Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPads!

News, suggestions, corrections
Jonah
Site Admin
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 1:25 pm
Location: St Catharines, Ontario (near Niagara Falls)
Contact:

Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPads!

Postby Jonah » Mon May 17, 2010 11:03 am

Please see my PDF test page and let me know kind of computer/device you have and what worked best.

I'm testing -- for now -- two methods. In the 1990s I used just the <embed> tag. It was not standards-compliant, having been introduced by Netscape, but a decade ago it had the best support across browsers. The "correct" way is using the <object> tag, which hopefully works better for everyone now. Since I'll be posting many hundreds of PDFs over the next couple years, and since there are so many new devices using this site (e.g. iPhones, iPads, netbooks running Linux), I want to get it right, even if it means re-doing a hundred old documents. :-)

Please check http://bahai-library.com/?file=pdf_test, and then post your feedback below -- or email jonahwinters(at)gmail.com -- and tell me what worked best.

Thanks! -Jonah

brettz9
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPads!

Postby brettz9 » Tue May 18, 2010 1:56 am

I sometimes get browser crashes loading PDF files, so I can't really test well. I think the standard object tag is better, though there could also be the option to put the embed tag inside the object tag in case the object tag is not supported (though I'm not sure it is worth doing this since 1) most browsers probably support object by now, and 2) if you want to be picky (as maybe some mobile devices also are?), it is indeed not standard).

But beyond this, I hope we do away with PDF pretty much altogether. It always slows the browser down in loading, it is slow when I have used it for searching, it is not as readily searchable, pastable, or accessible, including to open source processing tools (e.g., a regular expressions search bar), it is more awkward for pasting, etc. It is mostly redundant with HTML esp. as formatting options improve on the web, and I would prefer it be wholly abandoned, except for perhaps dump directories which we have not had time to convert the files to text or possibly for certain files using graphics which are not easily exportable into HTML + images (though I know at least in some cases a good converter program can do the same).

Although PDF has become an open standard, it introduces additional security challenges, has fewer options as far as readers, as I mentioned it can cause crashes, and I just don't feel it adds anything to the experience of being able to navigate files on the web. If someone wants to add PDFs available for download, since some people seem to prefer PDFs for printing, I think we could add it as a link, but to me, when I see a PDF file, it just means it is an article I will most likely not be reading unless there is a very compelling reason (and in any case, it is always a disappointing moment for me to find such an article).

Of course, I can appreciate the argument that with a lack of time it may be better to have something up than nothing, but if done as a link instead (which is less likely to cause crashes), I think even this argument could be overcome.

Sorry, PDFs are just a big pet peeve for me, even more than Word files which can at least be readily saved into textual HTML, even if the markup there is completely bloated and ugly...

Brett

Jonah
Site Admin
Posts: 403
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 1:25 pm
Location: St Catharines, Ontario (near Niagara Falls)
Contact:

Re: Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPads!

Postby Jonah » Tue May 18, 2010 1:46 pm

Aha, speed of loading and crashes -- I hadn't thought about that.

Can someone who has an iPhone, iPad, or netbook try viewing some of the latest PDFs, e.g. at Lights of Irfan volume 3, and post here if your device handled them OK?

If embedded PDFs crash devices, then yes, I'll have to post a link to the PDF only.

-Jonah

Truth
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:19 am
Location: Oz

Re: Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPad

Postby Truth » Thu May 20, 2010 10:16 pm

Okay, tested with google android. No good. The browser can't see embedded pdfs. It cant see flash either! It can see the outline of the object tag though.

However, i am able to view pdfs via the pdf to go app, which requires the pdf to be downloaded first. I think android also has a native pdf viewer, but i can't remember.

Also, using IE8, that last link you posted to Ligthts of irfan vol 3, every link i click on, it doesn't load the pdf. I just get a blank section where the object is meant to be. Not sure if this is the same case with other browsers... I'm too lazy to download and install firefox! :oops:
No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

brettz9
Posts: 1358
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
Contact:

Re: Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPad

Postby brettz9 » Thu May 20, 2010 10:21 pm

No need to test on Firefox, as I've already done that (and probably Jonah too), but nevermind lazy, try out Firefox (and look at the many available addons) because it is awesome, especially if you're someone who likes customizability and power use...

larrygusaas
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:25 pm
Location: Moose Jaw, Sask. Canada
Contact:

Re: Testing browser support for embedding PDFs. Calling iPad

Postby larrygusaas » Fri May 21, 2010 9:04 pm

Using a MacBook with OS X version 10.6.3.

Safari reads both versions.

Firefox, Opera and Google Chrome show "Missing plugin for <embed> version. They do not display <object> inline but there is a link to download the file. Same result with different sections of "Lights of Irfan volume 3".
Larry I. Gusaas
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan Canada
Website: http://larry-gusaas.com
"An artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs." - Edgard Varese


Return to “About Baha'i Library”