that than to start yet another one.
>>
>
>
> I haven't seen Joshua Marinacci's XHTMLRenderer, but you could try that:
> http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=13126#13126
>
> Ramesh
> ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'rameshgupta' (Ramesh Gupta)]
>
> http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=23804&#23804
>
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rbair
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Joined: 2003-07-08

Hey other fella ;-)

I'm glad to hear the project is still coming along. I wish I had time to contribute there as well -- it sounds like a fun project.

Inasmuch as Flying Saucer is moving forward so well, I'm in favor of supporting the project and potentially including it in the jdnc download as an add-on jar, but definately NOT in writing a competing implementation.

Rich

Joshua Marinacci

Thanks. The code is still pretty crufty right now so we don't have a
great need for more developers (though they are always welcome). What we
need is more *users*. We need people who have their own uses for an
XHTML component embedded in a Java application. Only by getting bug
reports and usage feedback can we make it a great project.

Is there anyone out there who is working on one of the following?
chat/IM program
javadoc/help program
ebook reader
report generation
photo album publisher
slideshow presentation
blogging software
splash screen / credit screen / about box
online music store :)

These are the kinds of programs I see Flying Saucer being good at.

http://xhtmlrenderer.dev.java.net/

As an aside: what license would best fit with JDNC? We are currently
LGPL, but we are open to any other license. My basic philosophy is: if
you modify inside the xhtml packages you must contribute back. If you
modify outside the xhtml packages you can do whatever you want.

Thanks guys,
Joshua

jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:

> Hey other fella ;-)
>
> I'm glad to hear the project is still coming along. I wish I had time to contribute there as well -- it sounds like a fun project.
>
> Inasmuch as Flying Saucer is moving forward so well, I'm in favor of supporting the project and potentially including it in the jdnc download as an add-on jar, but definately NOT in writing a competing implementation.
>
> Rich
> ---
> [Message sent by forum member 'rbair' (Richard Bair)]
>
> http://www.javadesktop.org/forums/thread.jspa?messageID=23815&#23815
>
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rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

I'll be sure to give it a try. I'm using html rendering for, well, general HTML rendering (and hoping nobody tries to see any really tough HTML :-), but would love to add reports and help to the mix, though it may be a few months.

Off Topic:

If you ever decide to start a PDF rendering project, let me know. I have a code contribution ready to go. Actually, anybody who's interested give me a ring. I don't have time for the project, but basic parsing/rendering (100% java, no dependance on any external pdf libraries) works, and is pretty fast (about a half second behind Adobe acrobat).

Joshua Marinacci

jdnc-interest@javadesktop.org wrote:
> I'll be sure to give it a try. I'm using html rendering for, well,
> general HTML rendering (and hoping nobody tries to see any really
> tough HTML :-), but would love to add reports and help to the mix,
> though it may be a few months.

We are in the process of writing a JTidy based translation layer (as an
addon. we don't want to pollute the core renderer with non-compliant
code) to view Javadocs. Our goal is to create a fast and attractive
JavaDoc viewer as an demo of what Flying Saucer can do. You might want
to take a look at it when we release V3 (hopefully by the end of this
month).

> Off Topic:
>
> If you ever decide to start a PDF rendering project, let me know. I
> have a code contribution ready to go. Actually, anybody who's
> interested give me a ring. I don't have time for the project, but
> basic parsing/rendering (100% java, no dependance on any external pdf
> libraries) works, and is pretty fast (about a half second behind
> Adobe acrobat). --- [Message sent by forum member 'rbair' (Richard
> Bair)]

Interesting. I know that there are some PDF renderers already in the
form of Batik, FOP, and iText. However they all involve working with the
PDF layout model, or a proprietary one, which can be cumbersome. I think
there would be a lot of interest in something that could render straight
XHTML to a PDF. Then you could write your PDF in a more familiar
language. How difficult do you think that would be? We are planning on
doing printing support (ie, calculate inchs an cm's at printer
resolution and supporting CSS page breaking hints), so PDF rendering
could work in to that pretty nicely.

Thanks
- Joshua

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rameshgupta
Offline
Joined: 2004-06-04

> > Off Topic:
> >
> I think there would be a lot of interest in something that
> could render straight XHTML to a PDF.
> Then you could write your PDF in a more familiar
> language. How difficult do you think that would be?

It should be easier if you restrict the source to XHTML, because then you can use XSL to transform it to PDF. I think Richard is offering HTML to PDF, though (with the HTML parsing code and all).

Ramesh

rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

> > > Off Topic:
> > >
> > I think there would be a lot of interest in
> something that
> > could render straight XHTML to a PDF.
> > Then you could write your PDF in a more familiar
> > language. How difficult do you think that would
> be?
>
> It should be easier if you restrict the source to
> XHTML, because then you can use XSL to transform it
> to PDF. I think Richard is offering HTML to PDF,
> though (with the HTML parsing code and all).

Actually, I was being even more off topic than that :-). There are lots of things that render TO pdf, but what I've written is code that reads (parses) pdf files and renders to java2d.

Rich

rbair
Offline
Joined: 2003-07-08

I agree that a real web browser component is very important for all rich clients that I've ever worked on. HTML based help is one good reason, print preview is another. A lot of reporting solutions provide many alternative print preview outputs (html, pdf, xls, etc). However, in my experiments with Crystal (perhaps the highest rated commercial java reporting solution) the html was unreadable by the JEditorPane :(.

I don't know if it is better to house the component in this project, though, or just bundle it as an add-on.

Rich