Re: An Idea...

Sergey Zhumatiy wrote:

> Kent Schumacher wrote:
> >
> > 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...).
>   Did you try to write an graphical application and let to add printing capability?
>   I did. This mean, that all graphical functions are implemented as switch: are we
> drawing or printing? Then we call X-Window sequence or PS sequence... This
> makes code more difficult (and if I try to ADD printing feature this is terribly!),
> not so efficient, and slow it (not so much, but it does...).
>   I agree, that PostScript is standart of printing de facto, and it is _good_ standart.
>   But why WinWord does not generate PostScript _for printing_? Or QuarkXpress,
> or PhotoShop? They can save files in postscript. But they print trough standart
> drivers.

The way java handles printer / screen ubiquity is via a Graphics (or Graphics2D) object.
Essentially all swing components and awt Graphics operations are drawn using the
Graphics object, which can be pointed to a printer (to render postscript, or...) or to a
screen (to render bitmaps, or...).   Obviously the Graphics object could draw to any
printer language (PCL, ESC P2, HP-GL, PPA, etd...).

Then printing a screen item becomes a simple matter of providing the proper
Graphics object.  In java this is done via the PrinterJob, Printable, and PageFormat classes.

I am under the impression that gnome_canvas supports some ability to generate
postscript in somewhat the same fashion.

>   Can you turn on econofast mode on printer with PS? Or using photopaper?
> Or something like?

This was exactly the point of having a repository of printer specific functionality.
Unfortunately as I think about what you've said, I can see a lot of problems.

I just went digging in the Star Office install docs - in there it says...

"If you use a postscript printer, you should always install a compatible
description file (PPD) so that the paper trays, if necessary, use the double
print possibility and all the installed fonts.  What's more, you won't need
to set the appropriate page margins..."

Later on it states:

"You can find more information on these files in Adobe's server (

To me this looks like someone has already come up with a standard way of providing
specific printer functionality using postscript.  Does anyone know more about PPD
files, and if ghostscript can support whatever functions PPD provides?

Hmm, I think I need to shut up and do some research...

> > 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.
>   And may be set they owns options!
> > 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.
> >
> > Kent
>   With respect
>                                                    Serg.

Thanks Serg,

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