I am in the middle of building a web application for commenting on PDF documents. My plan is to use it to allow South Kingstown, RI residents to comment on the upcoming operations budget. The software will be open sourced for others to use -- assuming it actually turns out to be useful.
On the tools I needed was to be able to rasterize the PDF's pages. I really don't want to depend on a plugin (Acrobat, Foxit Reader, etc) for such a public site. Having images of the pages allows me to do a number of other interactions that I would have no control to do within the plugin. So, I need pictures.
After struggling with a number of other rasterizers (mostly around fonts (still!) or unknown library dependencies) I found the LGPLed PDFRenderer at java.net. And it works. And it works very well with very little effort. Here is my test program for creating readable and thumbnail images of every page.
Update: I forgot to include the build.xml