Print Manager 0.1.0 Released!


Release soon and release often wasn’t really the case of print-manager, I started this project 2 years ago, and this is the first official release. I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long which I can’t say I’m not super happy!!!

First off I REALLY want to give a BIG THANK YOU to all who contributed to my fund raising campaign, without it, this project would have to wait even more, because without a real printer testing the “Add New Printer” feature is real hard, even tho I don’t have all printer models available out there with a printer I can at least guess what s-c-p (system-config-printer) did.

My new printer and monitor 😀

It’s been a while since my last blog, but the truth is that there is a lot I’m doing under the hood of the applications I develop, for example PackageKit is passing through some real deep changes which will change a lot how Apper talks with it (for the better). I’ve been fixing stuff on upower, libsolid, colord-kde…

This week I read a rather sad news Dolphin 2.1, and I must admit I’ve been through the same feelings, especially when your friends show their fancy new OS(X), and they show everything just works, it might have it’s limitations, but the overall experience shows something that was not just written, I was well thought. So it made me rethink why I don’t gave up on doing this and just surrender for the fancier that could make all my work much easier? Well remembering last Linus talk (the one he express our hard time with NVIDIA), he said that before he started writing linux he used to write all his tools, and that’s pretty much what keeps me going, the tools I write pretty much to myself, if I was happy with the existing ones I wouldn’t write a new one anyway… Being in a OS where (at least for me) everything just works, removes my fun of writing stuff that doesn’t 😉  (which BTW I’m about to start a new one…)

All I have to say is that Dolphin is really one of the best piece of software I have in my PC and that I’ll keep my hope someday he will return bringing another useful tool for us.

Back to the topic, this new release is a very important step to get print-manager in KDE 4.10, I’ve finally added the most important bits missing compared to s-c-p. Comparing to s-c-p-kde it even has some features that weren’t ported from the original s-c-p. Being pratical it means there are a very small list of TODO’s and we really need your help with testing, thanks to Kai Uwe Broulik the user interface received some real nice updates, and some testing. But we really need more, so if you can test the software so we have zero or near zero bugs before 4.10 it would be awesome. If your distro want to pick this version it’s fine too, but surely there are some bugs…

The cool things this release has (compared to my old posts):

  • When automatically adding a printer show actions: “Print test page”, “Configure Printer”, “Install Driver” which are shown on the popup that comes when you plug it into the USB port.
  • KDED module runs on a thread
  • Dialogs now save their size
  • KCM doesn’t show the printer list if you only have one printer.
  • Fixed some authentication bugs

Add Printer Wizard:

  • Renewed UI
  • Improved URL handling (specially for samba shares)
  • PPD chooser calls s-c-p DBus interface to find the best driver
  • Devices listing calls s-c-p DBus interface to group devices that provide different communication protocols

And lots of other fixes…

If you want to help making this tool the best ever, we miss:

  • Patch smb kio to see printer shares to be able to browser them and easily add them
  • Make sure the application works well when we stop/start CUPS
  • Make sure CUPS DBus notifications don’t break (sometimes it simply stops working)
  • Create a QML model to expose the print jobs to the QML plasmoid, since Plasma DataEngines don’t perform well on large lists
  • Integrate with PackageKit (hehe this is fun, I’m a PackageKit guy who did not integrate his own app 😛 ) – easiest one

As you can see the list is really small, so TRY IT!

Print Manager 0.1.0 Released!

45 thoughts on “Print Manager 0.1.0 Released!

  1. Beojan Stanislaus says:

    Would it be possible to integrate with PolicyKit for authentication. perhaps using org.opensuse.cupspkhelper

    1. dantti says:

      Using PolicyKit imo is the wrong way of doing this. CUPS already has a mechanism to handle authentication, patching it to work with PolicyKit is just duplicating work and making it more complex, not to mention it won’t work at all if you are connected to a remote CUPS server.

      1. oliverhenshaw says:

        Have you seen ? If printerd works out, it will use policykit for security in place of the parallel cups-native/cups-pk-helper stacks.

