printing minority report

Declan. Moriarty declan.moriarty at ntlworld.ie
Sat May 24 10:11:51 PDT 2003


Here is a modified version. I imagine Uli Fahrenberg <uli at math.auc.dk>
will look after it from now on. He will probably go quiet and then
produce a root and branch rewrite. 



-- 

	With best Regards,


	Declan Moriarty.
-------------- next part --------------
TITLE:		The Printing Minority Report

LFS VERSION:	3.3 (Any, really)

AUTHOR:		"Declan Moriarty"<declan.moriarty at ntlworld.ie>

SYNOPSIS:	Get Printing in 60 minutes.

HINT:

For those without Postscript printers who get pissed off big time with
printing programs in linux and only need basic functionality, one
dissented loser with all this printing crap took the following way out. 
Printing is accomplished by ghostscript, and a simple but effective 
script kindly contributed by Uli Fahrenberg <uli at math.auc.dk>. This hint
does not install 10 packages and then tell you 'it all worked for me'.
I install a max of 3 and tell you how to hack them to your taste.


CHANGES: 

	22nd May 2003: Trimmed aliases, halved self congratulatory
	propeganda and bloat, converted to a more noraml hint style
	form it's highly eccentric predecessor.Added a2ps as a
	concession to deal with multipage ascii files.

	16TH May 2003: Added 'lpr' script by Uli Fahrenberg to replace
	ALL print programs. Caught some of my own spelling & grammar 
	mistakes. Reworked opening boasts accordingly.

SOFTWARE:

GHOSTSCRIPT: 
ftp://ftp.easysw.com/pub/ghostscript/espgs-7.05.6-source.tar.bz2

ABIWORD:(or any other word processor entirely at your own discretion)
http://www.abisource.org and download from nearest mirror.
There are also Maxwell, OpenOffice, and many others. Choose yours.

(Optionally) a2ps (For multipage ascii documents only)
http://www.infres.enst.fr/~demaille/a2ps/4.13.html (Current 20/05/2003)


INSTALLING:

1. Get a Word Processor - Abiword is mine. A hint is there, and it 
worked for me. If it doesn't work for you, argue with him, not me. 

If  you haven't done anything right yet, build abiword first. It has
loads of nice fonts which you can include in ghostscript by adding
'--with-fontpath=/usr/local/share/AbiSuite/fonts' to the gs
'./configure'.  Otherwise see below.


2. Get ghostscript. I used espgs-7.05. There's all sorts of patches if
you want to go with gnu ghostscript, and AFAIK, Version 8 doesn't
compile for those who have tried it.

I won't bore you further on this. There is a ghostscript hint.From my 
inspection the gimp printer drivers for ghostscript seem to offer more 
promise than the cups ones. So a good set of options for ghostscript 
might include the following
./configure --with-drivers=all --with-cups --with-gimp --with-fontpath=<etc>

If you don't have cups or gimp - that's fine. Lie through your teeth ;-)

This completes necessary installing. Easy, wasn't it?

CONFIGURING:

3. Type gs -h at a prompt and select your printer from the pageful of
drivers that it gives up. I have a BJC-4000 (bjc600 driver), but like a
true cheapskate, I use b/w cartridges, so bjcmono suits me. The bjc600
driver performs poorly, giving colour to a b/w printer. You may then
want to fire up vim and edit the ppd slightly.

vim /usr/local/share/ghostscript-7.05/filter/bjcmono.ppd

or whatever your ghostscript /filter directory is. Don't muck it up,
just change defaults to another blindingly obvious option. If you
screw up completely, delete and you can do another 'make install'.
Test this driver by executing the following commands from a console.

gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dSAFER -sDEVICE=<your-printer-driver>  \
-sOutputFile=/tmp/testit  <some_file.ps> .

There are good postscript files in the <ghostscript source>/examples
directory.  Give it a few seconds. Make sure your printer is on.
Follow this with

cat /tmp/testit > /dev/lp0

or whatever point in the /dev directory your printer resides in. Paper
& ink should flow relatively productively. If you get a ghostscript
crash, look for a wordlike 'invalidfileaccess' (file error) as a hint
to what went wrong. If you can see the file but not send it to
print,have you permission? If so,  it's your '-sDEVICE=' option or a
syntax error.

If you fall over trying to write to /tmp as a user, execute (as root)

chmod 1777 /tmp 

and kick yourself for being too security conscious.

