Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Firefox Mozilla News

Firefox 19 Launches With Built-In PDF Viewer 288

Posted by Soulskill
from the they-should-use-roman-numerals-for-launch-numbers dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla on Tuesday officially launched Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. The improvements include a built-in PDF viewer on the desktop and theme support as well as lower CPU requirements on Google's mobile platform. You can see the official changelogs here: desktop and Android."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Firefox 19 Launches With Built-In PDF Viewer

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:18PM (#42948597)

    I would be impressed if they included a Save As or Print To PDF File option like Google Chrome browser does.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by cristiroma (606375)
      Guess what? I have Firefox 18 and already has that. Go to File ... > Print ... > PDF > Save as PDF (also, Save as PostScript). Maybe only on Mac?
      • by MrYingster (594507) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:26PM (#42948711) Journal
        That's a Mac thing. Any program that uses Apple's built-in printer dialog can do it. So handy!
        • by Junta (36770) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:31PM (#42948771)
          It also happens in Linux. Don't have Windows handy at the moment, but I'd be surprised if Firefox on OSX and Linux has it but Windows did not.
        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          And the simple fact is its butt simple to give Windows the same functionality so ANY application that can print can give you a PDF. Simply go to Ninite [ninite.com] and check the box for either PDFCreator or CutePDF, your choice, then run it. Tada! Now any Windows application that can print can print as PDF.

          And building in a PDF reader is just dumb, either you have to cripple the hell out of it so many docs made with Adobe Reader won't format correctly or you open a big ass hole in the security thanks to how all the ext

        • by tyrione (134248)

          That's a Mac thing. Any program that uses Apple's built-in printer dialog can do it. So handy!

          It's not Apple's Built-in printer dialog that makes Save As PDF possible. It's the fact that Apple's Display Engine is Display PDF as a replacement to Display Postscript after Adobe wouldn't drop the $10/OS license attributed to NeXTSTEP/Openstep when we merged with Apple. So Grafanino, Barnes and others rewrote the damn thing in Display PDF. They extended services to it via the Preview application and other APIs for 3rd parties to leverage, including the slowly evolving Printer Dialogue UI.

    • I would be impressed if they included a Save As or Print To PDF File option like Google Chrome browser does.

      I'd be impressed if they included a Save As PDF option that wouldn't botch the PDF file. (The last time I did that with Chrome, there were strange fonts in the file and the top and bottom portions of each page were cropped. But perhaps they've fixed that one already...)

    • by lindi (634828)

      At least in Debian the "print to file" option has offered PDF support for ages.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        That is based on the OS having a print to pdf driver.

        So linux and OSX yes, windows requires a driver to be installed.

    • I would be impressed if they included a Save As or Print To PDF File option like Google Chrome browser does.

      Oops, I forgot one thing: Anyway, if you convert web pages into PDF with any frequency, you might be better of with using Prince XML - better quality and more control over the process, including slipping in your own style sheet. There's one really nice for Wikipedia, for example.

      • by tepples (727027)
        But is it worth $495 per seat, as the web site appears to imply?
        • It's free for non-commercial purposes. If you make money from converting web pages to PDF then it might just be worth that price - particularly if you need to automate PDF rendering.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      That's what CUPS-PDF is for. Any application that can print, can print to PDF with CUPS.

      • by lindi (634828)

        CUPS-PDF is a hack. It requires the print server to be able to write files to your home directory.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          How is that any different than the print server writing out to the printer?

          Everything is a file.

          • by MightyYar (622222)

            But most people don't run a print server for each user account. As a result, the print server user account needs to have write permission in other user's directories. It's not a big deal... just create a ~/CUPS_PDF folder and give it +w or use your favorite method to give CUPS write permission. But it is kind of hacky.

        • What else do you expect it to do?

    • Printing is an operating system function. Just install cutePDF [cutepdf.com], then everything that can print can print to PDF.
    • by xiando (770382)

      Print To PDF File option

      File, Print, Print To File, select PDF or PostScript. Firefox (on Linux) has had this feature since long before it was named Firefox.

      >2013
      >Not using GNU/Linux
      shiggyshiggy

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:19PM (#42948613) Homepage

    New? That went in a few Firefox versions back, I think at Firefox 16. I turned it off, since I use Sumatra PDF (which is dumb, but safe).

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      PDF.js became available a few versions back, but didn't come with by default, you had to install it. At least, I did.

