Omnis Technical Note TNPR0001

LaserWriter8 (MAC OS)

For Omnis Studio version 1.2
By Michael Monschau

Omnis Studio 1.2 utilizes the 'extended print record' which is provided by the LaserWriter 8.4 onwards. What are the benefits and disadvantages?

Contents

What is the extended print record
The Benefits
Problems

What is the extended print record


Because the classic MAC OS print record has a fixed structure of 120 bytes which could not be altered without breaking existing applications, and it was becoming very difficult to fulfill new feature requests
for the LaserWriter 8 and PSPrinter, the engineers at Apple have developed the extended print record.
In order to utilize this new feature, the application has to send a request to the driver to have the standard print record extended. Once the record is extended, applications can request and change information stored in the extended part of the print record by using the collection manager. This includes new information like the Paper name. Without the extended part, information like paper trays for first and
second page could not be stored in the record.


The Benefits

By extending the print record, Omnis MAC OS users can pick different trays for first and second page onwards, and there is additional access to various other features. It also makes it possible to accurately map many of the paper types supported by the Windows platform, allowing us to make the paper type a cross platform property. In order to utilize these features, both the collection manager and LaserWriter
8.4 or later must be installed in the system.


Problems

Note: the following problems have been fixed in version 8.5 beta 6 of the printer driver. It since has been discovered that there is a problem with the latest LaserWriter 8 driver (version 8.5.1). It seems that the Page Setup dialog confuses the paper type when the print record has been extended. The problem has been reported to Apple, and we were told that there is a bug in the Page Setup dialog which has not been fixed as yet. Unfortunately MAC OS 8 ships with this driver as standard. As a test we have successfully downgraded the driver in MAC OS 8 to 8.4.3 or 8.4.1 and were able to use Omnis Studio's new features. The problem only lies with the actual dialog, and it is possible to set the paper size using notation and print correctly to the printer.

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