To save paper - less /tmp/testit

should show you a binary file full of gibberish. Perfect!  If you see
text, you've got problems. The details after ' -sOutputFile=' can be
any filename.  -sOutputFile=/home/your_dir/rude_word would work just as
well. Those options mean: 

-q - tells gs not to display anything & saves it looking for X.

-dBATCH - tells gs to quit after processing - always a good idea.

-dNOPAUSE - gs will not wait for a keypress.

-dSAFER -   stops gs from  deleting or zapping anything.

-sDEVICE= your printer driver. Be exact and case sensitive. GS is
stupid.Use the spelling on the info at 'gs -h'.

-r360 - tells the resolution to use. You may not need this. You hacked
the ppd, remember? Yours may be different. It's the dpi.

-sOutputFile= write to this output file (congratulations for guessing!)
Brew your own cocktail of these options. Refine & remember it, or write
it down. 'Man gs' is instructive.

-sPAPERSIZE= (if I have to tell you this....).

An added refinement is to review the gs -h info. At the end it
mentions a number of places where ghostscript checks for fonts.
Let one of them symlink to wherever abiword hid it's selection
(/usr/local/share/AbiSuite/fonts on my system), so ghostscript can
tap in, in the vain hope that you might get a WYSIWYG word processor.
It might even work.


3. Skip this if you are opting for the a2ps option for multipage ascii. 
You should also be able to print text with 'cat > /dev/lp0' or
wherever your printer is. I found I needed a few lines on top of the
page with cat as my printing tool.  I got them the lazy way vim
/tmp/header. It says "new file"; hit insert, return 3 times, escape,
and :wq. You should have a /tmp/header file with three blank lines ;-)

An alias  in etc/profile to get it out to the printer

alias print='cat  /tmp/header  /tmp/testit  >  /dev/lp0'

This sends my file /tmp/testit to the printer after /tmp/header.
Log out & in to get the alias recognised. Type alias and see if print
is actually one of the ones listed

Usage: print <filename>or cat /tmp/header <textfile> >/dev/lp0


A hidden gotcha is that multipage ascii docs will mess up by
missing headers and often a few lines between pages. Load them in
abiword, or any wp that will print to a .ps file, and that will sort
them neatly into pages. Go around & set defaults to your paper size.
Uli's script (section 10) ideally needs a text section to send a 
header at the top of each page of ascii. If you can dream it up,  
script it and send it to me for inclusion. You, of course, will get 
credited, and a2ps will come out.


4. Some tidying up :-D.  Use 'make uninstall' targets on your
"printing" programs if they exist. Then, if cups
has you seriously browned off (like it has me), for example

	rm -rf /etc/cups
	rm -rf /usr/share/cups
	rm -rf /var/spool/cups
	rm -rf /usr/src/cups*
	rm  -rf /usr/share/docs/cups

All those unnecessary files in the /usr/bin & /usr/local/bin
directories; broken loser program to do what we are doing: gsbj; gsdj;
gsdj500; gslp; lp; lpr; lpd; lpadmin; lpstat, and probably lp*. You get
the  idea.  Have fun, and don't come crying to me if you mess up by
overdoing it. You can always reinstall, and reconfigure. It's your
system. You're the boss. I suggest you choose a directory for print
files - NOT /home/you/followed/by/a/long/directory/name but /tmp. You
can then add a

rm -f /tmp/*.ps

to some startup or shutdown file to clean up printed matter on a
reboot.. If you're fussy & security conscious,
make that something fussy & secure like

rm -i /tmp/*.ps and play God with these files.

Note that we got to here without a huge amount of the formatters and 
translators that seem to gather around inferior print strategies. Sad 
to say, few of these have 'make uninstall' targets, but such could be 
manufactured by attacking the Makefile :-D. 


5. If your docs have appearance problems, be aware that there are a
useful set of help documents in the .abw format which come with the
abiword source tree which AFAIK are not installed anywhere. These are
in the ~/abi/docs/ subdirectory.  They give details of how to load
windoze fonts, as well as the the best and most logical explanation of
the tortured intricasies of the Unix font and locale systems that I
have come across in some time. The abiword source is worth downloading
for these alone, even if you hate the thing. Unfortunately, in real M$
style, they are in abiword's individual .abw format. 

