[Interest] Printer-specific options in Qt5's print dialog (Linux, CUPS)

Michael Weghorn m.weghorn at posteo.de
Mon Jan 30 14:12:32 CET 2017


in September 2015, I asked about the status of printer-specific options 
in the Qt 5 print dialog on Linux (with CUPS as printing system), s. 
thread at [1].

As John Layt explained, a rework of the print dialog had started for Qt 
5 but could not be finished until then. The implementation for 
printer-specific options had been rather broken in Qt 4 and was removed 
for Qt 5, with the plan to reimplement them as part of a new printing 
system. John explained that unfortunately, work on the new printing 
system could not be continued then due to lack of time and money. As far 
as I can see, the situation now is still mostly the same.

As printer-specific options (like e.g. selecting a particular input 
tray, setting a PIN for a confidential print job, punching, creating a 
booklet, ...) are quite an important feature for us (City of Munich), we 
are currently evaluating different options for how to continue. One 
option is to implement that functionality ourselves or have a contractor 
implement it for us.

We would very much like this feature to be available upstream so that 
everybody can benefit from it and we do not have to maintain it in our 
own "fork" of Qt.

Before we make any further plans, I wanted to ask about the Qt project's 
current plan for the print dialog.

While I am very grateful for the links John has given about the new 
print system back then, some points are still a bit vague to me and I 
currently do not know what the next concrete steps in the implementation 
of the new print system would be to get closer to the desired goal. (Any 
further information on that is welcome.)

Back then, John had written that various new features need to be 
implemented for the new Qt print system and a temporary solution based 
on the current code might be a better approach at first. In case no 
activities are currently planned on Qt's side, our current technical 
approach would probably be to implement the feature based on the current 
code base and make an implementation similar to what John wrote in [2]:

> Given the dependency tree of new features required to reach the end
> point, a temporary implementation might be a better bet than waiting
> for the new print system, i.e. reimplement the old extra page but
> smarter. The main problem with the old page was it duplicated settings
> from the main dialog, and hid the fact you could actually edit the
> values. The UX I had in mind for Qt4 was to choose all the features
> that could be supported directly in the main dialog and add them
> there, then filter those out in the extra page in a generic editing
> view. It would require a lot of work around parsing PPD's and matching
> option codes to existing ui, but it's doable.

I would be very grateful for any further information on the topic, 
particularly on the following questions:

1) Are there (concrete) plans for the next steps considering the Qt 
print dialog?
2) Is the Qt project interested in us working together with them to get 
the feature implemented upstream?
3) Is a temporary implementation as described above considered as a good 
approach for now?
4) Are there other people/organisations that have the same problem? Do 
you have approaches to deal with that?

Possibly, Qt's development mailing list might be a better place when it 
comes to more details about a a possible implementation, but I wanted to 
start here where the discussion took place in 2015.


PS: Besides the implementation of printer-specific options, there are a 
few other things in the Qt 5 print dialog that we would like to address, 
but that will be done separately.


More information about the Interest mailing list