Updating the PDFBox Website

The content for the PDFBox website is kept in a Git repository which is also mirrored to GitHub. The site is split into two parts: the static content and the Javadoc for the PDFBox API. Both parts are build independently as further described below.


If you would like to enhance the website content you can submit a patch. To do so please open a ticket at our Issue Tracker, use Documentation for the Component and add your patch to the ticket.


Tools used to generate the website:

  • Git a source code management tool used to fetch document sources from different github repositories.
  • Node.js a JavaScript runtime used to build the website. You will need to use Node.js version 10. and manage required libraries.
  • (installed via npm) Eleventy a simpler static site generator.
  • (optional) Maven a build tool used to run the complete website generating process

Checkout from the Git Repository

Before you can edit the site, you need to check it out from the Git repository:

git clone https://gitbox.apache.org/repos/asf/pdfbox-docs

Local Changes

To build the website go to the project root directory and run:

$ npm install # needed only once, or if dependencies change
$ npm run build   # to perform the build

Preview Changes

While changing the content the website generation can be done in Preview mode. This will fire up a little webserver and update the browser window when there are changes so these are reflected immediately.

$ npm install # needed only once, or if dependencies change
$ npm run preview   # to start the preview mode

Validate the generated files

To validate the generated website document go to the project root directory and run:

$ npm run checks

Reuse code from examples in the documentation

In order to reuse code from the examples project in the documentation the shortcode codesnippet can be used.

The shortcode expects two variables

  • the relative path to the examples code such as interactive/form/CreateCheckBox.java
  • the version to be used such as trunk or 2.0

In addition - in order to be able to only put parts of the code into the documentation the following comments can be added to the java code


The DOC-START/DOC-END pair can be placed multiple times into the Java code. Everything between these special comment lines will be added the other content will be omitted. This will allow to skip license header, import statements etc. to concentrate on the important bits.

Publish the Website (For Comitters Only)

After you have done the local changes follow these steps to publish the content:

Add the following server configuration in your ~/.m2/settings.xml file

<username>** USERNAME **</username>
<password>** PASSWORD **</password>

pdfbox-site is referenced from the PDFBox pom.xml file.

The password should be encrypted following Maven Password Encryption

Ensure that the new website content can build locally

npm run build

This will read the sources and generate the new content in the ./staging directory.

When you are happy with the new content update the source repository

git commit -m "..."
git push origin master

Upload the new content to the production site

mvn scm-publish:publish-scm

This will checkout the current content into the ./targetdirectory, apply the changes from ./staging and publish the changes to the PDFBox production website.

Update the Javadoc for PDFBox

The Javadoc for PDFBox is hosted on javadoc.io which uses the pdfbox-<version>-javadoc.jar built at release time as a source. javadoc.io also makes older versions of the Javadoc available.

In order to update the documentation to match a latest release of a branch

  • update the release variable in the matching subdirectories <version>.11tydata.js file
  • update the link(s) in the _layouts\documentation.html file

Build with Maven

The project provides a simple way to build the website sources locally using the build tool Maven.

The Maven build automatically downloads the tool binaries such as node and npm for you. You do not need to install those tools on your host then. The binaries are added to the local project sources only and generate the website content.

As the Maven build uses pinned versions of node and npm that are tested to build the website you most likely avoid build errors due to incompatible versions of node.js tooling installed on your machine.

Preparing Maven

Make sure that you have Maven installed.

$ mvn --version

If this command fails with an error, you do not have Maven installed.

Please install Maven using your favorite package manager (like Homebrew) or from official Maven binaries

Building from scratch

When building everything from scratch the build executes following steps:

  • Download Node.js and npm binaries to the local project
  • Load required libraries to the local project using npm
  • Build the website content using Eleventy

You can do all of this with one single command:

$ mvn package

The whole process takes up to five minutes (time to grab some coffee!)

When the build is finished you should see the generated website in the public directory.

Clean build

When rebuilding the website the process uses some cached content. If you want to start from scratch for some reason you can simply add the clean operation to the build which removes all generated sources in the project first.

$ mvn clean package