[Desktop_printing] PPD settings vs IPP options

Till Kamppeter till.kamppeter at gmx.net
Fri Feb 10 03:18:49 PST 2006

Johannes Meixner wrote:
> 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.

Hope the switchover to PDF will eliminate this problem or at least make
at least bad print data from applications occur less often.

> 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
> - ...

These are important points which we should discuss on the printing summit.

I suggest the following for the apps:

- On the editing screen of a document-producing application there should
be a fine gray frame to mark the imageable area of the currently chosen
printer (switchable).

- There should be a print integrity check, which tells the user whether
there are graphical elements in the document which are beyond the
imageable area of the current printer, whether there are pages with a
paper size not available on the printer, colored elements when a bw
printer is chosen, embedded images with way to low resolution, ... and
an easy way to quickly jump to the offending element, Craig, you have
chosen me such a feature in Scribus in Luxembourg.

- The printer's resolution should be read out from the print
queue/PPD/CUPS and images pre-rendered in a resolution compatible to the

- There should be a bw-view button, so that one can quickly switch the
screen view of the document to bw ore grayscale, to visualize problems
which can occur when faxing or printing in black and white.


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