Thirteen years ago, on February 14th of the magical year 2000, I published version 0.30 of a library I had been writing in my spare time. This library allowed developers to enhance their applications with simple PDF generation functionality without having to know anything about PDF syntax.
Being a fan of Donald Knuth, I was looking for a name that sounded like TeX, but that was different enough for people not to confuse it with TeX. As the first versions of my library were only able to process text —images weren't supported until the summer of 2000—, I experimented with variations on the words TeX or TeXt. At that time, everything was "e-": e-mail, e-marketing, e-Business,... My first idea was to call my library "eTeXt", but I didn't like the sound of that word, so I changed it into iText.
I often get the question if I was inspired by Apple's product line, but I've never been a Mac-user, so I didn't think of the iMac (1998), and the other devices that made the "i-" popular are from a much later date: the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010).
Tomorrow, exactly 13 years after the first use of the name iText and the first official iText release, I'm releasing iText 5.4.0.
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