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Re: Websites on a Matrix Printer

Hi Herbt,

> [...]
> and the Cups printserver wasnt running that well (on Linux in the past)
> [...]

I  had  problems  with  cups  too. In Linux I always install
lprng (with cups I'm never sure what the * it is doing), and
I'm happy with NetBSD's native lpd.

> [...]
> I guess any modern matrix printer will print graphically with the
> typeset of the webpages. But often the fontsize and -face is not right,
> sometimes very tiny, advertisment junk in there and so on.
> All I want is to use the internal typeset of such printers. This will
> print much faster and is all I need.
> [...]
> I will read into the printcap and see how to catch a printjob before it
> goes out to the printer. Lynx with the --dump option looks good. Or
> convert some postscript output to text?
> [...]

In printcap, you can define different printers corresponding
to a same physical printer. This allow you to create filters
to  print  several  type  of  documents,  and  use a virtual
printer for each of them. Suppose you by a cheap  oki  ml182
turbo (and you say me where, of course). The printer will be
/dev/lpt0. Most X programs use ps output  for  printing,  so
you  need  create  a  filter with gs. You can use the device
drivers  oki182  or   okiibm   (ibm   emulation).    So   in
/etc/printcap you must have something like this:

lp|local printer|Oki Ml182 Turbo:\

ps|Ghostscript driver:\

We are defined two virtual printers, one for plain text (lpr
-P lp) an other for ps and pdf (lpr -P ps).  You can  change
the  pl  and pw options and adapt it to your printer or test
with mx#0 (see printcap(5) man page).  Now, we need to  cre-
ate the filters.


# Treat LF as CR+LF
printf "\033&k2G" && cat && exit 0
exit 2


# Treat LF as CR+LF
printf "\033&k2G" || exit 2
# Print the postscript file
/usr/pkg/bin/gs -dSAFER -dBATCH -dQUIET -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=oki182 \
-sOutputFile=- -sPAPERSIZE=a4 - && exit 0
exit 2

These are basic filters following the NetBSD guide.  Consult
the guide (Chapter 12) and make  sure  the  directories  and
files exists and have the right permissions.

The  problem  with a graphic browser is when you print a web
page, it converts the rendered HTML page to ps, and then you
have to print a ps file with graphics and a lot of mess.  If
you want to print a fast text copy you can convert the ps to
plain  text  using gs or poppler's pdftotext, but the result
isn't going to be satisfactory.  The best options is  render
the  HTML document directly to text. With elinks (elinks has
best HTML rendering than lynx and other grate  improvements,
even javascript; in fact, is my preferred browser):

elinks -dump URL | lpr

lp  is  the  default  printer, you can change it setting the
environment variable PRINTER.  You can set the color scheme,
and the dump's charset, for example:

elinks -dump -dump-color-mode 2 -dump-charset iso-8859-15 URL | lpr

You  can  use  it  in a key binding, so I think that resolve
your questions.


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