GOOGLE HAS RELEASED the source code of its PDF software library to the open source community.
The code, entitled Pdfium, is baked into the Chrome web browser and renders portable document format (PDF) files using technology from PDF application Foxit.
Foxit founder and chairman Eugene Xiong Foxit said on the company blog, "Foxit is honoured to be chosen as the PDF provider for the open-source Pdfium project. Our high performance, highly accurate, and platform-independent software technology will help developers everywhere to incorporate powerful PDF technology when creating innovative applications."
Foxit has been around for over a decade, and has on occasion been criticised for its policy of including bundleware with its downloads. The open sourcing of the PDF rendering software will leave it able to concentrate on corporate customers while the community gets on with Pdfium.
The announcement was made by Google employee and self-confessed "Chromevangelist" Francois Beaufort on his Google+ profile, who told readers, "If your next project is under (an open source licence) I cannot recommend enough you go learn how simple it is to build PDFium and see how Chrome uses it internally."
Certain aspects of the source code will have to remain under wraps as they contain elements of code owned by Adobe. Google is already in trouble over source code licencing after Oracle recently won an appeal, arguing that Android is based on copyrighted Java APIs.
The PDF software source code is available on the Google code website. µ