iText 2.0.5 released

Talk about PDF and Java (or PDF and C#), and people instantaneously think of iText (or or its .NET port iTextSharp). iText is a very active project, yet there hadn't been a 2.0.x release since June 4. That's over 3 months ago! What happened? We had the last 1.x.y release (1.5.3) in August, but why wait that long to release iText 2.0.5? Does this mean we didn't work on any new functionality? Certainly not.

On the contrary! In today's release we've fixed some very obstinate bugs (especially concerning the indentation of paragraphs, tables and other basic building blocks), we drastically improved performance in some specific cases, and we're more tolerant in 'Garbage In, Garbage Out' situations: faulty TIFFs or faulty PDFs that are used as input don't cause errors as often as before.

As for new features: you can now add content to pages with PdfCopy (should I rewrite the iText book now?), there's support for PDF/A-1 (similar to the PDF/X support), you can now choose your own names for Document Level JavaScript snippets, define XMP metadata on the page level, and so on...

But there's more. We've updated the acknowledgments list:
Have a look at it; maybe YOU are on it! If you are listed in the section 'Code Contributions', you will probably be invited to write a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) soon (unless there's specifically mentioned that you wrote the code for somebody else). We also encourage the people in the other categories to keep on improving iText. The CLA will be published online as soon as the text is definitive (lawyers always need time to put the dots on the i); minor feature contributors are also welcome to sign the CLA; we plan giving away free books to our contributors; so if you have some code that might qualify for the next release, post a message on the mailing list.

Finally, we're also working on a new tool to Read and Update PDF Syntax (RUPS). It's like the TreeView plug-in in the iText toolbox, but it's capable of showing the syntax of much larger PDF documents in much greater detail. You'll also be able to do some very dangerous stuff: you'll be able to change the PDF Syntax directly.
It goes without saying that the target audience of this tool will be people that know their PDF, and that know the consequences of changing a content stream or other PDF objects.
RUPS primary goal is to be a tool that is useful for debugging PDF documents, it allows you to inspect the structure so that you can analyze a PDF internally (it'll be like an X-Ray machine for your PDF).

Hopefully I'll be able to tell more about this next week!

Posted by Bruno Lowagie 2007-09-09