Available through Git (Atom feed of changes):
git clone http://offog.org/git/xpopple.git

About xpopple

Xpdf is a suite of tools for displaying and converting PDF files on Unix-like systems. The Poppler project converted and extended the core of Xpdf version 3 into a library that other programs could use. Tools like Evince and Zathura now use Poppler for high-quality PDF rendering. However, while Poppler includes the conversion tools (e.g. pdftotext) from Xpdf, it doesn't include the xpdf viewer program itself.

xpopple is the xpdf program — a Motif-based PDF viewer for X11 — modified to use the Poppler library. This gives you the classic xpdf interface, with Poppler's updated rendering facilities. While Poppler's API changes frequently, my intention is that xpopple should work with all versions of Poppler from 0.19 onwards.

Why would you want to use xpopple rather than something like Evince? One advantage is the flexible resource-based customisability of the Motif interface and xpdf's commands system. I use xpopple for presentations and lecture recording, and like being able to tweak its appearance and behaviour.


The original Xpdf was written by Glyph & Cog, LLC.

xpopple started with the patches from Debian's xpdf package and Gentoo's xpdf package. The Debian and Gentoo maintainers did most of the original hard work of disentangling xpdf from its library.

I've cleaned up these modifications a bit (in particular, the configuration parser needs to work somewhat differently for Poppler than for the original Xpdf), adapted the code to work with more versions of Poppler, tidied up the documentation, and packaged it for other distributions to use.