TweetFollow Us on Twitter

March 93 - PRINT TIPS

PRINT TIPS

LOOKING AHEAD TO QUICKDRAW GX

PETE ("LUKE" ALEXANDER

[IMAGE 052-053_Print_Hints_rev1.GIF]

With the release of QuickDraw GX later this year, there are a few changes in store for print land. In this column, I'm going to talk about two of these changes -- the disappearance of the PDEF 10 resource from the QuickDraw GX LaserWriter driver, and the disappearance of the 'STR ' (-8192) and 'PAPA' (-8192) resources from a system running QuickDraw GX.

Like most changes, the fact that these resources are going away is both good news and bad news. The good news is that printing is going to work much better in the GX world than it does today. For one thing, the new printer driver architecture provides functionality that used to be unavailable through the Printing Manager, which is why people got involved in directly grabbing resources in the first place. The bad news is that if youare currently grabbing these resources, you're going to have some problems running under QuickDraw GX, and you need to decide now how you're going to deal with this.

Before we get into solutions, however, let's back up a bit, and answer the question, What's a PDEF, anyway? A PDEF is just a code resource for printer drivers. All printer drivers contain multiple PDEFs, each of which implements a piece of the driver's functionality, like displaying dialog boxes or alerts. PDEF 10 contains the printer access protocol (PAP) code that enables a LaserWriter driver to communicate with a network printer. (For details about the interface to PAP, see Chapter 10, "Printer Access Protocol," inInside AppleTalk.) Some applications that need the PAP code have acquired it by sucking PDEF 10 out of the LaserWriter driver. Before Apple put together its PAP software licensing package, grabbing PDEF 10 like this was a quick and easy way to get what you needed. But it's an approach that's unsupported by Apple and that has always carried the seeds of compatibility problems.

So what should you do if you're currently grabbing PDEF 10 out of the LaserWriter driver? You've got the following possible solutions:

  • Continue to grab PDEF 10, but make sure you're prepared to handle failure gracefully when you can't get it. Basically, you'll need to let the user know that your application isn't compatible with the version of system software being used -- that is, the QuickDraw GX-based system. Not a very user-friendly solution, but that might be OK for your application.
  • If all you need to do is download a PostScriptTM file to the LaserWriter, use the PostScriptHandle PicComment and a basic print loop. Most applications need to do a lot more than send a bunch of PostScript code down the pipe -- for instance, they need to set the characteristics of the PostScript printer -- but if your application's needs are really this limited, it can be happy in the GX world. If you're interested in this approach, take a look at the Technical Notes "A Printing Loop That Cares . . ." and "PicComments -- The Real Deal." You can also look at the PostScriptHandleDemo snippet in the Snippets folder on theDeveloper CD Seriesdisc.
  • Write your own PAP interface files. This is a relatively time-consuming operation, but it gives you total ownership of the code, and your application is unlikely to break with future system software releases. Quite a few developers have had success with this approach.
  • License Apple's PAP library code -- the same library that's used within the LaserWriter Font Utility. The latest version (v. 1.5) of the library improves on the last version and has more complete documentation. If you're interested in licensing this library, please contact

    Software Licensing
    Apple Computer, Inc.
    20525 Mariani Avenue, M/S 38-I
    Cupertino, CA 95014
    AppleLink: SW.LICENSE
    Phone: (408)974-4667
  • Use Apple's LaserWriter Font Utility and add your custom features to it. In System 7, the LaserWriter Font Utility can handle drop-in enhancements called UTILs. UTILs take care of all the communication issues for you, and they give you quite a bit of power and flexibility. If you're interested in this approach, take a look at "PostScript Enhancements for the LaserWriter Font Utility" in Issue 10 ofdevelop.

At this point, you're probably wondering which solution is the best for you. It all depends on your requirements. From my point of view, any solution besides the first is acceptable if it will keep your users happy and keep you compatible with future system software releases.

