Re: [Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and GNOME (Summit mockups)

On Fri, 16 Dec 2005, Owen Williams wrote:

> Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 08:55:07 -0500
> From: Owen Williams <ywwg usa net>
> To: Iain * <iaingnome gmail com>
> Cc: Alan Horkan <horkana maths tcd ie>, usability gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Usability] Re: [Desktop_architects] Printing dialog and
>     GNOME (Summit mockups)

[Rearranged message.  Owen, please try to avoid top posting.  The
easier you make for people to follow the context of the dicussion if
the more likely they are to be receptive to your suggestions, at least
that is the theory]

> On Fri, 2005-12-16 at 00:21 +0000, Iain * wrote:
> > > Export as mydocument2.blah
> > > you are still working on mydocument1.blah
> > >
> > > Gnome uses Export and "Save a copy" synonymously.
> >
> > Hmmm, so thats what it means...
> > Still doesnt answer the question as to why you need Export as PDF
> > instead of having it in the save.

> I think because after you "save-as" you're working in that form of
> document.  So if I save as Word, the filename is now .doc.   If I save
> as .txt, I'm editing plaintext.

Worringly you are editing plaintext but the display will still show
typsetting such as bold or italic which has already been discarded.

> But since PDF is output-only and can't be edited,

Sorry to be pedantic but PDF may in practical terms not be very easy to
edit but in most cases PDF is editable if you have the right software.

> you can't tell the user they are working on a .pdf file.  You
> have to call it exporting or else the user might think they are now
> editing a pdf.

The simplest answer is usually the right one, what seems most likely to me
is the historical use of Postscript and Portable Document Format for
printing means that implementation detail was exposed to users.

As others have already pointed out having a shared PDF printer takes
advantage of the more or less standard printing infrastructure and gives
that feature to any applications which can print.

This and request I recently made to Gnome Photo Printer [1] made me
consdier the idea of a more generic File printer which could also provide
raster output using gdkpixbuf (or ImageMagick or other backend)  but then
I'm probably taking the idea too far [insert suitable Joel Spolsky quote

- Alan

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