AW: [Desktop_printing] Role of CUPS and error handling

Michael Sweet mike at
Mon Apr 3 18:32:50 PDT 2006

Robert L Krawitz wrote:
> ...
> If we provide interfaces and extensions like this so that "advanced"
> applications can implement their own extended print dialogs, then
> every such application is likely to have its own dialog that behaves
> subtly differently.  I cannot see how that could possibly be any
> better for anyone -- application developers, library developers, or
> users -- than a common dialog.  The key is to implement them in a way
> that's minimally confusing to people who don't need the extensions
> while still allowing experts to have access to them.

I do agree that a common dialog is a good thing, and I think when
applications support a paged/preview view of their documents (or
whatever it is you are manipulating) the common dialog *is*

That said, there are applications (typically the "professional"
ones...) which do not follow this model.  On the Mac you get a
semi-standard print dialog with a separate application-specific
option pane.  On Windows, you get a custom print dialog with a
"setup" button which displays one of the two standard print dialogs
with a button that confusingly says "Print" on it (but doesn't
print, it just returns control back to the application's print

Take what you will from this...

> ...
> Now, as for specific use cases for needing extreme color accuracy and
> precision when printing from a word processor:
> 1) A photographer creating an advertising brochure for her business.
>    She wants samples of her work to be reproduced with extreme
>    fidelity, on glossy photo paper, in addition to properly set text.
>    Perhaps said photographer also wants to mail this brochure to a
>    variety of clients.  Rather than using mailing labels on lower
>    quality paper, she wants to print the mailing label on each
>    brochure.  Therefore, she needs the mail merge capabilities of a
>    word processor.

OK, my gut thinks this is a bogus use scenario - if quality is an
issue, you won't mail your photo brochures printed on an inkjet
printer without putting them in an envelope, otherwise they *will*
get destroyed on the way to your potential clients.  If they are in
an envelope, then you won't be printing the address on the brochure...

> 2) An graphic artist producing an album for a client, with a mixture
>    of text, graphics, and images.  For example, a catalog for a swanky
>    auction might include photographs of the objects for sale along
>    with textual descriptions of the items, as well as the auction
>    house logo.

It is unlikely that you'd use a word processor for this - word
processors typically only provide limited layout capabilities and
are not optimized for documents with large numbers of high-resolution
images.  On Windows or MacOS you'd probably use InDesign or Quark to
do the layout, both of which are considered to be "pro" apps.

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Publishing Software

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