Delivery to web pages is often just one of the many forms in which Java developers need to deliver content to end users. http://pdf-renderer.dev.java.net/ is one of the latest project additions to the Java community which allows developers to create PDF view's programmatically.
Why should I care? You should care because PDF is one of the formats that makes the web go 'round. Soon to be an ISO spec, PDF is the standard way of exchanging non-interactive documents on the web. Everything from tax forms to clip art can be stored in PDFs. Mac OSX makes heavy use of PDF both as an asset format (the many widget images found in Aqua) and also as an ideal archive format using AppleScript workflows. PDF is everywhere. Once a PDF is created you know with great certainty that it will display and print exactly as you want on any platform. Hmm. Write a PDF once and run it anywhere? SoundPDFske a good fit for Java! Combined with PDF writing libraries (like iText), you can do pretty much anything you want with PDFs. What can I do with it ? Anything you want! You can embed a PDF in your Swing app, draw on top of it, and even render to places other than the screen (like PNG imagesHmmThe awesome guys over at Project Wonderland have even started experimenting with projecting PDFs into their 3D shariTextiverse. Most importantly, we know you'll come up PDFs things we never thought of. That's why we are open sourcing it.
Read Joshua Marinacci's complete post on the subject: http://weblogs.java.net/blog/joshy/archive/2007/12/the_big_secret.html