Subject: Re: lpd and filter programs
To: None <tech-userlevel@NetBSD.ORG>
From: Bernd Salbrechter <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 07/22/1998 15:54:40
To: tech-userlevel@NetBSD.ORG
In-Reply-To: <> from Todd Whitesel <> Tue, 21 Jul 1998 06:22:36 -0700 (PDT)

> > I recognize the impulse to change lpr/lpd as suggested here. If you "know"
> > the remote printer speaks PostScript, then you want to use local resources
> > (which may not be present at the spooler - lpr(1) makes reference to this
> > in talking about Fonts) to do the transformation to PostScript.
> There's more to it than that -- I may have root on my machine (thus freedom
> to edit printcap) but not on the printer's serving machine. On short notice,
> I can only change my own machine in order to Get Things Done (tm).
> In an ideal world lpd would probe the printer to find out what formats it
> supports (keep an eye on HP's JetDirect initiative) and publish them on a
> well-known port. This would allow lpr to do high-level typechecking of
> print jobs sent to remote printers and could also become the basis for a
> system that tracks the state of all available remote printers. A graphical
> front end to lpr would look at the job file, show you a list of printers that
> would be able to print it, and in principle could even show you the depth of
> the print queue on each printer (plus the status of the paper tray!!).


"In an ideal world" I think UNIX miss somthing more for easy to use
printing and publishing.  It may be a litle of topic, but I think I
should take the moment to bring up an idea I am working on, because I
look like some of you are thinking of makeing priniting more comfortable.

I have figured out that there are many programs that need information of
the paperformat (maybe margings and label positions) and they all have
compiled that in. Wouldn't it make sense to setup a paper capapility

I have done allready an experimental "papercap" file, with size,
margins and rules for printing 2 pages on one sheet of paper (front and
backside). Currently I design a higer level interface (like curses to
termcap) to enable queries like "which margins should I use on the even
and the odd page".  I use "roff" and "reminder" to get PostScript pages,
which I mount with "pstools" on paper (12 pages on 2 sides of one sheet,
fold, punch and cut and have it in the right order).

The problems are mor in knowlage of printing and paperhandling, than
in Programming, NetBSD has already "getcap", which do most of the
programming task.

Someone (maybe NetBSD) should start to add such a database to the System,
which can be realy usefull for many printing tools.  If there is any
interest I like to discuse this in future, even I didn't have much time
for this baby at the moment.

thanks for reading this
Bernd Salbrechter