[Xcb] xprint

Jim Gettys Jim.Gettys at hp.com
Fri Mar 25 10:41:12 PST 2005

On Tue, 2005-03-22 at 21:33 +0100, Jonas Gall wrote:
> On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 15:22:35 -0500, Jim Gettys <Jim.Gettys at hp.com> wrote:
> > It is becoming obsolete.
> I don't think so. There is lots of new development around Xprint, new
> drivers, RENDER ext., OpenGL and application support. That sounds not
> that it is going to become obsolete.

You aren't listening.... This has nothing to do with active development.
Xprint has been above the line on that for quite a while now.

I'll try one last time to state succinctly the two most basic issues
that I see with Xprint.  There are others, but these two are the big
ones in my view.

1) Xprint is a non-starter for a number of projects like GTK+, as it
isn't cross platform; bringing an entire X infrastructure across to get
printing, when the result cannot match the results they get when running
their applications locally on those platforms, is a non-starter for
toolkits that claim cross OS platform support.

2) printing should inherently be done in a resolution independent
fashion.  The Xprint approach gets you one resolution, period, when you
go to print.  The problem is that that may not be  the resolution you
want when you print a document you've saved again on a different

Does this make Xprint useless?  

I don't think so. I believe that due to Motif's wide deployment in many
commercial environments porting to Linux that RH's position is incorrect
and that they should support it.  But the market will decide, and RH
talks to their customers who can vote with their dollars.  It may be
that in fact that those customers don't care or that many/most of those
applications have other alternatives existing for printing.  I'm not in
a position to have that information.

Does the above mean that Xprint can't satisfy several basic, fundamental
needs for a good printing architecture for open source programs, many of
which run on environments that are not based on the X Window System, and
which have many more seats than Linux and Unix?

I think yes, As either of the above are show-stopping problems from my
perspective. And therefore I believe the work on alternatives like Cairo
are strategically essential for open source to have the widest appeal.

> > And it has little to do with Red Hat, though
> > they don't want to support it.
> In my opinion there is a difference between 'not supporting' and
> aggressively spreading the claim that 'Xprint is obsolete' and pissing
> on everyone who opposes that opinion or shows interest in Xprint
> support for their application. What Red Hat did in the past was
> looking more like a witch hunt and a shame for the open source
> community.

Some would interpret 1) and 2) as making Xprint obsolete, given an
alternative that meets the fundamental requirements mentioned above of
some/many/most open source GUI projects. But let's just avoid the term
"obsolete" altogether, as it seems loaded, and say that Xprint isn't
sufficient for some other projects goals, and that their goals may be
different than your goals.
				- Jim

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