Okular sends print jobs in PostScript format

Bug #891199 reported by Till Kamppeter on 2011-11-16
30
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
KDE Graphics
New
Wishlist
okular (Ubuntu)
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

The standard format for print jobs has changed from PostScript to PDF:

http://www.openprinting.org/
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/pdf_as_standard_print_job_format

Most applications are switched over from sending PostScript to sending PDF and CUPS in Debian and Ubuntu turns every incoming job to PDF, does page management operations (N-up, selected pages, ...) on a PDF data stream and then rasterizes the PDF data directly into the printer's native language.

While investigating bug 891074 I have found out that Okular is one of the few programs which still sends PostScript. To make the CUPS workflow more straight and to fulfill the new standard it should send PDF (and AFAIK the other KDE programs send PDF). In addition, the most displayed file format is PDF and Okular could simply pass through the PDF input files when printing, making the printing even faster and more reliable.

Changed in okular (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in okular (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed

Version: 0.5.81
OS: Linux

This is according to
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/okular/+bug/891199

Reproducible: Didn't try

Steps to Reproduce:
It is stupid i have to fill this textbox all the time

Expected Results:
It is stupid i have to fill this textbox all the time

OS: Linux (i686) release 3.0.0-13-generic
Compiler: gcc

Expecting me to go to the ubuntu bugtracker and loose my time because you did not want to loose your time is selfish and bad mannered.

Don't know if its valid or not but here is the upstream bug report:

The standard format for print jobs has changed from PostScript to PDF:

http://www.openprinting.org/
http://www.linuxfoundation.org/collaborate/workgroups/openprinting/pdf_as_standard_print_job_format

Most applications are switched over from sending PostScript to sending PDF and CUPS in Debian and Ubuntu turns every incoming job to PDF, does page management operations (N-up, selected pages, ...) on a PDF data stream and then rasterizes the PDF data directly into the printer's native language.

While investigating bug 891074 I have found out that Okular is one of the few programs which still sends PostScript. To make the CUPS workflow more straight and to fulfill the new standard it should send PDF (and AFAIK the other KDE programs send PDF). In addition, the most displayed file format is PDF and Okular could simply pass through the PDF input files when printing, making the printing even faster and more reliable.

I don't see why this is a bug, moving to wish. Postscript printing should still be supported by Ubuntu, and if it is not, it is their problem they decided to move away from the default printing system without caring for people using the printing system itself.

(In reply to comment #1)
> Expecting me to go to the ubuntu bugtracker and loose my time because you did
> not want to loose your time is selfish and bad mannered.

Writing this comment took you more time than following the link I provided. I report bugs to help make KDE better, not to be insulted by arrogant devs. For the record, pasting takes the same amount of time regardless of the size of text pasted, which makes your assumptions about my manners invalid. This is the last Okular bug I ever reported.

(In reply to comment #4)
> Writing this comment took you more time than following the link I provided.
It did to me, but do you think I am the only person reading KDE bugs?
There is lots of people trying to read, triage and fix KDE bugs, the fact that you make each and every of them go to ubuntu bug tracker to read something that could be easily be put into this bug report is making lots of people lose lots of time. That is bad for all of us, included you, since it lowers the possibility of your bug ever getting fixed.

> I report bugs to help make KDE better, not to be insulted by arrogant devs. For
> the record, pasting takes the same amount of time regardless of the size of
> text pasted, which makes your assumptions about my manners invalid.
So you did not make it to save your time, why did you paste the text then?

> This is the last Okular bug I ever reported.
This means your bugs might go unfixed since there might be no report about it. You are only harming yourself with this stance

(In reply to comment #5)
> There is lots of people trying to read, triage and fix KDE bugs, the fact that
> you make each and every of them go to ubuntu bug tracker to read something
> that could be easily be put into this bug report is making lots of people
> lose lots of time. That is bad for all of us, included you, since it lowers
> the possibility of your bug ever getting fixed.

Valid point.

> So you did not make it to save your time, why did you paste the text then?

I didn't see the reason to do that. Now back to the bug:

(In reply to comment #3)
> I don't see why this is a bug, moving to wish.

Not following official standard IMHO is a bug.

> Postscript printing should still
> be supported by Ubuntu,

It is.

> and if it is not, it is their problem they decided to
> move away from the default printing

The new default is to sent jobs to CUPS as PDFs.

(In reply to comment #6)
> > I don't see why this is a bug, moving to wish.
>
> Not following official standard IMHO is a bug.

It's not a bug because:
 a) "Printing to PDF as default" won't be the default until CUPS 1.6 that is still not shipped in any distro, just that Ubuntu decided to go on their way and enable it already
 b) We need to support other printing systems other than cups
 c) Printing to PDF instead of PS won't have any visible benefit to the user, other than maybe a somehow shorter printing time since there won't be one conversion less in the chain

>
> > Postscript printing should still
> > be supported by Ubuntu,
>
> It is.

No it is not, i've spoke with Till this morning and he has agreed there is a problem printing some Postcript files and it is something they have to fix, actually he told me he has a fix for it already and will be pushed shortly fixing your problem printing in Okular

>
> > and if it is not, it is their problem they decided to
> > move away from the default printing
>
> The new default is to sent jobs to CUPS as PDFs.

Yes, the issue as I said is we support more printing systems than CUPS

Changed in kdegraphics:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → New

This is a real problem for us. We (City of Munich) generate large mail merge documents (PDF with 4k - 8k pages, some even 16k), which we want to print from KDE. Generation using LibreOffice + WollMux takes ~2 hours, but even with the latest GhostScript 9.15, which is 50% faster then the GhostScript version shipped in Ubuntu Precise, it takes more then a day for poppler (0.24.x) just to generate the PostScript to be send to the CUPS server. And additionally we still have the conversation to PCL for the printer on the CUPS server side.

Using a printer, which supports direct PDF printing, would get the time down to just the file transfer time, if Okular would actually send the PDF.

And for some of our test documents the generated PS is much larger (8-10 times, talking about GB here) then the original PDF, which is written to tmp and "copied" to /var/spool for local CUPS or send to a central print server.

If you still think this is not a bug, it would be nice to get some code pointers in current KDE4 okular codebase, so we can probably hire someone to get this fixed and included Upstream.

Changing the pdf printer to just pipe the pdf file is quite trivial, you should not really need to hire anyone for it since it's a 5 minutes patch in PDFGenerator::print

The problem is testing that everything still works, since sure, you're use case may get better, but there's lost of other people printing out there and it may break for them.

I can give you the five lines patch and then you donate to http://kde.org/donate instead of hiring someone to code it, but i do not think i have enough stamina to test all the printing test cases, is that something you could help with? (i.e. printing smal documents, different page sizes into different page sizes, etc)

The initial patch would be great. We'll get this tested before production anyway and I can report back or probably even send patches, which fix stuff.

It's not that we're not coding stuff ourself, but I thought it would be more work to get this coded, and we already buy Linux support, which patches upstream code, if we don't code the stuff ourself.

Additionally I would add some option to okular to select the default printing format (PDF or PS - like LibreOffice) to really get this feature included upstream (defaulting to PS). We normally require upstream / master fixes before including a backport in our release, so we don't have to re-patch everything within our next major release cycle.

Please see and test the pdfprintpdf branch.

So no testing after 2 weeks?

I just did a quick test and generally it works and sends the PDF to CUPS. So thanks again for this quick patch.
I currently don't have time to turn this patch into a really useable version and I don't know if anybody will add enought priority to it and work on it (I'm leaving for a holiday at least until July).

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