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Re: Printing

From: James Cloos
Subject: Re: Printing
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 16:30:17 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/23.0.90 (gnu/linux)

This is indeed a real issue.  Some slightly random thoughts:

Using the gtk print dialog when emacs is compiled --with-x-toolkit-gtk
and is in GUI mode would be a useful improvement.  (Using the toolkit's
print dialog is generally the way to go, but of the x-toolkits emacs
currently supports only gtk has a useful print dialog.)

The cups-based workflow is changing from postscript to pdf.  It would be
useful for emacs to have pdf-(print|spool)-(buffer|region)(-with-faces)?
commands.  A pdf-print.el similar to ps-print.el is therefore desired.

Work is underway on a pan-toolkit print dialog.  One of the deliverables
is an application which can be used in place of lp(1) or lpr(1).  This
will be similar to xpp(1) or gtklp(1), but using the new dialog.  I
expect there will be separate apps for each toolkit linked against the
pan-toolkit lib.  It would be useful for ps-lpr-command to default to
such an app when using gtk and in GUI mode.  Until that app is available
gtklp might be a useful option.

Anything which outputs pdf can be trivially expanded to support ps
output as well; it requires only a simple ps procset and a few small
conditionals in the code.  Most of the ps output looks identical to
the pdf output.

Improving ps-print.el to support all of the UCS is not outrageously
difficult.  I'm confident patches would be welcomed.  There are a large
number of acceptably-licensed apps and libs in the wild which one could
use as inspiration.  Cairo's pdf backend is a good example.

James Cloos <address@hidden>         OpenPGP: 1024D/ED7DAEA6

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