        You probably won’t need to worry about it for a while, but on the other hand you might need to be careful about design decisions that make PK auth difficult to implement.

      2. dantti says:

        Sure I know it, I’ve been working with Richard for about ~4years now :P, it’s a bit like Wayland we can’t wait for it to become a reality to fix our current problems, printd will make the work I’ve done much easier, since using CUPS API is a pain. But still Pk authentication doesn’t require GUI code, so I don’t need to worry about that at all, printd will be the one talking to it.
        In the printd case it makes sense to have Policykit auth, on CUPS case it just wasn’t designed for it.

  2. Kenny D says:

    does custom paper size work? currently if you select it you can’t specify what the custon paper size is

    1. dantti says:

      It should, but are you sure you are talking about the same thing? print-manager has nothing to do with your print dialog.

  3. Del says:

    Great news! The printer set-up is an important part of the desktop experience, and a regression there has plagued Kubuntu throughout the 4.8 series ( which very well may be related to the CUPS issues you describe. I really feel bad about not chasing it down, but a pile of other open projects sucked out all my time. Please consider another fund raiser if this can help you devote more time, I would certainly be very happy to contribute.

    Good luck, and a huge thanks 🙂

    1. dantti says:

      Well I don’t think that bug is in any way related to the CUPS issues I have with print-manager, since the same configuration does work with print-manager, it’s probably either a problem with the python port or CUPS bindings which I don’t use any.
      Well surely another fund raiser would help me since I’m not in a good money moment, but it’s odd to keep asking for money (unless I have another good reason), there are also other projects that also need money.

      1. Del says:

        Thanks for looking into the report. The reason I jumped on the CUPS issue is that I googled some earlier reports with identical error messages where a restart of CUPS provided a fix. In any case, I will test the print-manager as soon as I get to it (which unfortunately may take some time).

        Do not worry about the fund raising, it is not odd. I consider it a privilige if you allow me to help out. Doing it in a fund raiser provides us the added bonus of showing the rest of the world that we really care about your great work 🙂 Rest assured, I (and others) sponsor other fund raisers too, and yes also the Join KDE campaign. Nothing prevents other KDE-devs from doing fund raising. Consider e-mailing me your bankng details, it has been too long since the last KDE fund raising took place 🙂

        BTW, I prefer your design over Apple’s any day of the week.

      2. dantti says:

        Right thanks, the restart stuff I mentioned is that I need to detect when it’s not running and when it get’s back to expose this on the UI. For the DBus issue restarting didn’t fix the issue here at least…

  4. Your friends’ “fancy” OSX might be… well, fancy, but I really believe that KDE Plasma is waaaay more fancy, _AND_ you can set everything to your taste and needs.

    Your friends can’t say that from their fancy cage, don’t you think?

    Just that, by itself, should provide more than enough motivation, I think 😉
    But of course, there’s also the fact that the users thank you for your hard work, even if it’s not expressed very often 😛

    I wish Peter would reconsider…

    Anyway, good job! It’s really appreciated 🙂

    1. dantti says:

      That’s why I said it does have it’s limitation, you can’t do everything you want there, but on the other hand what is available works pretty well imo.
      But well you are right, users thanking me, this whole community thing, and being able to do what I want, not to mention our superb Kernel is what keeps me from leaving this hard work…

  5. bleble says:

    But your work is towards “just work” so thank you! KDE should focus on core things, polished them and ditch hundreds of useless crap, yes – KDE is to big as a project, go to browse through applications: it’s looks repressive but 90% of theme is obsolete/not maintained/crap/useless crap/purely written crap/. KDE4 has bad opinion because by default is bloated like hell and even on linux regular users are to dumb to disable things like akonadi. KDE should focus I mean FOCUS. Gnome on the other hand? Yeah is dumb and limited and I can’t use it, but got great core applications not only consistent and well integrated but but working too and letting you do your job! KDE? Millions of shity apps written by students and very few pro-grade core ones, and even then they are not consistent across whole desktop and have to much bugs.

