Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

Introducing the new XFA Parser in FormVu

1 min read

FormVu logoConverting XFA Forms into content which will run in a Browser is a non-trivial task. Not only do all the form elements and static content need converting into HTML5/CSS but the JavaScript needs to be intelligently converted. We also need a JavaScript library to emulate all the features provided in Acrobat JavaScript and a way to handle formCalc.

We have been working on this problem for 6 years now and in May we released the third major version of our parser. This is now completely written in JavaScript (so FormCalc is converted to JavaScript for execution). Adobe JavaScript can be quite messy and so the parser needs to tidy it up to execute correctly in a Browser. Data mapping can occur in some very complex ways and these all need to be translated into JavaScript.

XFA files can also grow as the user types in more data. This is all now supported in JavaScript, including splitting the components across new pages when they reach a certain size.

Another interesting issue in conversion is that many PDF files use TIFF encoding for image data. The only browser which can handle TIFF files is Safari, so we have added JavaScript Tiff support to decode these and ensure they display in any browser.

A main aim in this release was also to improve both memory usage and speed. If you used the previous version you will notice they are both much improved.

You can see some examples of Form conversion on the FormVu sales page. If you are looking to work with XFA files, displaying them in a browser is not only possible but works very well.

We are continuing to improve the Parser, so if you have any files which we do not display correctly, we would really like to see them.

If you’re a first-time reader, or simply want to be notified when we post new articles and updates, you can keep up to date by social media (Twitter, Facebook and Google+) or the Blog RSS.

Mark Stephens

Mark Stephens has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and has diversified into HTML5, SVG and JavaFX.

He also enjoys speaking at conferences and has been a Speaker at user groups, Business of Software, Seybold and JavaOne conferences. He has a very dry sense of humor and an MA in Medieval History for which he has not yet found a practical use.

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