Print Manager Improvements

Hi, my last post I showed you our shine new Plasmoid, it got a lot of positive feedback, so thank you all. This post I’ll show you some plasmoid’s updates and the “New Printer” notification popup.

As many of you noticed I had 3 icon printers on the tray, 2 of them where from print-manager, the old icon was shown by a KDED module that keep looking at current jobs, so I removed this task from KDED and added the last missing feature that Printer Applet had, the com.redhat.NewPrinterNotification.

That interface works as follow: you register this interface on the system bus and way for an udev script to call the methods, when you plug a printer you get the GetReady() method called:

When a Printer is plugged

Then the udev script tries to find the best driver for your printer and call NewPrinterNotification() method, adding it to your local CUPS:

When the Printer is Successfully Added

If it doesn’t find a good driver the status will be different so we show a configure button to allow the user to choose a better driver:

When the udev script can't find a good Driver

Talking about the plasmoid now, it improved a lot since last blog, it can hide when the list shows no jobs (tho it’s not working pretty well yet),  when you have just one printer (most of the home cases), the printer is shown above the list, you can also configure each plasmoid to only show a given printer name and filter the kinds of jobs, so if you are a sysadmin you can put several plasmoids on a plasma activity:

As always: enjoy 😀

Print Manager Improvements

25 thoughts on “Print Manager Improvements

  1. Luis says:

    I have been using print-manager instead of system-config-printer for quite some time with clear advantages. The recent polishing of the interfaces makes it even more awesome. Why isn’t this project integrated in kde itself, or at least in extragear?
    Thanks a lot for this work.

  2. Lukas Schneiderbauer says:

    Thanks for this awesome thing!
    If anyone has use for a gentoo-ebuild: (modification of live-ebuilds on the kde-overlay). It works at least on my system. And I hope the link is somehow valid.

  3. David Edmundson says:

    We don’t need notifications to say “a printer has been plugged in”. The user is well aware of that.. they plugged it in, and if it’s on a network and just been discovered.. then I probably don’t care and don’t want to know about it.

    It’s fine to show a notification when it’s wrong, but showing a notification for “everything is still working fine” is pointless.

    1. dantti says:

      No, you don’t get the point, first it’s not for netword discovered printers. Just for newly added printers.
      Second if you don’t get any visual feedback you will never think that your printer is ready for work, especially for Windows users that can’t even plug the printer before installing those crapy drivers, so yes the user *need* a visual feedpack that we are configuring his new printer, then we need to tell him how the configuring went, if he or she can just start printing or if he needs to try choosing a better driver since the generic one is much likely not to work.
      We need visual feedback otherwise you might go to System Settings and Add a duplicate printer.

    2. OS X also has a “Printer was connected, installing drivers dialog”. I imagine this is for two reasons:
      1. You don’t expect it to happen.
      2. It takes some time, easyily leaving you with a “hmm.. now what?” feeling
      and while you’re trying to figure out what to install a popup interrupts you saying it did it for you.
      Not a great idea. 🙂

      Better have some feedback that a new printer was connected.

      Oh, and mind you, when a connect a USB drive there is also a feedback message, providing options. This is no different.

      1. dantti says:

        That’s exactly the reason it must say I found your printer now wait don’t go adding it, otherwise you will have two printers… Device Notifier is a whole different thing, the USB mass storage make sure it will always work on linux so it’s a fast plug and play, there’s no background task choosing the best driver for a pen drive of X brand.

      2. anonymity is great (and facebook ain't) says:

        I totally agree with you, dantti. Of course I know that I added a printer, but if there is no notification, I don’t know that my computer knows that I added a printer and is configuring it.

        I totally look forward to using this. This is so awesome!!!

  4. Pascal says:

    Looks nice.
    The strings should be cleaned up though.
    “A New Printer was detected” => “A new printer was detected”
    “The New Printer was Added” => “A new printer was added”

    Perhaps even make them shorter. “Printer detected” and “Printer added”.
    It’s much cleaner, quicker and to the point.

  5. Blackpaw says:

    Installed from src now, seems to working quite smoothly, looks good but … 🙂

    – The status bar icon doesn’t show any visiual feed back – jobs added, completed etc.

    – Will there be an interface for managing printer eventually?

    – Will there be a forum/list for this eventually?

    1. dantti says:

      There’s already an interface for managing printer, just open System Settings -> “Printers”
      It’s quite annoying to have popups that a job is done or something, when the icon hides the job is finished, when the icon shows means there are jobs. You can fill bugs agains it on component printer-manager.

      1. Blackpaw says:

        >There’s already an interface for managing printer, just open System Settings -> “Printers”

        Fair enoguh

        >It’s quite annoying to have popups that a job is done or something

        I wasn’t thinking popus – rather a change in the actual icon

        >when the icon hides the job is finished, when the icon shows means there are jobs

        Not on my PC – always visible

    2. dantti says:

      >>when the icon hides the job is finished, when the icon shows means there are jobs
      >Not on my PC – always visible

      Have you pulled? Yesterday I’ve added a workaround a possible plasma bug so try pulling, and I don’t have icons or animation to do that, it would require oxygen to provide those…

  6. Phillip Hill says:

    Excellent work – nice to see plasmoids that make sense. These are the type of niceties we need if we are going to entice new users who previously used Windows. It makes the whole process of changing OS that much more “easy” on them.

    We shouldn’t assume that every user knows how a PC and its ancillary devices work, most users just want to use their system and have it communicate with them when they perform some action/s.

    Well done!


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