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Google throws PDFium into the open source community

Search giant Google has revealed its PDF software library, PDFium, is now an Open Source project.

The project will be wrapped into the Chrome browser, replacing code that was previously closed source.

The news comes from a post on Google’s social network written by Chromium project evangelist Francois Beaufort.

“The Chromium team gives to developers a robust and reliable PDF library to view, search, print and form fill PDF files,” claimed Beaufort.

Although Chrome was largely Open Source already, many parts were closed for licensing reasons – for example Adobe Flash and Reader plugins.

“With PDFium, one of those major moving parts is now open as well. This is great for a lot of reasons. It reduces the number of closed pieces of Chrome, and thus the surface area for which people can be suspicious that we’re doing something shady,” claimed Peter Kasting, Chrome’s senior software engineer.

Collaboration with foxit software

PDF solutions firm Foxit Software worked with Google to develop the rendering engine for the library.

The firm’s PDF engine was praised by Kasting as the highest-quality available in the world.

“Foxit is honoured to be chosen as the PDF providers 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,” claimed Foxit founder Eugene Xiong.

Xiong also claimed that Google is reponsibile for “some of the most important Open Source projects of our time.”