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From Jukka Zitting <>
Subject Apache PDFBox status update
Date Fri, 23 Jan 2009 19:35:00 GMT

We're still a few weeks from our next Incubator status report, but I
wanted to write up a bit broader overview of what's been going on
recently, so here's blog post I just wrote about PDFBox status:

Full text copied below.


Jukka Zitting

Apache PDFBox status update

The PDFBox project is a well known and widely used Java library for
reading and writing documents in the Portable Document Format (PDF).
Here's my perspective on the recent developments of the project.

Project activity

The project was quite dormant when it entered the Apache Incubator
about a year ago after we had discussed the idea first at the
ApacheCon US 2007 and then on the Incubator mailing list. For a while
it looked like project would remain quiet, but in the past few months
we've seen a clear increase in project activity. Thanks for that goes
especially to the contributions of the two new committers, Andreas
Lehmkühler and Brian Carrier.

License review

My main focus in Apache PDFBox has recently been the thorough license
review that I've been conducting over the past months. Before entering
the Incubator, the PDFBox library was liberally licensed under a  BSD
License. However, the copyright or licensing status of many external
components included in PDFBox was neither well documented nor well
understood by downstream projects. For example, PDFBox used to contain
parts of the Java Advanced Imaging (JAI) library that is only
available under the Sun Binary Code License, a license that is not
compatible with Apache policies.

The license review has taken me through a number of legal issues, put
me in contact with the Adobe legal team, and made me solve some
followup issues. And we also took care of proper export control
notifications needed for the PDF encryption support in PDFBox. Luckily
the end is finally in sight, and I'm optimistic about having all the
remaining open issues closed within a month or so. Altogether it's
been a very interesting and educational process.

Next release

With the license review nearing completion and lots of unreleased
fixes and improvements accumulating in the project trunk, it is time
to start preparing for the first incubating PDFBox release. This
release will be called Apache PDFBox 0.8.0-incubating, and will be a
major improvement over the 0.7.3 release from over two years ago. All
downstream projects should seriously consider upgrading as soon as the
release becomes available. It would be really great if the release was
out by the ApacheCon Europe at the end of March.


As a mentor and champion of the project I am really happy with the
current status. It seems reasonable to expect PDFBox to graduate from
the Incubator sometime later this year.

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