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What is a good alternative to Scribd? One that allows viewers to download the source file without too much hassle and displays the text properly? Google Drive?

PDF hosted anywhere? Dropbox for instance, or github.

Dropbox is a bad option if you intend to share it with too many people; pdfs are often large enough you'll get the "This account is generating too much traffic! Try back later" pretty quickly. Dropbox is great for sharing with the family or a small email list, but not for linking to the general internet.

Dropbox doesn't expose your PDFs to search engines, so it doesn't work as a public reference dump. (Github does, I think, but it's not so easy to use - can you imagine ordinary people trying to use git to expose documents to the world?)

Aye, if I wanted to publish my pdfs, Dropbox would be a bad choice.

Sharing to a select group of people (e.g. a link in a mailing list, or on a small online community - it's perfectly valid in my opinion.

Now imagine I know very little about computers and just want to upload and share a PDF file, i.e. click "upload" and get a link--an imgur for PDFs. I don't know of a solution like that.

Again, this is why I love Dropbox - I don't even need to upload, just rightlick and get a link.

As mentioned, it's not suitable for large audiences - but it's perfect for other stuff.

Why not just use a sane PDF reader? Firefox has a reasonable one built-in.

The problem with Scribd is that it tries to reduce your cognitive load by one click. "Open or save?"

But it replaces that horrible, horrible soul-crushing "Open or save?" dilemma with its own inferior implementation.

PDFs that don't force a download open inline without asking in any browser, just like any other readable file (e.g. webpages, text files, images).

I'm very fond of the Internet Archive's book viewer: https://archive.org/details/etsi_ts_100_940_v07.08.00

It's their own project, open source, and available for (and used by) other projects: https://openlibrary.org/dev/docs/bookreader

And yes, it's absolutely fucking awesome. Better than any book reader, online or off, anywhere.

I prefer viewerjs.org - I don't believe it if people that say that every modern platform has a PDF viewer.

Having a document hosted on your own website together with a javascript viewer reduces the risk for users both in terms of privacy and security, as Acrobat Reader is a seriously problematic piece of code and all the remote code is a serious violation of trust between the user and the owner of the site.

Any modern browser has inline pdf viewing really. Scribd is from the time when the majority didn't yet. I do much prefer sites to open pdfs in a new tab, though, but not as download.

Its more geared to university/college students, but can be used for others: http://studygig.com

I really don't think there is a good answer for this that a lot of people use right now. It's definitely a project or startup waiting to happen.

This seems like something that could easily be hacked together over a 3 day weekend (at least a basic version). It could be profitable pretty quickly too if you go for the current Imgur model of ads/pro accounts. *adds to to-do list&

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