[Printing-architecture] GSOC'09: Common Printing Dialog

Per Hermansson hermansson.per at bredband.net
Thu Mar 26 13:45:31 PDT 2009

Till Kamppeter wrote:
> Per Hermansson wrote:
>> My name is Per Hermansson and I'm a student from the Royal institute 
>> of technology in Sweden. I'm interested in developing the common 
>> printing dialog. Designing a printing dialog with usability in mind 
>> seems like an important task which if done correct would benefit a 
>> lot of people. I consider myself to be experienced in C/C++ 
>> developing and have developed with GTK. Since I've recently switched 
>> to KDE I hope to also learn a bit about Qt. After some investigation 
>> about the idea, I've come up with the following questions I hope 
>> someone here can answer:
> Great, this is a good start for our projects on the Common Printing 
> Dialog.
> Note that you will not design the dialog but you will implement it. 
> OpenUsability has designed it and in the next days (at the latest 
> presented on the OpenPrinting Summit 2009 on April 8-10) a revision of 
> the design will be presented. Your task will be one of the following 
> two (probably you like the first more):
> 1. Finish the started implementation work on the GTK and Qt 
> incarnations of OpenUsability's Common Printing Dialog, especially 
> implementing the embedded preview and taking care of 
> feature-completeness (CUPS page management options, Custom options, 
> multi-language PPDs, ...).
> 2. Modifying/patching common desktop applications to use 
> OpenUsability's dialog with live preview via the D-Bus CPDAPI. 
> Priority depends on popularity of the apps, starting with OpenOffice.org.
Hi Alex and Till

I have seen the interface specification that was linked from the idea 
page. So the final version will be released soon, this sounds like 
excellent news.
I like both tasks but the first one will probably be easier to implement 
since modifying patching other applications is difficult estimate how 
much time it takes. Although it would be and probably not to difficult 
to try as Alex said with an application like Evince.

>> Since designing the interface is a major component would it be 
>> possible to implement the dialog with both Qt and GTK for one summer? 
>> I guess this depends on skill level (but e.g. abstracting the dialog 
>> model would make it easier).
> I think there will be enough time, as the design is already complete 
> and most of the dialogs already implemented.

I'm not sure if either GTK or Qt implementation needs the most work? If 
Alex is focusing on the KDE dialog it would seem logical to start with 
the GTK implementation. But working with Qt would be fun too, I'm a 
quick learner and will probably have some extra time until the summer 
starts to get into deep with Qt.
I've downloaded and tested the cpdapi code from the Bazar branch and it 
looked very nice but I guess both toolkit versions have to be modified 
to follow the OpenUsability design?

Also as I understand it both tasks (implementing the OpenUsablility 
design and porting desktop applications) can be done independently of 
each other?

>> Except for the printing dialog and the cpdapi implementation I guess 
>> that some kind of abstraction is needed so that the underlying print 
>> method is decoupled from D-Bus in order to use the api for systems 
>> without D-Bus?
> We mostly have the current desktop Linux distros in mind, and they all 
> have a D-Bus. We have nothing against alternative coupling methods but 
> they do not have the highest priority.
>> Also, if two students are chosen for the project what would be a good 
>> measure for success in modifying other application to use the dialog?
> Dialogs completed and at least OpenOffice.org, Firefox, Thunderbird, 
> Evince, and the GIMP being patched (but I have no idea how long 
> patching onme app takes). We also need to patch some common KDE apps 
> (for example the Konqueror web browser (or however it got renamed in 
> KDE 4).
>> Finally is the cpdapi used (or experimented with) by any applications 
>> today that you know of?
> Not in released software, but Lars Uebernickel (CCed) is implementing 
> the CPDAPI in GTK and Qt currently, so that if someone runs GNOME and 
> starts a KDE app that he gets the GNOME dialog and vice versa (a first 
> stage based only on patching the libs and not using the OpenUsability 
> dialog yet).
>    Till

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