Re: [Gnome-print] Re: [Gimp-print-devel] An introduction to gnome-print (fwd)

"Thomas J. Hubbell" wrote:
> ...
> gnome-print render to some metafile-like intermediary file format.
> The gnome-print drivers for these raster formats could then be moved
> into the back-end spooler and would handle the conversion from the
> intermediary format to the printer's native format. Options (from a
> PPD file, for instance) could be passed to the back-end filters
> through the spooler to enable device-specific features for these
> types of printers.
> This is just a suggestion. It may not be (and probably isn't)
> perfect, but I believe it is a good compromise which doesn't really
> limit the functionality or power of the gnome-print system. It
> should also provide for an easy way to add device dependencies for
> all printer types.
> ...

I think I mentioned something along these lines last week...

Defining a portable "metafile" format is perfectly acceptable to
me.  In many ways this would allow the GNOME folks to continue their
imaging technology development, just moved to a more appropriate
place that could better support printers and printer drivers for

One possible implementation would have the "metafile filter" output
CUPS raster data to printer drivers, which would do the appropriate
formatting as needed.  This would allow the same drivers to be used
for PostScript, image file, and GNOME printing.  The metafile filter
could provide all of the imaging that the current GNOME-print code
does, but by using a metafile for the actual print job the amount of
data that is sent over the network/copied to the spool directory/etc.
can be significantly reduced.

This would also allow GNOME apps to support a standard metafile
"clipart" (which could be icons, images, spreadsheets, etc.) that
could be embedded in a document.  (Question: does GNOME already
have such a format?)

Another similar implementation could be done for the RedHat print
filters, etc. (although as you can imagine I'm not keen on propping
up LPD support any longer than necessary)

The main thing to be careful of is creating a new file format if
there is something out there that does the same thing.

PostScript has its weaknesses, and if the GNOME folks can come up
with a metafile format that works better and is portable then I'm
all for it.

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products        
Printing Software for UNIX             

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