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

Benjamin M. Schwartz bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Mar 19 16:34:47 EDT 2009

Wade Brainerd wrote:
> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 2:51 PM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
> <bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Eben Eliason wrote:
>>> I have to agree that a print to pdf function could be useful, though,
>>> especially since it means that every activity can create output that
>>> can be transferred elsewhere (via email, USB drive, etc.) for
>>> printing.  This provides a method, albeit indirect, for G1G1 users to
>>> print from various activities whose file formats are only understood
>>> by a Sugar activity.
>> No, it doesn't.  What we are discussing here is building PDF conversion
>> functionality directly into Glucose.  That means that the PDF renderer
>> will support a fixed set of common file formats, corresponding to the
>> output of a few popular Activities.  At the moment, I am not aware of any
>> Activity that produces printable data in a nonstandard format.  Write
>> produces Open Document Text.  Record produces JPEG.  Paint produces PNG.
>> Therefore, these are the formats that the PDF renderer will support.
> Um, last time I checked there were a few more activities than these
> which might benefit from printing.

I was not aware of any existing Activity which saves printable images or
documents to the Journal in a format that is not commonly used outside of
Sugar.  Since you protested I looked through the source code of Colors!,
and sure enough, it seems to save Journal objects in its own special DRW

Even so, it will not be easy to print from Colors!.  What we have
described so far is a non-interactive, fixed set of conversions to PDF,
included with Glucose.  To support DRW, we would have to include a
complete duplicate copy of Colors!'s rendering engine with Sugar... and
that will only work as long as Colors! doesn't change its output format.

In order to permit printing from applications that don't save in any
common format, we would have to create a much more complicated system, in
which Activities somehow participate actively in the print conversion
process.  I'm not necessarily opposed to such a system, but it's a much
larger undertaking than simply blessing a few common formats.  It would
probably be easier to add PNG export to Colors!.


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