I got a bit of a surprise when viewing a PDF today. I'd originally looked at it on my iPad in Safari. Then I looked at it later on my Linux machine using xpdf. It looked ... different. Here are the screenshots:
Safari on iPad:
xpdf on Linux:
This is a document produced by Adobe, so I'd expect them to get the PDF stuff right. I therefore attribute it to the renderer rather than malformed PDF. Here's the specs for the PDF:
% pdfinfo /tmp/PDF_Transparency.pdf Title: Transparency in PDF Technical Note #5407 Subject: Transparency in PDF files Keywords: PDF Transparency Author: Adobe Developer Technologies Creator: FrameMaker 6.0 Producer: Acrobat Distiller 4.05 for Macintosh CreationDate: Fri Dec 1 16:41:40 2000 ModDate: Fri Dec 15 16:53:01 2000 Tagged: no Pages: 82 Encrypted: no Page size: 612 x 792 pts (letter) File size: 420449 bytes Optimized: yes PDF version: 1.3
I got the document from the wayback machine at http://web.archive.org/web/20011109072226/http://partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/acrosdk/docs/PDF_Transparency.pdf.
As a mathematician, the appalling rendering of the formula is extremely worrisome.
I tested this in a couple of other PDF-capable apps and they had the same rendering as Safari with the - obvious! - exception of Adobe Reader which had the True Rendering. The fact that disparate apps give the same incorrect rendering makes me wonder if PDF rendering is something that is inbuilt to iOS5 and which most PDF apps use, but Adobe Reader chooses to ignore.
So my question(s) are:
- Is that assumption correct? If so, that makes reporting the bug easier as it implies that I can report it to a central place and if it gets fixed there it will propagate out. So if so, where do I report it?
- Are there PDF apps that get this right? I've listed Adobe Reader above as one that does, I can report that GoodReader, GoodNotes, iAnnotator, Explain Everything, iBooks do not. I've provided the source above to make it easy for people to check. The screenshots are from p7 (internal numbering, p13 absolute).
- Last one: was I just unlucky with this document? I've been happily using mathematically-heavy documents on the iPad without noticing anything like this. Should I be worried?