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Re: Printing

From: Michael Ekstrand
Subject: Re: Printing
Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 08:06:18 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.91 (gnu/linux)

Андрей Парамонов <address@hidden> writes:
> 2009/3/28 Michael Ekstrand <address@hidden>:
>>> 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.
> Yes, exactly, this should be easy. And it *is* easy in other
> applications, namely GEdit, Firefox, etc. But unfortunately, it is not
> easy in Emacs. That's why I've started the discussion.
> Do you have a printer? If so, could you please print the contents of
> Emacs 'Hello' buffer and tell us if all the characters you see on the
> screen appear on the printed page as well?

I tried it, using my HP PSC 2175 (so GhostScript/hpijs is doing the PS
to HP language conversion), and yes, it failed miserably on the vast
majority of the characters.

>>> 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.).
> I mean that if you have all the fonts needed to render your text in
> Emacs frame, and you can print that text using GEdit, you must not be
> required to install anything else to be able to print from
> Emacs. Currently, you must install so-called BDF fonts (in this case,
> the quality would be inacceptably bad, but at least some non-Latin
> characters would be printed), or you must install a web browser to be
> able to use hfyview.el.

That is a reasonable expectation IMO.

>>> 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 own a HP LaserJet 1018 which doesn't support PostScript directly, as
> don't most of the consumer printers sold today. I'm not a PostScript
> guru, but I'm pretty sure that my system indeed does some kind of
> PostScript emulation, translating PostScript commands via GhostScript
> and then telling the printer what to do in the language the latter
> understands.
> Maybe -- just maybe -- the Emacs printing works nicely on more
> expensive printers which support PostScript directly. I can't tell for
> sure because I don't have access to such a printer. As for my setup,
> the printing functionality provided by Emacs works bad.
> To clear things up: the problem is *not* in the printer, and *not* in
> the drivers. Installing the printer on my system was a breeze. I've
> encountered the only problematic application so far, and the
> disappointing part is that it's Emacs.

OK.  I misunderstood the framing of the problem.  With this
clarification, I agree, the problem is a valid one and a solution should
be found somehow.  I do believe that the solution with the best results
will be to enhance the PostScript generation to properly handle the
non-latin characters, although this does not seem to be an easy task.

- Michael

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