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Re: Windows Printing

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Windows Printing
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 13:11:55 +0300

> Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 00:20:08 +0200
> From: Lennart Borgman <address@hidden>
> Eli and I (with a lot of others involved) had a very long discussion 
> about this on the help-gnu-emacs mailing list:
>    http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/help-gnu-emacs/2006-01/msg00242.html
> I think the tests I did clearly showed that everything does not work as 
> the node above says.

That's really not an accurate summary of what was written in that
discussion.  A more accurate summary, IMHO, would be that _sometimes_,
in rare situations with strangely configured network printers, neither
the default printer port detection that is part of the Emacs startup
on Windows, nor any of the tips and tricks in the manual, succeed in
getting Emacs to print to that printer.  (Other printers on the same
system did work, IIRC.)

> My conclusion was that the state of the printer is 
> not reset when accessed in the way Emacs does it on w32. Getting the 
> printer port is done in a standard way (I mean according to MS 
> documentation) but sending the data is not supposed to be done as Emacs 
> does it (if I understand this correctly, see the thread).

Sorry, I disagree with this conclusion.  The MS docs do not say
explicitly that ``sending data is not supposed to be done as Emacs
does it'', and the simple fact is that the way we do it in Emacs works
on the vast majority of Windows systems.

> As it stands now I expect a lot of people to get into trouble when 
> trying to print.

Actually, I expect that only a very small fraction of people will ever
get into the same trouble as you did.

> There are two reliable ways to print on w32 that I am 
> aware of (other ways has failed to me on most networked printers I have 
> tried):
>     - Use Ghostscript/GSview
>     - Use something like htmlize.el + the web browser. (There is an 
> alternative to htmlize.el but I have not tested that.)

The use of Ghostscript is covered by the manual, in the node you
mentioned.  As for htmlize.el, I refuse to recommend Emacs users to
use Explorer or Notepad to print on Windows.  Sorry.

> What should we do about this node?

If you or someone else can debug the problem you've been having and
find out how to work around it, I'll be happy to augment the manual.
Otherwise, I don't see what we can or should do.

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