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PDF Reader or Viewer in Java ME?

Richard Sargent

Joined: May 22, 2004
Posts: 3
Hello all.

How realistic might it be to write a PDF viewer in ME? I'm a little disgruntled that my phone (Blackberry) does not have a free app to view PDF files, and thought I'd look into doing something myself.

I admit I'm new to ME, and also that this endeavour might not be a sensible one, hence the question. Am I barking up an entire forest of wrong trees, or is there something in ME that is worth looking at?

Thanks in advance,
Paul Clapham

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 19973

Well, the PDF specifications are several hundred pages in length. So that suggests the project might have certain complexities.

However I wouldn't assume that it isn't on your Blackberry because it's too hard to do. My Blackberry comes with an e-mail client which tells me when I received an e-mail but doesn't tell me when it was sent, just for example. So it's certainly possible that RIM has just been spending more on marketing than they have been spending on programming their device.
Ulf Dittmer

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 42965
There's a decent library for displaying PDFs called PDF-Renderer on It's written for JSE, though - I'm not sure how much stuff it uses that's not available in JME. The jar file clocks in at 2 MB, but I'm sure that could be trimmed down at least somewhat, maybe by leaving out print functionality and other unnecessary features.
Richard Sargent

Joined: May 22, 2004
Posts: 3
Thanks for the replies. I'm still rather keen on the idea, and no one has said I must be a little bit on the mad side for even contemplating it, which is encouraging. Looks like there's some reading to be done.
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 17410

PDF's on small devices are a real pain. A reader came with my Android phone, but, like I just said over on the Android forum, it's like trying to read a document through a keyhole.

A PDF viewer needs a PostScript renderer and a controlling GUI. It might be a bit of trouble to pack that much complexity into some of the older devices where memory is at a premium.

An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
I agree. Here's the link:
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