Re: An Idea...

Wolfgang Sourdeau wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Jan 2000, Sergey Zhumatiy wrote:
> >   Hello!
> >
> >   Look to the StarOffice, ApplixWare, GIMP. They all
> > have own printers drivers. While in Windoze I can
> > simply draw any pictures/texts/etc as on screen, as on
> > printer! Any simple program can print on ANY PRINTER.
> > I don't need Postscript or knowledge about printer protocol.
> > If there is a DRIVER (which is written by printers producer),
> > then I can print on it. With any features (econofast/etc),
> > any resolution, etc...
> >
> While I totally agree with you that not all softwares respect the
> standards, there IS actually a de facto standard image format under unix
> which is postscript. Normally, every software having a print function
> should first print to a postscript file. And from there the unix print
> system converts the file to a printer-compatible format. Ghostscript
> does that for a lot of printer-models (check if your printer, if not
> listed, is compatible with one of the listed models : gs --help).
> For what the printing system is concerned, it is true that a few
> functions are now missing in a modern graphical environment:
> - when my document doesn't print, I'd like to have a message box to tell
> me the printing system failed;
> - when I want to fax a document, I'd like to print it in a standard way
> and my fax software to popup a window asking for needed informations...
> For what I can see, I think that what the printing system is missing is
> informations such as:
> - the display information from where the print request was sent (whether
> under X or text terminal).

I agree that the standard print file format is (and should continue to be) postscript.
What is lacking is a common facility for providing font metrics and printer capabilities
(i.e. fonts available on printers, paper bins, double siding printing, paper sizes, etc...).

We need a repository where all this info is available so that applications can simply
query a print description api and use it to correctly format documents.

We also need an api to the print control system so that we can have a rich set of
print job management tools.

A starter for these api's would be Java's  PrinterJob, Printable, and PageFormat classes.


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