  • Blogspam! (Score:5, Informative)

    by roboticbebop (2771317) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:22PM (#42948649)

    TFA links to blogspam, below is the actual release note list from Mozilla

    http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/19.0/releasenotes/ [mozilla.org]

    Come on, guys.

  • by RocketRabbit (830691) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:23PM (#42948659)

    Are they serious? A built in PDF reader, and this is only the start of things. Meanwhile there are Mozilla bugs that are over half a decade old.

    This constant bloat of software, where a program eventually gets filled with so many features that it might as well be Ann entire OS, is one of the most dangerous diseases in the tech world. The irony is that Firefox was originally a lightweight answer to the entire Mozilla suite, because it had grown too bloated.

    Every platform out there already has a PDF reader. My operating system has a PDF renderer built in. It works great. Why jam another one in the browser? They're just increasing the attack surface, and if a vulnerability in the PDF format were to crop up now I have to worry about getting patches for yet another thing here.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Version 20? That's so 45 minutes ago. All the cool kids are already on version 25. This version has a built- in version of The Gimp written in JS.

      • by gparent (1242548)

        How many of you stupid fucks still do not realize that Firefox's release cycle is the same as Chrome's? And that they have an enterprise version with slightly longer time between updates so that if you don't want the new features, you can have the security fixes?

        • by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:56PM (#42949831)

          How many of you stupid fucks still do not realize that Firefox's release cycle is the same as Chrome's? And that they have an enterprise version with slightly longer time between updates so that if you don't want the new features, you can have the security fixes?

          The problem with Firefox's releases is they keep screwing with the UI. Little things here and there - like day I suddenly found muscle memory broken because the awesomebar stopped autocompleting full URLs and only did domains? (It's fine for the most part, but if you have URLs that are fairly deep... or say to get directly to a forum...).

          If Mozilla updated firefox like chrome - where they don't mess with UI things at all (or default them to "off" for upgrade installs so it behaves exactly the same as it did pre-update) then a lot less people would care. But they don't. I don't care what version Chrome is at because it works the same today as it did yesterday. But every new update to Firefox brings trepidatoin in the form "what did they screw with now? And can I disable it?"

          Ars Technica periodically runs browser wars charts [arstechnica.com] that show how each version of a browser is adopted. Consistently while a large number of people update, a significant number of people don't, much more than Chrome.

          • by gparent (1242548)

            Agree with that, but most posts like these just comment about the version number and nothing else. A lot of them are quite serious about it too.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Chrome has a stupid release cycle too. But it's always had a stupid release cycle, the problem with Firefox is that it went from a nice stable development style to the bleeding edge Chrome style without even an apology.

    • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:27PM (#42948729) Homepage

      The PDF reader in Firefox is actually implemented in JavaScript. It's quite an achievement!

      It doesn't bloat the software much; it's just a .js file that gets loaded when needed. I personally think this is the RIGHT way to do it; external binary plugins are much more susceptible to security problems than simply using the already existing JavaScript engine, which has been time tested to be secure.

      Worry not, Firefox is in good hands.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        external binary plugins are much more susceptible to security problems

        Who said anything about "external binary plugins"? Use the system PDF viewer. Obviously you trust the system you're using, so why not trust the system PDF viewer?

      • Great, a Javascript PDF reader. Somebody has finally devised a way to make Javascript suck more resources than it currently does with Google's APIs, Yahoo's APIs, and so forth all running all the time on almost every web page.

        God Damn Javascript to Hell!

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          Studies have shown that most computers use less than the full 100% of CPU capacity. This change should help remedy that immense waste of resources.

          • by NoMaster (142776)

            That's a solved problem - simply install FF18 on OS X. Playing YouTube videos will then result in 130%+ CPU usage, either using Flash (which itself takes up to 30%+) or HTML5.

            Result? Stuttering / looping videos and an unresponsive machine. And yes, that's with a clean install, new profile, no plugins / addons / themes, 32 or 64 bit, etc. Dropped back to FF17esr, & everything is fine.

            Somebody should fork FF into a stripped-down browser that runs fast, with the ability to customise it through extensions.

      • external binary plugins are much more susceptible to security problems than simply using the already existing JavaScript engine, which has been time tested to be secure.

        How does noscript affect this? Am I going to have enable javascript for every site that has a PDF that I want to view?

        • by tftp (111690)

          How does noscript affect this?