    1. dantti says:

      Yes, “just works” is really what I want, I think Gnome went too radical on this, we not only need things that just works but also that you can tweak them where it makes sense. I don’t think the fault is on students coding or something, it’s just that imho there is much more work done by paid people on Gnome than on KDE which means more code time to fix issues.
      Having more paid people doesn’t mean better code, but probably means more code..

    2. I disagree completely, but anyway, you should show more respect for the work of others.
      “Shitty this”, “crap that”… If you think you can do better (apparently), go ahead and do it. But insulting is a lot easier…

      For the record, KDE Plasma Desktop and the KDE-based programs I use work great and I can customize almost everything to my taste and needs. The whole thing is almost perfect for me.

      Great job, KDE, whatever some very loud people might say!

      1. dantti says:

        No one is insulting others work here, it’s no secret that some stuff don’t work as well as we would like to. And it’s not always developers fault, being a community driven project with a few companies helping out mean man power is the key thing in this questioning, and yes there are too few people working on KDE we really need more, which is why a loss like Dolphin’s maintainer is sad.
        We have great software but still we don’t have a good variety. There’s just too few apps out there, we need more.

      2. Really?

        “hundreds of useless crap”, “crap/useless crap/purely written crap”, “Millions of shity apps”.

        If that’s not insulting, I don’t know what is.

        Just in case it’s not totally clear, my comment was in response to “bleble”.

      3. dantti says:

        Well I understood he was referring to the several applications that unfortunate doesn’t even compile… anyway I don’t think we can say KDE to focus on something, we don’t work like that, we get involved and fill bugs or either fix it. If no one is willing to fix or focus on something unless you pay them it won’t happen.

  6. please can you list some of the dependencies needed for building this? When I run cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config –prefix` I get this error “Could NOT find CUPS libraries” I tried installing the build dependencies of cups still no show. Kubuntu 12.04 running kde 4.8.4

      1. dantti says:

        Well that one is the New Living Translation, but I like the New International Version too (tho I don’t have a printed version of this)…

  7. Beojan Stanislaus says:

    apper has a bug in that if no updates are available, it always states that the last check for updates was more than a month ago, even if it was actually two minutes ago

    1. dantti says:

      It’s not a bug, having no updates and the last time the check for updates was run is two different things, unfortunately I don’t know how to make this more clear on the UI. Ideas welcome 😀

      1. Beojan Stanislaus says:

        Well, the fact that the time shown for the last check for updates is wrong is definitely a bug

      2. dantti says:

        So you click “Check for new Updates” and after that the Updater UI still says a month ago?

      3. Beojan Stanislaus says:

        By the way, I’m using the aptcc backend, in case the bug is actually there

      4. Beojan Stanislaus says:

        Seems it is an aptcc bug: pkcon refresh yields the message “The daemon crashed mid-transaction!”

  8. pprkut says:

    A bit late, but I just saw that the public git repo for print-manager at misses the tag for 0.1.0. Maybe you can still add that? 🙂

  9. Very slick project now, I keep printing things just to see it in action 🙂

    Is there somewhere to report problems?

    Latest trunk is failing to configure for me with:

    CMake Error: File /home/lindsay/Projects/print-manager/config.h.cmake does not exist.
    CMake Error at CMakeLists.txt:19 (configure_file):
    configure_file Problem configuring file

    Kuubunt 12.04/KDE 4.9

    1. dantti says:

      Wow thanks for the heads up, I have just commited the fix which is a missing file.
      For bug use the print-manager component on 😀

      1. Thanks, that did the trick, compiled and installed now.

        I like what you’ve done with the system config applet – all async, very responsive.

      1. Awesome, thanks! One note, for easier compatibility to different cups versions, most of the other packages (system-config-printer-common etc) basically check if the accessors are defined (or the version is 1.6). If not, they define the same accessors in local code and use them anyway. Might make life easier…

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