I’ve been working on getting printing hooked up in the cairo builds for the last couple weeks and finally got printing on Windows working pretty well. You go through the same awful print preview window and the same standard print dialog as you’d expect and everything just works like it should. I’ve been testing with PrimoPDF, a free Windows PDF-generating print driver similar to Acrobat. It works great and has saved quite a few trees (for a while pages were printing on anywhere between 50 and 1500 pages due to some bugs…) I need to do some additional testing with real printers, but I’m pretty happy with the progress.
The current work is more about getting printing working again than really improving the quality of the stuff we print. After spending some time printing different sites, it is clear to me that some time needs to be spent doing a better job of layout out content for printing. I’ve got 2 example PDF files that I printed here: the Deer Park Alpha 2 Start Page and yesterday’s Penny Arcade. Both look very close to 1.5 in terms of output, but as you’ll notice from the Penny Arcade one, we could use some work to improve printing to actually look like the website we’re printing. Any volunteers?
There will be some updates to the Thebes and Cairo bits on the trunk in the next few days, but they probably won’t include printing quite yet. A lot of this code needs to be reorganized and cleaned up before I can check it in and start on Linux and Mac printing.
[update: 11:58PM Eastern — Boris points out that the problem with Penny Arcade is related to their use of media=”screen” in the link tag for their stylesheet. We would probably do a much better job printing if they didn’t have that there. Thanks Boris! I’ll send some mail to those guys and tell them to fix their site…]