[Sugar-devel] Print Support proposal (need input) Beta

Wade Brainerd wadetb at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 13:16:47 EDT 2009

2009/3/19 Carol Farlow Lerche <cafl at msbit.com>:
> A problem with the desktop-oriented printer support in Unix and in Windows
> is that it has the underlying assumption that the person at the desktop
> should be in unfettered control of the ability to print (with lip service
> paid to an overall page quota).  Where this breaks down for children is that
> . kids love tangible output, so unless someone does something about it, they
> will print everything.
> . in a school the printer may be somewhere else than in the classroom, and
> kids aren't allowed to roam the building picking up their output.  So even
> more than printer users in an office environment, they have no clue as to
> why things don't show up as "printed", or why the print queue is long.
> (Could be a printer jam.  Could be a graphics-intensive prior job, or their
> own job being graphics-intensive, could be an unwitting print of a 30 page
> job on a slow printer, etc., etc.) Just as in the "hit the launch button
> again" phenomenon when activity launching is slow on the XO, this leads to
> printing the same document again and again.
> I'd like to show you the scars from the arrows in my back after spending a
> day a week in elementary school classrooms over a period of several years,
> but it would scare the children.
> So here is a scenario that I think would be better, especially in an
> environment such as a third world school with few printers and scarcity of
> paper/toner/ink.
> Vamsi's default pdf printer is great...no consumables, no remote print
> server, nice way to preserve the visual effect of a piece of work for
> posterity.
> But for printing real output, I think a more draconian control system is
> needed.  One possibility:  submit pdf files to a Moodle-mediated "turn it
> in" queue.  This ensures that an artifact has been produced that the child
> can review and is motivated to review before giving it to the teacher to
> decide if it warrants printing.  The teacher can then browse the turned in
> work, printing those examples s/he thinks warrant the expense.
> Should it be possible to configure a normal CUPS printer queue where kids
> could "just print it"?  Yes, there are probably circumstances where this is
> appropriate.  But even where kids make the decision about what to print, I
> think having some kind of per-document filter, such as "has this document
> already been printed in the last n hours?", "is this document longer than x
> pages?", "has this child submitted more than y pages in the last time
> period" is crucial.  And so it would be good to build that into the journal
> print interface.  I don't think the ordinary unix print quota mechanism does
> this, but I admit I haven't looked at it in detail recently.

I wonder if "printer control" could be managed in a social way rather
than a technical one?  Say, if a child wants something printed, they
use Journal File Transfer to send it to their teacher, who prints it
for them if they deem it appropriate.


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