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Old 07-20-2011, 06:05 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

Does anyone know what the deal is these days with lots of
web sites and PDF files? (I just encountered one on my online
pharmacy for instance, and back at the beginning of the
year when trying to access my W2 forms online).

I have no problem with a simple link to a real PDF file, but
now sites are doing some kind of magic voo-doo that (on
Windows, where it works) pops up the PDF in a new window
which has some sort of magic toolbar that appears when you
mouse over it.

I have no idea what kind of thing is being used to display
this, or why so many web sites think it is a good idea
to prevent their customers from accessing the site on
linux. All I get on linux is an about:blank new window
where nothing appears.

Anyone know if this nonsense has a name I can search
for or better yet, a firefox plugin that will enable me
to just access the damn PDF file?
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:20 PM
Bruno Wolff III
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

On Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 14:05:06 -0400,
Tom Horsley <horsley1953@gmail.com> wrote:
> I have no idea what kind of thing is being used to display
> this, or why so many web sites think it is a good idea
> to prevent their customers from accessing the site on
> linux. All I get on linux is an about:blank new window
> where nothing appears.

Probably some javascript is used to do this. Did you have javascript
enabled when you tried it?

Depending on the site and how much I want to see the pdf file, I'll look at
the source code to see where the pdf file is, so that I can download it.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:43 PM
Marko Vojinovic
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

On Wednesday 20 July 2011 19:05:06 Tom Horsley wrote:
> Does anyone know what the deal is these days with lots of
> web sites and PDF files? (I just encountered one on my online
> pharmacy for instance, and back at the beginning of the
> year when trying to access my W2 forms online).
>
> I have no problem with a simple link to a real PDF file, but
> now sites are doing some kind of magic voo-doo that (on
> Windows, where it works) pops up the PDF in a new window
> which has some sort of magic toolbar that appears when you
> mouse over it.
>
> I have no idea what kind of thing is being used to display
> this, or why so many web sites think it is a good idea
> to prevent their customers from accessing the site on
> linux. All I get on linux is an about:blank new window
> where nothing appears.
>
> Anyone know if this nonsense has a name I can search
> for or better yet, a firefox plugin that will enable me
> to just access the damn PDF file?

How about an example link?

Best, :-)
Marko

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Old 07-20-2011, 07:51 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

On Wed, 20 Jul 2011 19:43:03 +0100
Marko Vojinovic wrote:

> How about an example link?

I'd love to post one, but all the examples I've
encountered are behind password protected account
logins.

It is definitely some kind of javascript link, but
the source for the link doesn't contain any info with
a pointer to a PDF file - I think the PDFs in question
are being dynamically generated on the fly.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:01 PM
Aaron Konstam
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

On Wed, 2011-07-20 at 14:05 -0400, Tom Horsley wrote:
> Does anyone know what the deal is these days with lots of
> web sites and PDF files? (I just encountered one on my online
> pharmacy for instance, and back at the beginning of the
> year when trying to access my W2 forms online).
>
> I have no problem with a simple link to a real PDF file, but
> now sites are doing some kind of magic voo-doo that (on
> Windows, where it works) pops up the PDF in a new window
> which has some sort of magic toolbar that appears when you
> mouse over it.
>
> I have no idea what kind of thing is being used to display
> this, or why so many web sites think it is a good idea
> to prevent their customers from accessing the site on
> linux. All I get on linux is an about:blank new window
> where nothing appears.
>
> Anyone know if this nonsense has a name I can search
> for or better yet, a firefox plugin that will enable me
> to just access the damn PDF file?

There is a addon to firefox called Default User Agent that allow firefox
to pretend to be Internet Explorer that helps in many of these Windows
associated situationsw. You can Google it to install it. It will appear
under the Tools menu.
--
================================================== =====================
"Your stupidity, Allen, is simply not up to par." -- Dave Mack
(mack@inco.UUCP) "Yours is." -- Allen Gwinn (allen@sulaco.sigma.com), in
alt.flame
================================================== =====================
Aaron Konstam telephone: (210) 656-0355 e-mail: akonstam@sbcglobal.net

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Old 07-20-2011, 09:22 PM
Markku Kolkka
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

Tom Horsley kirjoitti viestissään (lähetysaika keskiviikko, 20.
heinäkuuta 2011):
> I have no problem with a simple link to a real PDF file, but
> now sites are doing some kind of magic voo-doo that (on
> Windows, where it works) pops up the PDF in a new window
> which has some sort of magic toolbar that appears when you
> mouse over it.

That's how Adobe Reader X browser plugin looks. It's not any site
magic, just a new version of the plugin. There's a button on the
toolbar that switches to the "traditional" look with a menu and
always-visible buttons.

--
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markku.kolkka@iki.fi
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:45 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On 07/20/2011 04:01 PM, Aaron Konstam wrote:
> On Wed, 2011-07-20 at 14:05 -0400, Tom Horsley wrote:
>> Does anyone know what the deal is these days with lots of
>> web sites and PDF files? (I just encountered one on my online
>> pharmacy for instance, and back at the beginning of the
>> year when trying to access my W2 forms online).
>>
>> I have no problem with a simple link to a real PDF file, but
>> now sites are doing some kind of magic voo-doo that (on
>> Windows, where it works) pops up the PDF in a new window
>> which has some sort of magic toolbar that appears when you
>> mouse over it.
>>
>> I have no idea what kind of thing is being used to display
>> this, or why so many web sites think it is a good idea
>> to prevent their customers from accessing the site on
>> linux. All I get on linux is an about:blank new window
>> where nothing appears.
>>
>> Anyone know if this nonsense has a name I can search
>> for or better yet, a firefox plugin that will enable me
>> to just access the damn PDF file?
>
> There is a addon to firefox called Default User Agent that allow firefox
> to pretend to be Internet Explorer that helps in many of these Windows
> associated situationsw. You can Google it to install it. It will appear
> under the Tools menu.

I have one even more fun - One of my credit card sites used a Java
applet to generate the PDF file. But it does not send the proper
headers so that Firefox running on Linux knows it is a PDF file. So
it is displayed as text. The funny thing is that it is treated as a
file by Firefox running on Windows. It is a pain having to fire up
Windows just to get one credit card statement.

(No - I will NOT post the link - it requires logging in to my account!)

Oh yes - you can not save the text as a PDF file - it does not
produce a valid PDF file.

Mikkel
- --

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!
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Old 07-22-2011, 03:45 PM
Tim
 
Default PDF files that are not simple links?

On Thu, 2011-07-21 at 16:45 -0500, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> One of my credit card sites used a Java applet to generate the PDF
> file. But it does not send the proper headers so that Firefox running
> on Linux knows it is a PDF file. So it is displayed as text. The funny
> thing is that it is treated as a file by Firefox running on Windows.
> It is a pain having to fire up Windows just to get one credit card
> statement.

You could try a Windows browser program through WINE.

The (probable) reason it works for Windows is that Windows tends to
ignore all the HTTP headers /about/ the data being sent, and snoops the
data as it comes in. That's also why the thing is so vulnerable (send
it some executable crap, in a link pretending to be something else, and
your browser stupidly executes it).

You could try taking that approach by having some in-the-middle
application be your download handler for anything coming through the web
browser. It'll snoop the file, then open it with the appropriate
application for the data.

e.g. With ye olde Gnome, supposedly one could have set Firefox to pass
such files to gnome-open. And gnome-open would send PDFs to your
preferred PDF reader, etc.

> Oh yes - you can not save the text as a PDF file - it does not
> produce a valid PDF file.

Might be worth using the "file" command on what you do get, to see what
it thinks came through.

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