          Positively. I have no desire to use a half-baked JS implementation if I have FoxReader (on Windows) that runs natively. Even Chrome's built-in reader often is not sufficient, and it even asks if you want to see the document in a "real" PDF reader. There is no reason to bother with crippled implementations if good ones are available for the same affordable price of $0.

          Am I going to have enable javascript for every site that has a PDF that I want to view?

          Not required. What

        • How does noscript affect this? Am I going to have enable javascript for every site that has a PDF that I want to view?

          no, just once for the javascript file.

          I've been using it on the previous release (it had to be enabled). It's generally as useful as Google's PDF preview used to be. But fortunately there's a one-click "show me in my system PDF viewer" button at the top for anything with fonts or images that need alignment. So far, I haven't turned it off.

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        It's the same thing PDF Viewer [mozilla.org] does... maybe the same project? I don't follow such things. It works well, but I've always been annoyed that Firefox doesn't just dish stuff off to the built-in Mac PDF renderer - which is resident all the time and is necessarily snappy.

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        Hmm, it used to be that PDF was secure, since it was render only and no way would anyone be stupid enough to have a PDF engine that could actually munge with your computer. But it happened. Now is this to repeat with JavaScript, which used to be for "light" web work to do some fancy tricks and is now being greatly expanded in order to enable the HTML5 new world order? Yes there will be massive security holes with this approach too.

      • by devent (1627873)

        Are you fricking kidding me? Why is anything implemented in JavaScript an achievement now? So it's implemented in JavaScript, who cares.

        I can't wait that the Mozilla developer offer a JavaScript API to modify the PDF, to offer some "dynamic" content in it.
        Now they open the attack vector that had Adope PDF Reader for ages.

    • by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:57PM (#42949073) Homepage Journal
      They should really make a small, light version of Firefox that only does web browsing, and does it well. They could call it "Phoenix", for example.
      • Oh yeah! Good ol' C-x M-c M-butterfly
  • I want to be able to download my PDF's securely!!
    • by Lennie (16154)

      The technical bits of 1.1 are availaible in the NSS-library (the library created by Netscape at the time I believe and now developed by the people who develop Firefox).

      The technical bits for 1.2 exists too, but I don't know if they still need more core, I believe they are under review.

      The Firefox parts are almost there:

      https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/showdependencytree.cgi?id=733647&hide_resolved=1 [mozilla.org]

      The problem is really with all the webservers which still don't properly work with it.

      Which forces a new TCP-c

  • by Brucelet (1857158) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:47PM (#42948951)
    Can it jump to page and display page numbers, or does it mimic Chrome in ignoring this frustratingly obvious functionality?
  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:05PM (#42949153) Journal

    Just let me damn well download the files, never open in a tab and render it.
    Yes I know you can set this option but I use 3 damned PC's - and FF updates regularly (or dies and I need to do a clean profile) I'm sick of adjusting things to make things work properly.

    Like the ridiculous copy and paste http:/// [http] bug - they strip it from the URL (breaking bloody standards) and I copy and paste it elsewhere. 95% of the time it auto-adds the http:/// [http] as it should, however 5% of the time it doesn't and it's frustrating (because it should never be removed in the damned first place!)

    • howdy AbRASiON,

      hiding the protocol display is controlled by a pref. you can disable the darned "feature" by setting ...
      browser.urlbar.trimURLs ... to FALSE.

      take care,
      lee

  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@ l y n x.bc.ca> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:05PM (#42949159) Journal
    I use Acrobat for Linux because it's the only pdf reader I've ever seen that actually works correctly with pdf layers, which is very nice when used with map PDF's, because you can choose which features you want to see on the map.
    • by kthreadd (1558445)

      It is supported and will be patched if there are any vulnerabilities discovered. Adobe Acrobat for Linux was discontinued some time ago and no longer receives patches, and should therefore no longer be used.

  • by runeghost (2509522) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:14PM (#42949273)

    Or is the Firefox dev team still sure that they know better than I do, so that shouldn't be an option?

  • Great, more bloat (Score:4, Informative)

    by xiando (770382) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @07:46PM (#42951043) Homepage Journal
    My 800 MHz ARM Android phone can't even run Firefox because of it's resource requirements (I'm glad there's Dolphin) and it's getting bigger and slower, not faster and learner, on my desktop. I'd rather see JavaScript speeds improvements and fat cutting. There's plenty of good external programs for opening PDF files already (okular, evince, etc), the browser does not need to open PDF files itself any more than it needs to open OpenDocument spreadsheets.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

Working...