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PSPrint - a Unix print solution


StarOffice 5.2 (and earlier) relied on a thirdparty solution for printing. This solution could of course not be open sourced as it was a commercial product. So when StarOffice became OpenOffice there was no printing possible at all on the Unix platforms; just a wrapper was provided that contained stubs fitting the missing symbols left in vcl. A new print solution was desperately needed, so a variety of existing print solutions were examined, the most notable of which were gnome-print and Xprint. Gnome-print did not really fit into OpenOffice.org, since it would require to link against a huge amount of other gnome libraries, too, which is unacceptable for OpenOffice.org, because we want to run on many desktops. Xprint was designed as a standard Unix print solution and has many advantages: code for the display would work exactly the same way on the printer. A proof of concept version was created by Martin Maher and Oisin Boydell with help from Hamburg and the US which made it into OpenOffice.org as a temporary solution to have minimal print support on Unix. But Xprint in its current state misses many features that become increasingly important: fast character metric handling, access to glyph substitution tables, easy configurability on a per user basis just to name a few. Also one cannot really say that it has become the standard solution for printing on Unix yet; in fact only recently it was awakened from its long beauty sleep having its major bugs fixed so it is now useable.

This led to the decision that as long as there is no standard solution scratching a sufficient number of our itches OpenOffice.org should do like everyone else and produce its own PostScript code. Hence psprint entered the game.



PSPrint consists of the following major parts:

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