Sven Neumann wrote:

>On Sun, 2007-07-22 at 14:43 -0600, D. Stimits wrote:
>>For me, it is a serious problem. I work in the print industry, typically 
>>creating PostScript drivers. The PS output is quite good quality, and 
>>every conversion generally suffers serious quality issues. Gimp is one 
>>of the best tools available for UNIX side PostScript. Photoshop and some 
>>other tools, despite being Adobe products, tend to break standards 
>>compliant high end print systems (most of those products work great so 
>>long as you don't mix them with other people's products, then they 
>>suck...gimp PS works flawlessly with all of the certified systems). As 
>>soon as you start making PDF-to-PostScript conversions or 
>>PostScript-to-PDF-to-PostScript, the output is hopeless. Don't do it.
>We are talking about the new Print plug-in here, not about the plug-in
>that is used to save an image as a Postscript file. So your concerns are
>probably not valid.
Yes and no. The PostScript which I have to slice-and-dice is from save 
as, but all of the printers involved are PostScript printers. Some can 
handle PDF, others cannot. If I were to print a high res image on a 
quality printer (definitely not some ink jet from the local store), it'd 
be rare that any conversion process would leave the quality in tact. The 
only time exporting a transparency is a problem is if you plan to print 
on some sort of custom paper that isn't plain white, but then there 
should be a background color anyway. With an exception that is 
irrelevant, there are no printers with transparent ink (that exception 
being in the dye sublimation, but the transparent ink is a coating for 
longevity, and has no knowledge of any alpha channel). Show me a printer 
takes advantage of mixing transparent inks, taking advantage of an alpha 
channel, and I'll agree that there is a reason to not export to a 
non-transparent color space. On the other hand, every single printer out 
there which handles PostScript natively (and there is no such thing as a 
good PCLprinter, even if it emulates PostScript) will suffer by removing 
direct PostScript output.

I do indeed print directly from gimp without an intermediate step, as 
proofs and other samples going to a quality PostScript printer are best 
done from gimp...some of the other products are known to crash printers 
under some images, gimp never does this, it's the only really stable 
program for that purpose (all of these printers are Adobe certified, the 
low end systems start at about $10k, the I-Gen systems range from over 
$100k on up...which Adobe products tend to crash). Being able to take 
advantage of a PPD file during print from gimp is very useful, and I 
print directly from gimp daily. A PDF conversion would ruin this, so I'm 
in the opposite position by having a real PostScript system.

So I pose this question...if print via PDF is to be considered, why 
remove the existing PS system, which is pretty much the best quality 
PostScript among all of the apps (commercial and free)? There isn't any 
reason to not add a PDF print preference, but PDF language is not 
intended as a print language, it is a document interchange format, and 
should not be converted to this format until interchange is needed. A 
preference could easily be set if both formats are available, but there 
is a genuine need for real PostScript output in the non-windows world. I 
don't want to hand craft save-as-eps files for specific hardware every 
time someone wants a sample print, just so I can keep the image quality. 
I really don't understand why anyone would want to remove PostScript 
print options instead of adding PDF to it, especially since much of the 
PostScript code directly translates to PDF code.

D. Stimits, stimits AT comcast DOT net
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