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Re: Printing

From: Michael Ekstrand
Subject: Re: Printing
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 10:46:08 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Андрей Парамонов <address@hidden> writes:
> Having analysed mine and other users' experience, and having examined
> how the printing works in modern applications, I propose the following
> requirements for the Emacs printing mechanism:
> 1) Simple printing configuration should require no or almost no
>    knowledge and effort. The only user input that might be required is
>    the printer name.

If you have your printer set up correctly on your system, this should be
easy to do.  Setting it up correctly can be a challenge, but A., that
isn't an Emacs problem, and B., CUPS seems to do a good job of
auto-detecting USB and network printers these days.

> 2) It should not be necessary to install additional packages/files
>    solely for the Emacs printing.

I hope you mean packages beyond the core things needed to get printing
working on GNU/Linux systems in general (CUPS, GhostScript, hpijs for HP
printers, etc.).

> 3) Printing functionality should work equally good on PostScript and
>    non-PostScript printers.

Already covered in a properly configured environment (provided your
printer is supported by GhostScript/gimpprint/foomatic).

> I can think of the following ways of how these requirements may be
> achieved:
> a) Try to improve current functionality, making no or almost no
>    modifications to the current printing engine. This includes
>    simplifying the configuration interface. Not sure points 2) and 3)
>    can be fixed this way though.

2 and 3 are covered by this one as pretty much any Linux printing is
going through Postscript, even for non-Postscript printers; the printing
engine (e.g. CUPS) uses Ghostscript to render the PostScript to the
appropriate printer language.  The GTK+ printing systems are just
creating PostScript with Cairo, so far as I know.  If you can print on
your GNU/Linux system, you either have the appropriate conversion tools
or are talking to a PostScript printer (or print server doing the
conversion for you).

This solution also has the benefit of working in a TTY :).

I wouldn't mind, however, seeing the GTK+ UI able to use the GTK print
dialogs to select what printer to run the PostScript it generates

- Michael

mouse, n: A device for pointing at the xterm in which you want to type.
Confused by the strange files?  I cryptographically sign my messages.
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