[Kde-print-devel] [Bug 82123] Printing odd/even pages with multiple pages per sheet gets silly results.

Kurt Pfeifle pfeifle at kde.org
Sun Jan 14 19:33:07 CET 2007

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------- Additional Comments From pfeifle kde org  2007-01-14 19:33 -------

I'm glad I could help you.  :-)

    "You could say these people all should descend into the deepest 
     regions of kprinter and find out on their own how to achieve this"

Yes, that's what I'm saying...       :-)
 .... but only to *those* people who hit me over the head with rebukes like "But I had to run stuff through pdfnup or the like manually" (because *these* people do proof that they can run advanced tools on the commandline just fine, so it is not their business to attack other people who work in their spare time to make these very tools (which are very dis-parate and behave very differently on their own) better accessible via a single GUI.

I'm usually quite patient, and I explain stuff that I know to other people who want to listen. But my time is very limited (and the stuff that I know even more so).

    "...when all they want to do is print a document double sided with a
     printer that can handle only single-side printing. -- Since I believe
     the group of people who possess only such a printer is quite large,
     maybe the procedure should be made more intuitive/easy to perform."

I invite you to create a detailed and concrete proposal how to implement this. No, I don't mean to write the C++/Qt code (you probably can't code, like I myself can't; if you can, please offer your help). I mean create some gimp-ed mockups, some drawings, some rough visual representations of how it should look like in your opinion. Do some "paper prototyping". But take into account the *overall needs* of KDEPrint which must cater for a lot of different apps: KDE's own ones *as* *well* *as* *external* *applications*. 

How should the overall layout of the printing dialog be looking: Where to place which buttons? Where to position other widgets?  How does the workflow for the user look like? What is differnt if she whats to preview first? What is different if she prints from a browser? From a KOffice application? From kpdf? What if he has access to 20 different printers (big office)? What is different for home users from corporate users? What is different for big TCP-connected laserprinters from small color inkjets connected via USB? Don't forget installation/setup tasks, don't forget job control wishes, don't forget security...

I'm sure that for a good design and layout of the dialogs we will also find people who'll write the code to implement it. I'm not sure you'll even sit down for an hour and think about it...

     "I believe the group of people who possess only such a printer is 
      quite large, maybe the procedure should be made more intuitive/easy 
      to perform"

Yes, I believe you. But do you also believe me, that the other group of people who do not need this procedure (and never needed it in their lifes) is equally large (or even larger), and that they would feel annoyed if we just put a "Print-2-pages-on-one-sheet-useful-for-people-who-want-duplexprints-on-a-simplex-only printer"-buttons alongside 2 dozen similar wizards somewhere?

     "You already explained the algorithm for doing this, so what would be 
      the problem with putting all this functionality in just one button or
      checkbox or something to make the functionality more obvious?"

And how many more "just one button or checkbox" do you want for some very specific tasks and task combinations to be performed? I could name you at least two dozen such/similar tasks, all related to printing, all asked for by users. Should we implement all of them? And if so, how can we at the same time a lean, elegant, non-confusing GUI and usability for KDE's printing dialogs? I *bet* implementing all of these as "single button clicks" and show this collection of buttons/checkboxes somewhere will not help users to find this more intuitive.

I don't say the current implementation is intuitive, I just say: printing is a complicated business as soon as you think about not just your own needs as a home user with a single printer ("I want to click, and it should just print my 2 pages"). it is very difficult to make it good GUI frontend for it that satisfies most needs. I invite you to sit down and submit your ideas in a *meaningful* way.

Alternatively, sit down and *implement* it yourself. Just for your own use. Make yourself one of these "I can make specific printing tasks easy" wizard: the one which is discussed here: the "Print-2-pages-on-one-sheet-useful-for-people-who-want-duplexprints-on-a-simplex-only printer"-wizard. You can do that in "Kommander". I hear one does not need to know about coding in ordert o produce useful mini-applications and wizards in Kommander.

Once you've done it, publish it on http://kde-apps.org/. I'm sure you can find a few more people who will find it useful and would love it. And if you like the feedback, implement a few more of these wizards, until you can publish it as a "Box of Printing Wizards"....

    "I say we reopen this bug as such."

And I say NO. (I should even have closed this bug as INVALID as such, not as DUPLICATE :-)

Feel free to add a *new* bug report that deals with the "usability" problems of KDEPrint. I'll gladly keep it open until it is implemented (or forever), if it has attached convincing mockups or paperprototyping as I outlined above. But I'll close it very quickly again, if it is only 5 sentencses that can be summarized as "it needs to become better and more user-friendly, and now its usability sucks". Because that we know already even without a bug report.


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