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
package and Gentoo's
The Debian and Gentoo maintainers did most of the original hard work of
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.