Okular does not print

gene heskett gheskett at wdtv.com
Mon Jul 18 01:17:32 BST 2011

On Sunday, July 17, 2011 07:34:01 PM John Layt did opine:

> On Saturday 16 July 2011 21:54:32 gene heskett wrote:
> > Hijacking a thread here, but it sure needs help.  When okular is set
> > to auto-scale, it sends to a US letter printer about 9" wide, so the
> > right hand inch is missing. Whomever decided it should be FF's
> > default pdf reader needs a very close examination of their thinker. 
> > Adobe reader Just Works(TM).
> Calling into question the sanity of the people involved is not a good
> way to convice them to fix problems :-)
> Personally I have absolutely no problems here printing various page
> sizes to an A4 paper size printer (other than the occasional
> Landscape/Portrait confusion).  I spent weeks testing the printing
> code, wasted two reams of paper doing so, and it works for my setup,
> but sadly I can't afford to own every printer, try every paper size,
> test every combination of libraries, or have every possible source
> document to test.
> Do you have a bug report for this?

No, just a note to self, to use the much more expensive to run Epson 
NX-515, which I also have here.

> I'm not sure I understand what the
> bug exactly is. 

Letter sized pdf's are rendered with a non-square pixel if sent to a 
Brother HLK-2140 B&W laser printer.  In other words, the page length seems 
to be correct, but both text and images are rendered about 5/4ths width, so 
the right side of the text, which doesn't wrap, is missing 7 to 9 chars at 
the right end of the line.  A Cups test page is properly rendered, with the 
page outline at about .225" margin all around.

> What do you mean by auto-scale, I don't see that
> option anywhere in Okular or the print dialog?

The print preview option of FF5 can scale in 10% intervals, or the default.

> What page size is the
> PDF you're printing?

I assume letter or A4, it originated at altera in Taiwan.  the "Altera 
Software Installation and Licensing Manual" which can  be fetched from the 
altera.tw site.  After printing it, I didn't bother to save it, so it 
appears I will have to go get it again myself.

> What software created the PDF (Acrobat Distiller
> docs look best in Acrobat Reader, unsurprisingly)?

Unk, doesn't give its creator in the output.
> What are the
> settings for paper size in the print dialog? 
> What printer do you have
> and what drivers does it use?

2 ea:
Epson NX515, foomatic or gutenprint.
Brother HL-2140, cups wrapper around the brother driver.

> What version of Cups do you have?

> What
> are the Cups settings for the printer for paper size and resizing? 

Letter, borderless for the Epson, normal borders for the Brother.

> What version of Poppler do you have?

Apparently not installed.  Oh, seems I was spelling it like the tree:
[root at coyote /]# locate poppler

> What version of Qt do you have


> (it had bugs with paper sizes that were fixed recently)?  There's so
> many variables in the PDF production, rendering and printing stacks you
> can't always say that it is Okulars fault, it may be some unique
> combination of any or all of the above.
> Can you try running Okular from the command line and see what the print
> command output is?
I did, printed 2 different copies of a dvd insert.  No print command was 
reported in the konsole I ran it from.

> > What I was pointing out was that even xpdf in
> > its final versions did a much better job than okular.
> Really?  I just reinstalled xpdf to remind myself of how bad it was, the
> print dialog even requires you to type in the print command!  It makes
> it hard to take the rest of what you say seriously :-)
Admittedly, that requirement also sucks.

> You do realise that Okular doesn't do the PDF rendering or printing
> itself, it's just a gui shell around Poppler which is (shock horror) a
> fork of xpdf? In fact, I see that there's even now a version of the
> xpdf gui that uses Poppler as its backend.

I saw that a while back, sucks dead toads through soda straws.

> Do you really think we would ship Okular and the distros would set it as
> the default PDF viewer if it was as broken as you describe?
If the choice is a FOSS or proprietary, and the distro is US based, this 
doesn't need discussion.  This is beginning to resemble my fedora printing 
problems, where Mr Waugh, who is in charge of the fedora print machinery, 
refusing to use gutenprint, but stuck with gimp-print-4.2.7 5 years after 
gutenprint was nearly 100% usable.  They weren't about to give fedora users 
printing on a par with the $700/seat RedHat issue.  At that point I bailed, 
because decent printing is something I demand, and usually get.  But after 
5 years I was tired of building and installing gutenprint from a tarball.

> John.

Cheers John, gene
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 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
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