6. The first versions of this hint contained an appeal to savants for a 
printing script to automate this.

This script below (name it lpr locally) takes a .ps or .pdf file and
spits it at the printer, something printer programs seem to find
difficulty with ;-). Uli Fahrenberg <uli at math.auc.dk> contributed this,
and we bow and scrape in his general direction :-).

Before you say it doesn't work, revisit point 4 and make sure you
cleared all the other lpr programs out of the path. Install it
somewhewre in the path and chmod it to 755. 

Next, open lpr in your favourite editor. You may need to hack it.

	1. Line 6 - DEVICE=<your printer driver>. Set now as ljet4
	2. Line 7 - LP=<your printer port> without the '/dev/' bit
	3. Lines 33, 43. If your paper isn't a4, edit it's size here

Usage is simple: it IS lpr, and does everything a 500K binary should:
Print from the 'print' function in any program, or call it from  a
command line or script. At a stroke we have obsoleted megabytes of 
bloated crap associated with printing. More Power to you, Uli!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
#!/bin/bash
# By Uli Fahrenberg <uli at math.auc.dk>
# Check the arguments to gs suit your printer


DEVICE=ljet4  	## Your printer driver from 'gs -h' here
LP=lp0		## Your printer port 


# Prints file to $DEVICE (above) connected at /dev/$LP(any port as above)
# Usage:	`lpr <ps or pdf file>' or `cat bla.ps | lpr'
		Or Print from any application to lpr.
		

if [ -e /tmp/.lp-lock ] ; then
        	echo "Error: printer is locked  (/tmp/.lp-lock exists)"
        	exit 1
     	fi
FILE=$1
if ! [ X$FILE = X ] ; then ### We have a filename as an argument.
        if ! [ -r $FILE ] ; then
                echo "Error: Cannot read file $FILE"
                exit 1
        fi

FTYPE=$(file -b $FILE | awk '{print $1}')
        if ! [ $FTYPE = 'PDF' ] && ! [ $FTYPE = 'PostScript' ] ; then
                echo "Error: $FILE should be a PS or PDF file."
                exit 1
        fi
	        echo -n "Printing $FILE... "
	        (touch /tmp/.lp-lock;\
        gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dSAFER -sDEVICE=$DEVICE \
	        -sPAPERSIZE=a4 -sOutputFile=- $FILE > /dev/$LP ; \
           	rm /tmp/.lp-lock) & echo "Done."

else ### We are part of a pipe.
	DATA="$(</dev/stdin)"
	(touch /tmp/.lp-lock;\
	echo "$DATA" \
	| gs -q -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dSAFER -sDEVICE=$DEVICE \
	-sPAPERSIZE=a4 -sOutputFile=- - \
        > /dev/$LP;\
        rm /tmp/.lp-lock)&
fi
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And to you, the reader: You should now be printing! 
If you want printing by users,  chmod 666 /dev/lp0
Also revisit the permissions of lpr (755), and gs (751)

7. Programmers and others like hint maintainers may have a need for
multipage ascii documents. As a concession to their needs, we cover
installing another program, a2ps. This is against the minimalist,
'delete all the crap' philosophy of this hint, but I weakened.

Install is the usual ./configure && make && make install. If you don't
like the /usr/local/etc location give it a --sysconfdir instruction on
the configure. 

A2ps has as many options as pppd :-(. If that wasn't bad enough, most
of them have long and short versions. He takes it for granted we all
know C :-/.Hack the config file and you can forget them. Here is how.

cp /usr/local/etc/a2ps.cfg /usr/local/etc/a2ps.cfg.orig just in case.

Install something like this as  /usr/local/etc/a2ps.cfg. I shortened
the original considerably but left it's sections intact, so you could
find things in it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
# -*- ksh -*-
# a2psrc

#################################################################
# 1)            Definition of some media                        #
# (Must be defined before --medium)                             #
#################################################################
# Medium: name, width height [llx lly urx ury]
Medium: A3       842    1190
Medium: A4       595     800
Medium: A5       420     595
Medium: B4       729    1032
Medium: B5       516     729
Medium: Letter   612     792
Medium: Legal    612    1008
Medium: Tabloid  792    1224
Medium: Ledger  1224     792
Medium: Statement 396    612
Medium: Executive 540     720
Medium: Folio    612     936
Medium: Quarto   610     780
Medium: 10x14    720    1008

