1st Anniversary for JRAPublish and JRAConvert
an editorial report by PlanetDjVu, June 1, 2003
This month marks the first anniversary of the completion of the JRAPublish 1.0 and JRAConvert 1.0 applications. We mark this event at PlanetDjVu because these are the most advanced DjVu encoding applications that have EVER been produced, and yet few have been able to use and experience them, as we of course intended.
This month, sadly, also marks a year since LizardTech rolled out "Document Express", and at the same time abandoned the DjVu Open-Source ListServ, DjVu Solo, the DjVu ActiveX Control for MSOffice, the DJVu Decode SDK and the DjVu Release Script for Ascent Capture. It is a year since LizardTech removed all references and links to the open source version of DjVu, and a year since LizardTech pushed the prices of DjVu product licensing way up, while discontinuing the policy of actually publishing these prices. Last June also began the cancelling of DjVu product resellers by LizardTech, so that by last September even PlanetDjVu was cut off as a reseller.
Back to JRAPublish and JRAConvert! There were two reasons to develop JRAPublish: First, we needed an application that would OCR DjVu files in languages other than English (JRAPublish supports 176 languages), and that would embed metadata in DjVu files. Both features were needed for our DjVu searching product. Second, the "Enterprise Edition" of the DjVu product offering from LizardTech was (and still is) nothing more than an command line "C:\" prompt. We thought that the market needed and demanded a full-featured, GUI-based batch processing application for DjVu creation.
So a year ago this month, the JRAPublish application was finished, and yet the product was not released. We had at that point been trying to get licensing terms from LizardTech for 6 months, and during that half-year they never could figure out how to quote the terms.
While continuing our efforts to get a licensing quote from LizardTech last summer, we upgraded the application to Version 1.5, adding dual PDF output support as an additional feature. Version 1.5 was finished in August of last year.
We never could work out licensing with LizardTech for the use of DjVu, but now we have applied for a license to the DjVuLibre library (see previous article), in an effort to finally bring these products to market for DjVu.
Browse though the Gallery of PlanetDjVu and you will see many top-notch DjVu files created with JRAPublish and JRAConvert.