[Desktop_printing] PPD settings vs IPP options

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at suse.de
Fri Feb 10 02:46:52 PST 2006


On Feb 9 20:09 Kurt Pfeifle wrote (shortened):
> It is very obvious to me that most desktop developers do not 
> have a lot of clue about printing in general, or PostScript, 
> IPP and CUPS specifically (and this is not meant as an insult
> -- it is/was just not "sexy" enough for most to put effort in,
> not even for understanding the details about how it works).

I am afraid but I can only fully agree.

And not only the desktop developers but also the browser
developers and the Staroffice/OOo developers.

And not only the developers but what is worst:
Even the users, the journalists, and the decission-makers/managers
seem to be much more interested in nice looking "sexy" features
which they can see and use on their screens than in printing.
But of course they expect that this "simple" printing stuff
"simply" works and if it fails they whine and complain :-(

What most desktop users recognize as the "printing mess"
are 99% problems only in the applications.

The biggest problem in the applications is that they don't
produce clean PostScript.
With "clean PostScript" I mean
- printer independent PostScript
- scalable/translatable PostScript
- DSC conforming PostScript
- by default only up to PostScript level 2
  special fonts (e.g. CJK) may require level 3 but even this
  is actually possible (but complicated) with level 1.

The second problem in the applications is that they let the
user create whatever nice looking document but they don't
help the user to care about possible limitations when printing:
- the imaged area in the document is bigger than the imageable
  area of the printer
- the document has a fixed design for a particular paper size
  with fixed assumptions about the margins but it should
  print well on any printer
- the document looks nice on a color screen but on a b/w printer
  differnt colors become the same level of gray
- embedded images look nice at 75 dpi on the color screen
  but horrible after printing with a 600 dpi b/w printer
- ...

Of course business print system admins recognize several problems
in the printing system but their problems are mostly not of much
importance for desktop users.

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstrasse 5      Mail: jsmeix at suse.de
90409 Nuernberg, Germany                    WWW: http://www.suse.de/

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