# Desk Jet users: bigger margins
#	Also bigger ink cartridge bills :-D 

#################################################################
# 2)    Path to the a2ps resource                               #
#################################################################
# Default path where a2ps dropped its library files.
LibraryPath: /usr/local/share/a2ps/sheets:/usr/local/share/a2ps/ps:/usr/
local/share/a2ps/encoding:/usr/local/share/a2ps/afm:/usr/local/share/a2p
s/ppd:/usr/local/share/a2ps/fonts:/usr/local/share/a2ps


#################################################################
# 3)    System dependant parameters                             #
#################################################################
# By default, produce Level 1 PostScript.
# Currently it only means to consider only the 13 level 1 standard
# fonts, and not the 35 standard level 2 fonts.
DefaultPPD: level2

# First, the default printer (option -d, no argument)
DefaultPrinter: | lpr


# Second, a printer unkown to a2ps (option -P, argument is #o)
UnknownPrinter: | lpr

# Then, special printers you might want to define.
# Here, dominique is a Level 2 PostScript printer
# Printer: dominique level2 | lp -d dominique

# Default encoding
Options: --encoding=latin1

# Default medium
Options: --medium=A4

Options: --lines-per-page=60


# How to call file(1), and if possible, follow the links
FileCommand: /usr/bin/file -L


#################################################################
# 4)    Your printers                                           #
#################################################################

#################################################################
# 5)    Default settings                                        #
#################################################################
# Two virtual pages per sheet.
Options: -1

# Set automatic pretty-printing on (set to "plain" for off)
Options: --pretty-print

# By default, single sided printing
Options: -s1

# Name of the document is the list of files
# (Don't put too many of them: it breaks some PS interpreters)
# ptions: '--title=#10!f|$n|, |'

# Header is the client of the job
# Options: --header=%a

# Title of the page is the (short) name of the current file
# or the first taged text if there is
Options: --center-title=#?1|$t1|$n|

# Left part of the title is the mod. date of the file
# or empty is there is a tag2
Options: '--left-title=#?2||$e $T|'

# Right part of the title is the page number
# or tag2 if there is
Options: '--right-title=#?2|$t2|$Q|'

# If in landscape, print date on the left hand side
# If portrait, then print date on recto, and sheet # on verso
Options: --left-footer=#?l!%E!#?v|%E|%s./%s#|!

# Center footer is the list of files on this sheet if landscape
# Options: '--footer=#?l|#!s-$f-, -||'

# If in landscape, print date on the right hand side
# If portrait, then print date on verso, and sheet # on recto
# Options: --right-footer=#?l!%s./%s#!#?v|%s./%s#|%E|!

# We want the %%Page comments to be instructive.
# There are two predefined choices: #{pl.short} and #{pl.long}
PageLabelFormat: #{pl.short}


#################################################################
# 6)    Preconfigured Macro Meta Sequences                      #
#################################################################
#
# Some Macros for the delegations
#       Strictly for the ambitious!

#################################################################
# 7)    Preconfigured delegations                               #
#################################################################
#
# Delegations are ways to hand off the processing of some
# files to other filters.
#        What other filters? 

#################################################################
# 8)    Some interesting UserOptions/Printers                   #
#################################################################

#               Yeah... Right!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Trim out my nauseous disrespectful comments, and insert your own more 
pointed and caustic humour.Interesting things to note are: (Section 
numbers in Brackets)

(1)Medium: A4       595     800. 

This is shorter than the 840 in the original, as I found it ran off the
page and dirtied the second and subsequent pages.

(3)DefaultPrinter: | lpr

(3)Options: --lines-per-page=58

Default printer pipes to the lpr script. I inserted the lines per page
to tweak down the length, as my printer default font is bigger than
a2ps thinks it is. The config file apparently takes any of the long
options as shown on the man page. The header/footer stuff is in Section
5 and I don't understand a word of it. (It seems patterned on the
twisted thinking  typical of sed expressions).

With this, I can simply type

a2ps <textfile>

And I get a neat header, side borders, and page numbers. It goes off 
through lpr,  which wakes up ghostscript, but then we set lpr up, 
didn't we? The header has date, title, and page numbers.

Stop the stopwatch, e-mail me with your grateful thanks, praise, and
offers of gifts:-), & Cc to Uli Fahrenberg for the script.



	Declan Moriarty.


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