Evince shows bogus date for PDF files omitting that metadata
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Description

A bogus date (Wed 31Dec 1969 04:59:59 PM MST) appears in the properties of Print-to-PDF files produced by PureBrowser, Thunderbird, and LibreOffice. This might happen in all applications exporting to PDF, but so far this is all I've tested and made screenshots of.

In PureBrowser the bogus date is both Created and Modified. In Thunderbird and LibreOffice only the Modifed date is bogus. In PureBrowser cairo is listed as the PDF Producer and Creator. In Thunderbird cairo is listed as the PDF Producer, and the Creator is set to "none". Running the PDF file through GhostScript will fix both dates.

Print-to-PDF from PureBrowser:

Print-to-PDF from PureBrowser, then run through gs to reduce image size. Dates are fixed.

Print-to-PDF from Thunderbird:

Print-to-PDF from LibreOffice:

nochelibre edited the task description. (Show Details)Sep 20 2018, 2:09 PM

Should I be going to the cairo project to report this?

jonas.smedegaard triaged this task as "Low" priority.Sep 24 2018, 6:07 PM
jonas.smedegaard added a subscriber: jonas.smedegaard.

Seems to me those fields are simply not provided, and Evince (which it seems you use to parse and inspect the files) wrongly show a bogus timestamp when none is proviced.

You can check e.g. with the command exiftool from the package libimage-exiftool-perl.

I suggest to report this to Evince (or libpoppler), if at all.

Thanks for reporting!

jonas.smedegaard changed the title from "Bogus date (Wed 31Dec 1969 04:59:59 PM MST) in PDF files produced by PureBrowser, Thunderbird, LibreOffice" to "Evince shows bogus date for PDF files omitting that metadata".Sep 24 2018, 6:08 PM
nochelibre added a comment.EditedOct 8 2018, 6:20 PM

Thanks for the info on exiftool. I installed it and compared its output with pdfinfo, which was already installed as part of the poppler-utils package. There are slight differences (pdfinfo gives the page size), but both just do not report a nonexistent Creation Date or Modify Date. So at least they don't make up a bogus date for either of those.

I think it's important enough to report, but both Evince and Poppler contribute to this problem: Evince for making up bogus dates and Poppler for not inserting a real date in the first place. But maybe it's not Poppler but the application calling Poppler, like PureBrowser. Ugh. By the way, Okular doesn't make this mistake. Just like exiftool and pdfinfo, it simply omits a nonexistent Creation Date or Modify Date.

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