Now let's turn to the disappearance of the 'STR ' (-8192) and 'PAPA' (-8192) resources. On a non-QuickDraw GX system, the 'STR ' resource contains the name of the currently chosen printer driver, while the 'PAPA' resource contains the name and network address of the current PAP printer. Because QuickDraw GX will allow more than one active printer at a time, these resources will become obsolete.

Why is this a problem? Only because some applications currently grab the 'STR ' and 'PAPA' resources to automatically select a printer without going through the Chooser. Under QuickDraw GX, it will be possible to redirect a print job to another printer via the Printing Manager's public API. So new applications and applications revised to work under QuickDraw GX will be able to programmatically redirect print jobs on the fly in a clean, supported manner.

If your application isn't GX-smart, the simplest way to deal with the disappearance of the 'STR ' and 'PAPA' resources is probably just to remove your application's feature of circumventing the Chooser. If your application absolutely requires this functionality, however, make sure that when these resources aren't available, you tell the user to go use the Chooser. This way your application will print on a QuickDraw GX system without any problems.

This column has looked at a couple of compatibility problems that can emerge when non- QuickDraw GX applications run under QuickDraw GX, and also at some of the ways that you can avoid these problems. As long as you're prepared to implement one of the solutions recommended here, your application will run just fine under QuickDraw GX. And on the bright side, QuickDraw GX is going to allow your application to access and control a vast amount of information at print time. QuickDraw GX will provide the API your application requires to take care of all the user's printing needs without having to cruise through printer driver or system resources. You asked for it, and soon you'll have it!

REFERENCES

  • Inside AppleTalk (Addison-Wesley, 1990), Chapter 10, "Printer Access Protocol."
  • Macintosh Technical Notes "PicComments -- The Real Deal" (formerly #91), "A Printing Loop That Cares . . . " (formerly #161), and "Printer Access Protocol Q&As" under "Using PAP & code for finding printer driver under System 7."
  • "PostScript Enhancements for the LaserWriter Font Utility" by Bryan K. Ressler, develop Issue 10.

PETE ("LUKE") ALEXANDER In the winter, Luke likes to hit the cross-country ski tracks. There you'll find him striding across meadows and down hills on long strips of fiberglass. One day he agreed to a "small" uphill ski at a friend's urging, only to discover halfway into it a virtually vertical two-mile climb! Weighing the risks of descending uncontrollably from there versus continuing on, Luke forged ahead, arriving at the summit an hour (and a lot of side stepping) later. Since then, he's been particularly wary of e-mails beginning "Dear Luke, I have this small printing problem."*

Grabbing the PAP driver from PDEF 10 is described both in the Macintosh Technical Note "Printer Access Protocol Q&As" under "Using PAP & code for finding printer driver under System 7" and in the article by Mike Schuster called "Laser Print DA for PostScript" in MacTutor Volume 2, Number 2.*

To find out whether the QuickDraw GX Printing Manager is installed, call the Gestalt function with the 'pmgr' selector. *

Thanks to Hugo Ayala, Tom Dowdy, Dave Hersey, Jim Luther, and Scott ("Zz") Zimmerman for reviewing this column. *

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Merlin Project 4.2.0 - Project managemen...
Merlin Project is the leading professional project management software for OS X. If you plan complex projects on your Mac, you won’t get far with a simple list of tasks. Good planning raises... Read more
Skim 1.4.28 - PDF reader and note-taker...
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for OS X. It is designed to help you read and annotate scientific papers in PDF, but is also great for viewing any PDF file. Skim includes many features and has a... Read more
RapidWeaver 7.3.2 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Together 3.8.1 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
Apple MainStage 3.3 - Live performance t...
Apple MainStage makes it easy to bring to the stage all the same instruments and effects that you love in your recording. Everything from the Sound Library and Smart Controls you're familiar with... Read more
Apple iOS 10.3 - The latest version of A...
iOS 10 is the biggest release of iOS ever. A massive update to Messages brings the power of the App Store to your conversations and makes messaging more personal than ever. Find your route with... Read more
Postbox 5.0.12 - Powerful and flexible e...
Postbox is a new email application that helps you organize your work life and get stuff done. It has all the elegance and simplicity of Apple Mail, but with more power and flexibility to manage even... Read more
Apple Keynote 7.1 - Apple's present...
Easily create gorgeous presentations with the all-new Keynote, featuring powerful yet easy-to-use tools and dazzling effects that will make you a very hard act to follow. The Theme Chooser lets you... Read more
Apple Pages 6.1 - Apple's word proc...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
Apple Numbers 4.1 - Apple's spreads...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more

