Converting PDF to Flash for web page flipping

What did I do last two days or so? I have been looking for solution to convert pdf magazine archive from simple pdf downloads into something more Web 2.0 like. As a first instinct, I hoped that I will find JavaScript solution, and do simple rendering into bitmaps.

But, then I remembered that almost everybody has Flash plugin by now (at least more people than pdf reader or plugin) and Flash also can do smooth scaling. How ward would be to find Flash picture viewer with nice page-flipping transitions.

Half way in that journey I stumbled upon Open Library which has very nice interface (and is pure JavaScript!) which was supposed to be available under GPL, but source is not available. It would be cool to re-use this reader, but if there is no source compressed version available on site isn't much help. I sent e-mail to developer, and now I'm hoping for some pointers.

Than I found several commercial flash page flipping offers (strange how flash community is strictly separated to Open Source and commercial part without much cross-over). If there is so much solution to turn pdf into flash, one of them must be Open Source, right?

And there is! SWFTOOLS is great suite of programs (available in Debian) which has automatic generation of swf files from pdf and even ability to add navigation elements over it. To cut it short, here is little snippet for example usage:

rm tmp/*
pdf2swf -p 1-20 -s insertstop magazine.pdf -o tmp/pages.swf
swfcombine -o tmp/pages+nav.swf SimpleViewer.swf viewport=tmp/pages.swf
jpeg2swf loader.jpg -o tmp/loader.swf
swfcombine -o tmp/magazine.swf PreLoader.swf loader=tmp/loader.swf movie=tmp/pages+nav.swf
cd tmp && swfdump --html magazine.swf > magazine.html
cd -

It's sweet and simple, but navigation which SimpleViewer is giving me is... Somewhat too simple. I would like to have buttons for zoom in/out (or slider) and page number for example. However, other than accidental exposure to haxe I don't know a first thing about Flash. There are at least two CPAN modules with swf support, and I have seen flv media player in one of them, but they look incredibly complicated to me, almost like the source which produce SimpleViewer itself.

I would love to design something in Inkscape and than convert that to bits of logic (if possible externally controlled by JavaScript), but I don't even know where to start looking for information. I'm only interested in solutions which are scriptable and runnable without human intervention under Linux.

There are quote a few pages to convert, and it seems that pdf2swf has limit of 65535 objects which translate to about 20 pages out of 100+ pages magazine, so splitting it into single pages seems like much better approach (and users will have less content to download). If this is plain JavaScript, I would preload one page for quick response, but is that concept even supported in Flash?

To make things worse, there is great tutorial over at SitePoint how to make page flipping using jQuery which I know and like.

Am I wasting time trying to find free (as in speech) Flash development environment which would feel good to me? Should I go with my instincts and stick with JavaScript? Time will tell... For a start I will try to convert presentations on my homepage to flash as a initial try...

Update: To make thing clear, I converted pdf files from my presentations to flash using method described above. Now I would like to replace arrows on top-left with more complex navigation, something like PdfMeNot has done.

Update^2: This was easier than I thought it will be. Following examples on swftools site I found two great viewers, and if that is not enough, I found original author of viewer used at PdfMeNot (scroll down to find download link).