Heavy printing regression in Jaunty: SRU?
till.kamppeter at gmail.com
Thu Jun 4 13:29:27 BST 2009
I had some discussion on IRC whether or not to issue an SRU for Jaunty
on a big problem with printing.
During the Jaunty release cycle I have switched the pdftops CUPS filter
(filter which turns PDF print job data into PostScript) from using
Poppler to using Ghostscript becuase the Poppler solution did not
support documents which contain pages of different sizes. As the Poppler
developers were not willing to fix this problem, I decided on switching
to Ghostcript and Jaunty got released that way. See
A3 pdf file is cropped and printed on A4 paper
Poppler's pdftops does not support multiple-page-size output, use
Ghostscript for the CUPS filter instead
Unfortunately, this caused many regressions, especially for users of
PostScript printers, which makes the support of PostScript printers by
Jaunty very bad, whereas this class of printers is considered the best
supported by Linux. Also the cups-pdf print-into-PDF-file facility and
many third-party (manufacturer) drivers got broken by that.
The problems are jobs not getting printed due to huge temporary files
filling up the hard disk, extremely slow printing, corrupted font
characters, no searchable text, incompatibility with PostScript
interpreters in printers, ...
Regressions are reported as these bugs (there are more than these bugs
and some of these bugs have also duplicates):
Cannot print documents to Laserjet 4350, via network
Spurious lines on print outs
intrepid: printing very slow
[jaunty] cups-pdf no longer embeds fonts in pdf file
No output when printing in Ubuntu 9.04
printer wont print although ubuntu says that job is compleated, also
driver wont update
In all these bugs I have asked the users to replace their pdftops CUPS
filters by a test script which uses Poppler and not Ghostscript. All
users who answered told that the test script solved their problems.
Simply returning to Poppler would reintroduce bug 310575/bug 329991
(documents with pages of different size), but in the mean time I have
found a simple fix for Poppler to solve this bug, see
The debdiff for our Poppler package is attached to
and the fixed Poppler package will soon get uploaded into Karmic. I will
let the reporter of bug 310575 test the fix.
So we can fix all the regressions with simple fixes in two packages, the
mentioned Poppler patch and a patch to CUPS to use Poppler again and to
call Poppler's pdftops the right way. This means, with the new
"-origpagesizes" when the CUPS option "fitplot" is not given, never
using "-noembtt" as this causes missing text characters in some cases
(see bug 362186 and bug 381788) and not emitting PostScript Level 3 (see
bug 277404). As the fix in Poppler prevents the reappearing of bug
310575/bug 329991 there is no known regression when returning to Poppler.
So I am thinking about applying the two small changes to Poppler and
CUPS as an SRU for Jaunty. WDYT?
More information about the ubuntu-devel