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Javascript *is* supported in Acroread 5 for Linux

Javascript *is* supported in Acroread 5 for Linux

Posted Apr 7, 2005 23:22 UTC (Thu) by CJF (guest, #16403)
Parent article: Unexpected features in Acrobat 7

This article is misleading; Javascript has been supported by Linux versions of acroread/acrobat for some time, including version 5 of acroread for Linux (in fact, on all platforms). I understand there was even some support for Javascript in version 4 (although I stand to be corrected on that). The support in version 5 includes passing information to a web server, e.g. posting the contents of a completed PDF form/questionnaire. [Perhaps the only difference in version 7 is whether or not some user action is required to invoke a transaction?]

I have developed interactive multiple choice quizzes in a LaTeX-based system that are rendered as PDFs with embedded Javascript. The users answers are marked, and model solutions can be given. This works fine with version 5 of acroread under Linux.

Given the poor support for portable, high-quality mathematical notation in HTML/MathML, this is unfortunately one of the least-bad ways of producing reasonably platform-neutral distance learning material involving mathematical notation, using free tools. It would be much nicer if there was a free viewer that supported Javascript in PDFs, and better still if there was good platform-neutral support for mathematical notation and interactive quizzezs etc in HTML documents (or some other open standard that supported appropriate sandboxing). This would have the potential of being more accessible for sight-impaired users than is mathemtics in PDF.

I did try to hack latex2html to support interactive quizzes, but it was too painful, and I was continually fighting Microsoft's poor and inconsistent interpretation of CSS, and Mozilla/Firefox's buggy handling of vertical alignment specifications (it seems they copied a bug from earlier versions of Microsoft IE, presumably to mimic IE's misbehaviour, despite the fact that this fault is corrected in more recent versions of IE). Acrotex isn't perfect, but I refuse to use MM Flash and platform-specific font-encoding hacks.


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