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Firefox & Seamonkey with Printing Support

September 20, 2010 by Rich@E-vertise.Com

New beta versions of Firefox & Seamonkey with printing support are now
available. These betas are part of a project sponsored by Mensys to
provide full printing support in the Mozilla apps.

In Phase I, printing via CUPS or directly to many Postscript-enabled
printers is supported. Printing using native drivers such as OMNI,
LASERJET, etc. is not supported yet but will be in Phase II.

Firefox v4.0b7pre is available from:
Seamonkey v2.1b1pre is available from:

These betas are based on newer versions of the Mozilla code and should
be more stable than the previous releases. Like the previous versions,
they use Exceptq v7 to generate debugging reports should the app crash.
Printing support is largely unchanged.

Printing Features
* If you select a printer that uses a native Postscript driver (i.e. any
printer that supports Postscript or any printer set up to use CUPS), the
Mozilla app will create PS output using parameters taken from the driver.
However, it won't actually use that driver; instead, it will send the
output to the spooler via the IBMNULL driver. IBMNULL should already be
installed on most systems; if not, you will have to reinstall it.
* If you select a printer that uses a native raster driver (i.e. any other
type of driver such as EPOMNI), a PDF file will be created as is currently
done. However, a file dialog will pop up so you can change the target's
name and directory.
* Any time you get a 'Print to file' dialog, you can force the output to
PS or PDF by setting the file's extension appropriately. This way, even
when native drivers are supported, you'll still be able to get PDF output.
* Unlike the current implementation, this version won't create an empty
file on your Desktop when you use Print Preview.
Notes about Printing
* Support for Postscript printers is uneven. Most print without any
problems. However, some don't, and no amount of experimentation has
succeeded in getting them to print. If your model doesn't work, we
ask for your patience until native driver support is implemented.
No problems printing via CUPS have been reproted.

* In order to send output through IBMNULL, the program adds it to the
printer's list of supported drivers. If you open the printer object's
Properties notebook to the 'Printer driver' page, you'll find both the
PS driver and IBMNULL are selected in the upper box. To avoid problems
when queueing several print jobs, it isn't removed/deselected when done.
As long as the PS driver remains the default (i.e. it's selected in the
lower box), this shouldn't cause any problems - if it does, please let
me know.

* Printing directly from an email window in Seamonkey fails. Instead,
open 'Print Preview', then select the 'Print' button.
* If the app encounters a fatal error (i.e. crashes), Exceptq will emit
a two-tone beep and generate an exception report in the exe's directory.
The report's name is based on the process & thread ID of the thread that
crashed, and has an extension of '.TRP' (e.g. 003A_1.TRP). Reports are
usually 30-50kb but may be larger.
* While most of the report is of little interest to users, at the end is
a list all dlls loaded into the process. It my be worthwhile to scan it
for dlls that shouldn't be there, such as dlls loaded from another Moz
app or dlls for plugins that you didn't know were still installed.
* Please do NOT email or post these reports unless requested. We still
have to work out an orderly system for collecting and acting on them.

Rich Walsh

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