4 smart and stylish puzzle games like Ty...
TypeShift launched a little over a week ago, offering some puzzling new challenges for word nerds equipped with an iOS device. Created by Zach Gage, the mind behind Spelltower, TypeShift boasts, like its predecessor, a sleak design and some very... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Deals, deals, deals. We're all about a good bargain here on 148Apps, and luckily this was another fine week in App Store discounts. There's a big board game sale happening right now, and a few fine indies are still discounted through the weekend.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It's been quite the week, but now that all of that business is out of the way, it's time to hunker down with some of the excellent games that were released over the past few days. There's a fair few to help you relax in your down time or if you're... | Read more »
Orphan Black: The Game (Games)
Orphan Black: The Game 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Dive into a dark and twisted puzzle-adventure that retells the pivotal events of Orphan Black. | Read more »
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is now availa...
| Read more »
Ticket to Earth beginner's guide: H...
Robot Circus launched Ticket to Earth as part of the App Store's indie games event last week. If you're not quite digging the space operatics Mass Effect: Andromeda is serving up, you'll be pleased to know that there's a surprising alternative on... | Read more »
Leap to victory in Nexx Studios new plat...
You’re always a hop, skip, and a jump away from a fiery death in Temple Jump, a new platformer-cum-endless runner from Nexx Studio. It’s out now on both iOS and Android if you’re an adventurer seeking treasure in a crumbling, pixel-laden temple. | Read more »
Failbetter Games details changes coming...
Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games' dark and gloomy sea explorer, sets sail for the iPad tomorrow. Ahead of the game's launch, Failbetter took to Twitter to discuss what will be different in the mobile version of the game. Many of the changes make... | Read more »
Splish, splash! The Pokémon GO Water Fes...
Niantic is back with a new festival for dedicated Pokémon GO collectors. The Water Festival officially kicks off today at 1 P.M. PDT and runs through March 29. Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their assorted evolved forms will be appearing at... | Read more »
Death Road to Canada (Games)
Death Road to Canada 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Get it now at the low launch price! Price will go up a dollar every major update. Update news at the bottom of this... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple refurbished, in s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks on sale for $1199, sa...
B&H has 12″ 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz... Read more
Save up to $260 with Apple refurbished 12-inc...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $170 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro (MJLQ2LL/A) on sale for $1799.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more
Save up to $160 with Apple refurbished 9-inch...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple Chip Foundry TSMC To Begin A11 System-o...
Digitimes’ Steve Shen is reporting today that according to the Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN), chipmaker and major Apple supplier foundery Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC... Read more
MacX MediaTrans 3.5 iOS Data Transfer Spring...
MacXDVD Software has announced general availability of the latest MacX MedTrans 3.5, featuring a new user interface (UI). MacX MediaTrans is ann iPhone manager that enables free data transfer between... Read more
Regular Price $19.95 DupeZap 4 Finder For OS...
Hyperbolic Software has announced the release of DupeZap 4.0.2, their modern duplicate finder developed exclusively for macOS. DupeZap 4 is an utility for Mac owners seeking to reclaim disk space... Read more
B-Eng Releases SSD Health Check for MVNe for...
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check for MVNe for MacBook Pro, their app that delivers important data and insights for MVNe... Read more

Jobs Board

Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492889BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000886-Norwalk-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492472BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000470-Seattle-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**492562BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000853-Jackson-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.