[sugar] Viewing PDFs from Browse

Sayamindu Dasgupta sayamindu
Sun Oct 12 16:49:28 EDT 2008

On Sun, Oct 12, 2008 at 6:07 AM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com> wrote:
> On 12 Oct 2008, at 00:26, Sayamindu Dasgupta wrote:
>> I was thinking along similar terms, and here's the screenshot of the
>> latest version:
>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/pdf_embed/Screenshot.png
>> To get this in your own XO (I used this on a clean install of 767),
>> download the install the following two RPMs:
>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/pdf_embed/m4-1.4.10-3.fc9.i386.rpm
> I had a minor warning here, but otherwise the installs seems to have worked
> well:
> [olpc at xo-05-24-02 ~]$ sudo rpm --install m4-1.4.10-3.fc9.i386.rpm
> install-info: No such file or directory for /usr/share/info/m4.info
>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/pdf_embed/mozplugger-1.10.1-4.olpc3.i386.rpm
>> The viewer has to be downloaded from
>> http://dev.laptop.org/~sayamindu/pdf_embed/sugar-pdf-viewer.gz, put in
>> /usr/bin, decompressed, and then made executable.
>> If you click on a link to any PDF file in Browse after this, you
>> should get the PDF embedded in the Browse window itself.
> Yes, this is great, another big UI improvement!
> Now, I did go right for the map pdf content and start zooming way in and
> scrolling around, so I quickly bogged my XO down in CPU and memory, but
> that's just the same as would happen in Read anyway :-) Maybe my eyes are
> cheating me, but the text on the map seems much sharper when zoomed in with
> your new inline pdf viewer, in Read the text seemed to get a little softer
> (like a heavy AA).

I don't know why this is happening. I noticed that I do not set the
screen dpi explicitly (as done in Read). I'm not very familiar with
the internals of Poppler/Evince, but maybe that's the reason ?

> I noticed that at start and after a change in zoom, you get very quick
> visual zoom in/out, but if you watch sugar-pdf-viewer (or Read if you do the
> same there) you'll see the process try and hog 100% CPU for perhaps 10-20sec
> (depends on zoom level and pdf size etc). Scrolling at this time is
> obviously painful, I'm assuming it's doing some kind of background render of
> the entire page ? hoping to finish the whole page before you start
> scrolling? Just an observation. I wonder if the busy wait cursor could be
> triggered until the hidden background grinding has completed so the user has
> a visual indication that something is still working away?

Sounds look a good thing to do - I'll take a look and try to figure
out how hard that is. I tried this in the ImageViewer activity and it
didn't seem to work though, for some reasons.

>> You can also put the PDFs in the Journal if you want - the "Keep" feature
>> seems to
>> work for both local and remote PDF files.
> Yes, keep worked for me here, though it gave me a Journal entry called
> 803304.ai when I kept the europe.pdf from the WorldFactBookMaps bundle. The
> 803304.ai entry did open correctly in Read by default when I clicked it ?
> just thought the name was a little odd.

The save code tries to use the name defined in the PDF metadata if
possible. If the name is not possible, it uses the filename. Maybe it
would be a good idea to include a "downloaded from Browse" or "saved
from Browse" at the end of the journal entry title ?

> What with this and your light weight image viewer, you're really smoothing
> off some sharp UI corners, for me at least :-)

Thanks for the encouragement - it really feels good to hear these :-D


Sayamindu Dasgupta

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