Wednesday, October 26, 2005

First 'official' native PDF viewer - for free - update

The nexave member "MetaView", head developer of MetaView Software has published "PalmPDF", an early alpha version of his native PDF viewer today. It's a port of XPDF. I tried it a few days ago and today again, but it crashes on my Tungsten|C, I think that I have not enough RAM. But other people say it would work fine! The program and the installation instructions can be found here:

http://www.metaviewsoft.de/en/Software/PalmOS/Freeware/Other/index.html


Adobe's Reader could never open native PDF files - they had to be converted, and no other company released a PDF reader for a long time. Then Picsel Technologies released Picsel Viewer and later Picsel Browser - but it was only part of Sony CLIÉs and a Chinese smartphone. If I get it working, I'll update this post.

Does it work on your Palm?

UPDATE:
Now it isn't in alpha state anymore. The onscreen buttons work, you can scroll and zoom very fast (on a T|C), you can use the stylus for scrolling, and now it seems to work better on low-memory devices. Does it now work properly?

The next version will include landscape mode and better memory management. If you own a Tungsten T or T2, you could also try out Fargo Heap resizer!

44 Comments:

Anonymous Telyx said...

PalmPDF works on my Zodiac 1, though it's rather slow. Pages display very nicely, but scrolling takes a long time.

Not bad for an early alpha!

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Link, please?

6:56 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi,
I just edited the post. It now contains a direct link to the page on the MetaView servers!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

7:06 PM  
Blogger Ron said...

Nope. Blows up on my TX saying not enough memory.

11:41 PM  
Blogger Abe said...

Doesn´t work in a Zire 71, causes reset. But works great in a Treo 650 CDMA.
Some pics in: http://www.pdamexico.net/content/view/1705/2/

6:38 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Panic said...

Doesn`t work here too, as it seems to disable all buttons, except the 5-way navigator. Only escape is a softreset or a memory overrun causing a softreset... . But I bet it`ll be awesome as soon as it`s working!

Greetings,
Jim

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Started up, but then soft-reset my E2.

But given how poorly Adobe for Palm performs, let's encourage MetaView to move PalmPDF to beta (and beyond!) as soon as possible!

4:07 PM  
Blogger Antoine said...

Tam;
This is some great news. I've referenced your article at a new posting a Mobile Ministry Magzine.

I personally use the Piscel Browser on my device and if something can come that would be as good (fast) or better, then I too will jump on it (though I dont use PDFs as much as I used to, can't we all go XML-docs).

4:23 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

@Antoine: it's MY article ;-))

@Jimmy Panic: use 5-way-navigator to scroll, contacts button to zoom out, to do button to zoom in or note pad button to quit. There is no other method for the moment. In the newest version there controls at the bottom, but they're disabled.

@all: a softreset means that there is to few memory. You need RAM, RAM, RAM, RAM, RAM ;-)). Move as much as possible to your card, delete old files and it might run. A Zire 71 hasn't got much memory, and no one can change that. But the developer tries to solve the memory problem as soon as possible.

Alexander

6:24 PM  
Blogger Tam Hanna said...

Hi People,
first of all: really dudes, this is Alexander Gratz's work! He was the genious who did all the searching!
Secondarily, why not try something like UDMH? Or, why not stay tuned to TamsPalm as we will soon feature an all-new tool!
Best regards
Tam Hanna

8:11 PM  
Anonymous MetaView said...

Hi,

as said, if you haven't enough dynamic memory, try UDMH (will I ever get a procent on the sales, it's my 3rd port which badly need it...). I will try to lower the memory consumption with b/w rendering. Next version will have the possibility to disable aa, makes the whole stuff faster.
At the moment I stuck with TrueType fonts, which aren't supported and, until now, can't be succesfully replaced with PS fonts. The right scrolling is broken on everything with Rocker-5-way. Was a mistake in my source, will be fixed in next release.

@Tam: What's the magic tool you write about? Will it become freeware? Will it be an hack as UDMH or something more safe?

Regards
Henk

12:57 AM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

@MetaView: what's a "rocker-5-way"?

Alexander

10:05 AM  
Anonymous MetaView said...

5-way is the name for the new-style navigator buttons on current devices. The older devices had "up" and "down" but no "left" and "right". Newer devices (almost all with Palm OS 5.x) got the so-called 5-way: "up", "down", "left", "right", "select" as buttons or as small joystick.

There are 2 different sets of button code accosiated with the 5-way: Tungsten 1, 2, 3 + Zire 71 (IIRC) uses a NavCode style, where "up" and "down" set the "page up" and "page down" KeyBit and "Left", "Right", "Select" set special NavLeft etc. KeyBits.

All other devices use the KeyBit definition from PalmSource, which is called Rocker. The keys then set the KeyBits: "RockerLeft", "RockerRight", "RockerUp" etc.

I guess, the name "Rocker" was an invention from David Fedor because 5-way rocks :-)

Anyway, my webspace provider is down. If someone could put the latest version only, I would be glad to send him the current version, where the "RockerRight" is handled correct ly.

Regards
Henk

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Henk,

Nice one! But your site is down? Are there any mirrors?

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Bernie said...

Wow, I can't believe someone is really working on this for Palm. The Palm platform sorely needs a usable PDF viewer. The junk that Adobe came up for viewing PDF is utterly useless.

Keep up the good work!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

MetaView, you can mail me the latest version, I'll load it up here!

Alexander

12:12 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

OK, you can download it from here now. The post is updated.

Alexander

12:58 PM  
Blogger Antoine said...

Alex;
Updating that post in a few minutes, sorry bout that.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Lefus said...

thx for the download possibility. the metaview server actually is even down.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous john said...

It works fine on my T3. 5mb pdfs aren't bad on mine. 18mb ones tend to crash.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous MetaView said...

Ok, I've released an update.
Still missing:
- TrueType support
- better memory management (especially to avoid the fragmentation)
- integration into the OS (events and copy)
- enabling the screen buttons :-)

11:19 PM  
Anonymous telyx said...

The first update didn't work properly on my Zodiac; the page I used to test the original alpha only displayed the text at the very bottom of the page. The second update works great, though!

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get the error: "Font type TrueType (4) isn't supported./Error:2 Couldn't create a font for (something)"

Regardless, it displays, pans and zooms nicely (though slowly) in grey mode on my Tungsten E|2 with "3465/2542 KB" free ("3465/3530 KB" free after soft Reset).

Why do the Fonts subfolders afm, enc and type1 appear to be empty?

Please keep up the great work!

5:50 PM  
Blogger Alexander Gratz said...

This message is shown if your font is not supported. This problem is known and I think it'll be solved sometime.

Alex

7:08 PM  
Anonymous tosbsas said...

No version 0.5 - looks like henk improved that version once again late last night, so download it again. (11/02/05)

Works great

http://www.metaviewsoft.de/en/Software/PalmOS/Freeware/Other/index.html

Ruben

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it works like s**t on lifedrive, slow navigation, bad page reflow. Bad piece of software, use docs to go pdf viewer, it's better.

6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fails at zooming beyound 65% on Zire 71 with 13Mb Free ram not using any memory hacks.

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