Re: PDF Displaying

Evan Martin wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 08, 2000 at 05:33:30PM -0500, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> > I need a way to display PDF forms, and add to that text-entry fields at
> > any given X,Y location on the form, with the text entry being of
> > variable length (although not height, that should be one line tall).
> > The program is pretty much a piece of cake, except that I don't know how
> > I should go about displaying the information like I said.  I have a
> > rough-rough text-based version I wrote in Python (says Form XXX: Line
> > N:  and asks for input, calculates everything, prints results), but I
> > want a nive GUI-based printable program.
> If we ignore the difficulties of interpreting a PDF file into a displayable
> graphic:

There are plenty of programs that can render a PDF into an image file (jpg,
png, whatever), which is something I was planning on having to do anyways.
The forms themselves will not need to be editable, since they will have to
exactly match the forms sent out by the IRS.

> You might be able to use a GtkLayout container to absolutely position
> some GtkEntry's over an image.

OK.  I didn't know that could be done.  Told ya I was new to GUI's.  ~,^

> Another option would be a GNOME Canvas that displays the PDF file with
> "hotspots", which, when clicked upon, would pop up a dialog to edit.
> This has the advantage of not mixing Gtk controls and your PDF graphic.

No, that wouldn't be user-friendly enough.  99% of what the application will
be is filling in the entries (and there will be hundreds of forms eventually -
every IRS form that is in use will be added to the app) - I want something
incredabily simple and easy to navigate, so a new dialog wouldn't work.  I
also want the application to be able to EASILY select where a text-entry field
will be (coordinate, and length) for when new forms come in from the IRS and
new data-sheets (the formulas and whatnot).  I shall have to see how easily
this can be done.  I know exactly how in SDL, but I'd rather use GTK+/GNOME,
as I said.

Oh, and for the GNOME developers, I have a question - would it be feasible
(and desirable) in your opinion to release the app as Free Software, and then
the basic forms that the average US tax payer will need.  Then, sell the
advanced at a (very low) cost, to justify the enormous amount of time that
will need to be put in to make the forms, and get them certified (since this
is necessary, as I understand, although I have not yet researched this).  Or
would the community be more satisfied with only free forms, ones that will
most likely be posted by people other than myself, although these cannot be
guaranteed to be correct, and may possibly even be invalid to the point of
costing the user money in fines if a tax return is sent in generated from one
of these invalid forms?

I don't want to start a Free/Commercial holy war here, and this probably isn't
the best list for this discussion, but I have to ask *someone*.  ~,^

Thank you very, very, very much
Sean Etc.

> --
> Evan Martin - eeyem u washington edu
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