Rant (Was Re: printing in gnome port)

Subject: Rant (Was Re: printing in gnome port)
From: Dom Lachowicz (cinamod@hotmail.com)
Date: Sun Feb 18 2001 - 14:34:11 CST

Hi Vlad,

>* It looks like gnome print (or AW when using GP) doesn't support color in
> way (and even shades of gray). Though I didn't configure my GP at all
> was using all "factory presets" - I was using a ximian's package) - may
> it possible..

It does support color and all other sorts of formatting just fine.
Screenshots available upon request. It's funny, because no other port
supports choosing of background colors. Hell, the GTK+ PS driver will
UT_ASSERT(UT_SHOULD_NOT_HAPPEN) if you try to print a background color...

>* Printing with symbol fonts doesn't work - symbols disappear in .ps
> by gnome-print (i.e., they will be absent on the paper), and seen as
> in print preview (tested under english locale too, so it's not
> locale-specific). This means printing of lists is broken - you get NO
> bullets in lists!

This is true. Want to know why? According to several knowledable people that
I've talked to, we are outputting glyphs in the wrong range for symbol and
dingbats fonts (i.e. our glyphs are shifted down 255 IIRC). This is *our*

>* It seems GP doesn't support ttf printing in any way. Also printing
> of non-latin1 texts is not supported (in fact, looking at the source of
> should work for single-byte encoding, but AW currently ignores any
> non-iso-8859-1 chars when printing to GP). Not to say about BiDi..

This is changing with the next release of gnome-print AFAIK. We don't
support TTF printing (Tomas' new addition) because (I'll say this once more)
we stupidly ship our own fonts. This whole discussion about adding a
gui/dialog to add TTFs and new fonts would be mute if someone fixed this.
Someone write a better PS driver so we can:

1) Use whatever fonts are available to us
2) Not ship our own fonts (and thus increates our robustness and decrese our

If only I could convince everyone that they were trying to fix the problem
from the wrong end and that our handling of fonts just plain sucks! How
about I suggest that no one use the GTK+ version since they can't run it
over an X connection to another box? Or what about the 100s of duplicate
bugs in Gnome.org's bugzilla relating to people having problems getting us
to run out of the box because of our font problem? What about XFree86 v4.x
users like me who have to manually modify their config files and restart xfs
and X to get AbiWord to "just work"? What about all of the problems that
other apps encounter because if we're running and they are too, they use our
crappy fonts first and their display ends up looking like crap (Kwrite
anyone?)? I could go on for hours but I think that my fingers would hurt and
I need them to code...

> Considering all this I think it would be wiser to provide PS generation
>ability in the gnome port (e.g. under menu "Print directly" - just enable
>compilation of the sources and hook that gtk dialog to this menu item), or
>even don't use GP at all for now. It seems all linux distibutors will ship
>gnome version of AW, so we will get VERY BAD perception for things we are
>really guilty. Anyway, it's too rude for out users to force them hunting
>pure gtk version of AW for their distribution in order they to be able to
>print normally. It's unfair an should be fixed.

This is a poor alternative. I am not adding this personally. I've requested
that if you want this, provide a patch and someone will review it. Code
speaks louder than words.

> Another option is not to recomment gnome port to the users...

This is not happening.

> Let's respect our users if we want any...
See my comments on the GTK+ port...

In short, I'm unconvinced. Sorry about the rant,

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