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Archive for October, 2008

PDF Creator – about project and development process

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

In this article I describe the organization of the PDF Creator project and the tools that we use to develop and promote the product.

Development Tools

1. Subversion (SVN) Control

The life of a programmer would be unbearable without a source control manager :-). As of this writing, we have executed 2387 commits in the PDF Creator project using the Tortoise SVN, ( Since every mistake would cost a lot, we try to follow this rule – one that we would recommend to everyone: Always commit smaller portions of the code. Every commit must correspond to a single task!

This way it is (a) easier to find an error during rollbacks (every commit changes a small amount of source code), (b) often easy to discover an error before the commit just by looking at it, and (c) easier for colleagues to be aware of the changes in the source code, since all they have to do is read the comments and look at the smaller portions of the code.

Of course, this is not possible in all cases, and sometimes we do have to perform huge commits. Still this is a rule worth following. After all, it is one of the refactoring rules: Change smaller portions of the code, preserving its workability between sessions.

Two more source-control rules:

  1. There must always be two versions in the SVN – a version that compiles and a workable version. It is easy to create code that compiles, but the real aim is its correctness.
  2. Text comments should be supplied to every commit. This is also a good way to check whether the commit implements only a single task. If a comment describes several targets instead of just one, the rule has been violaled.

2. Bug Tracker

We use Mantis ( PDF Creator is the base for a number of other products – converters, virtual printer, etc. (See The number of its users is much higher than the count of those who purchased the base product. We needed to simplify communications between the developers and the users of the products.


What you should know before deploying your .NET application that uses PDF Creator Pilot and HTML2PDF Addon to another server.

Friday, October 10th, 2008

First, you need to install PDF Creator Pilot and HTML2PDF Addon to this server.
It is not necessary to run installer programs for those products, you may register in system corresponding dll files running commands (both on x86 and x64 versions):

C:\Windows\system32\regsvr32 PDFCreatorPilot.dll
C:\Windows\system32\regsvr32 HTML2PDF.dll

Second, you need to re-create interop wrappers for these components. This can be done with standard .NET SDK utility – TlbImp.exe (C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0A\bin\TlbImp.exe)

TlbImp.exe PDFCreatorPilot.dll /out:Interop.PDFCreatorPilotLib.dll
TlbImp.exe HTML2PDF.DLL /out:Interop.HTML2PDFAddOn.dll

Note: It is not necessary to regenerate wrappers directly on the server, you may do it on the developer machine and copy theese wrappers to the server.

Third, you need to place these interop wrappers into the appropriate directory on the new server. For ASP.NET it is the “bin” folder of that application. For the rest applications you need to place wrappers near the exe module (at the same folder).

Filimonov MaximDeveloper of PDF Library

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