Open Printing Common Print Dialog

John Layt john at
Mon Jun 7 17:15:53 BST 2010

On Thursday 03 Jun 2010 18:48:20 you wrote:
> Hal Engel sent a message using the contact form at
> John,
> There is a possibility that I may be working on the Qt version of the Open
> Printing Common Print Dialog in the coming months and I have been asked to
> locate contacts with the KDE project and Nokia to try to coordinate the up
> coming effort.  The intention is to have working GTK and Qt dialogs by the
> end of this year.
> I know that you have worked on printing related stuff for KDE in the past.
> If you are not the correct person to contact could you pass this on to the
> correct person(s).
> Thank You,
> Hal Engel

[cc: the KDE e.V. (our governing body) and kde-core-devel mailing lists as an 
FYI, any further discussion should take place on kde-print-devel]

[For background see]

Hi Hal,

Yes, I am still the de-facto contact for KDE print releated stuff, for my 
sins.  I've done some work on patches to improve the Qt print dialog and print 
system, but progress is slow so any new initiatives are welcome :-)

I'd be happy to help out with coordinating the effort, but there's a lot of 
different areas of KDE I'd need to consult to be sure we get the right 
solution.  To be blunt I think it will be challenging to make our end-of-year 
release in KDE, our feature freeze date for KDE SC 4.6 is November 11, by 
which time we would need a complete solution that we can make a API/BIC 
guarantee on.  A Technology Preview might be a better goal for SC 4.6.

We have our annual conference ( coming up in a months 
time, which would be a great chance to grab all the necessary people to 
discuss things, so it would be good to have some kind of idea of what is 
needed before then.  Would someone from OpenPrinting be able to attend during 
the hack week to discuss the plans from a technical view?

While I'm generally in favour of the concept, last time I briefly investigated 
it there were a number of obvious points I wanted to understand better, and 
that I expect will concern the Qt guys too.

Where will the code reside: in OpenPrinting, in Qt, in KDE, or somewhere else?  
How much is shared code and how much desktop specific?  Who will be 
responsible for the ongoing maintenance?  And how will differences between the 
platforms be resolved?  We have a friendly relationship with Gnome on cross-
desktop efforts, but our different visions sometimes makes agreement 

All KDE/Qt apps are coded to do push-printing, i.e. call the dialog then paint 
the document according to the result.  Every app would need to be adapted to 
pull-printing which could be a lot of work, but I assume there's a fall-back 
push mode that we could use as a stepping stone?

We need cross-platform printing, i.e. support for Windows and OSX as well as 
CUPS/LPR.  As I doubt this will be provided by the common dialog then we may 
need to maintain two sets of printing code in each app for push and pull 
printing.  Any design that simplifies how we do this is more likely to gain 
acceptance.  Any solution that is derived from the current Qt print system 
classes would be the preferred choice.

That's just off the top of my head, there's a lot to be worked through both 
technical and community, but I hope we can come up with the quality solution 
the free desktop deserves.

All further discussions should probably take place on the kde-print-devel 
mailing list, you can join at



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