Been waiting to be able to say something about this.

The Chrome team has from the beginning been committed to the idea of being open-source, and has long tried to ensure as much of Chrome as possible is available openly as Chromium.  But there have always been a few things, like the Flash and PDF plugins, that we didn't have a license to release.

With PDFium, one of those major moving parts is now open as well.  This is great for a lot of reasons.  It reduces the number of closed pieces of Chrome, and thus the surface area for which people can be suspicious that we're doing something shady.  It makes a high-quality PDF plugin available to users who only want an open-source product and were using Chromium as a result.  It is almost certainly the highest-quality PDF engine available in the open-source world, and can now serve as a reference for other projects, or be included in other browsers based on Chromium or other open-source projects entirely.

Open-sourcing PDFium is the kind of example of spending the time to do the right thing, even though there's no monetary benefit to Google (that I'm aware of), that I'm proud to frequently see Googlers doing.

Now if we could just open-source Flash...
The formerly closed-source PDF code in Google Chrome is now officially the PDFium open source project, hosted on

By open-sourcing the Foxit’s PDF technology, the chromium team gives to developers a robust and reliable PDF library to view, search, print, and form fill PDF files. Therefore, if your next project is under the "New BSD License", I cannot recommend enough you go learn how simple it is to build¹ PDFium and see how Chrome uses² it internally.


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