Naive question 
Author Message
 Naive question

Quote:

> I do "scientific" programming in Turbo Pascal and QBasic, but it's
> getting hard to find a printer that handles DOS (and prints in color for
> my wife).  Being retired, I want a cheap language that works within
> Windows 95 so that modern printers will work, and also use the memory
> available without special programming.  Ideas?

You could output to postscript and use GNU GhostScript (free) to send
it to the printer.

--
Jack J. Woehr                 # The Drug War is Race War
PO Box 51, Golden, CO 80402   # The Drug War is Class War.

http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~jax/rcfb # Arrest the War on {*filter*}.



Sun, 24 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question
I do "scientific" programming in Turbo Pascal and QBasic, but it's
getting hard to find a printer that handles DOS (and prints in color for
my wife).  Being retired, I want a cheap language that works within
Windows 95 so that modern printers will work, and also use the memory
available without special programming.  Ideas?


Mon, 25 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question
I guess I could figure out how to do what you suggest, or maybe not.  I would
much prefer an answer to my question.
Quote:


> > I do "scientific" programming in Turbo Pascal and QBasic, but it's
> > getting hard to find a printer that handles DOS (and prints in color for
> > my wife).  Being retired, I want a cheap language that works within
> > Windows 95 so that modern printers will work, and also use the memory
> > available without special programming.  Ideas?

> You could output to PostScript and use GNU GhostScript (free) to send
> it to the printer.

> --
> Jack J. Woehr                 # The Drug War is Race War
> PO Box 51, Golden, CO 80402   # The Drug War is Class War.

> http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~jax/rcfb # Arrest the War on {*filter*}.



Mon, 25 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question


Quote:
>I guess I could figure out how to do what you suggest, or maybe not.  I would
>much prefer an answer to my question.

(snip)

He did answer it, and to be honest I was very impressed with such an
easy and elegant solution. What's your problem with the answer? Are
you sure you understood it completely?

-- Mark



Mon, 25 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question
The question was "is there a language that works within Windows 95 so that it can
use printers that can't handle DOS, and maybe also use the vast memory available
in modern PCs".  I don't think that was answered, in fact I'm sure of it!  The
answer given probably is elegant, I really am not a good a judge of that.  It
might save money, but it might consume a lot of time.  You suggest that I might
not understand it completely.  I really don't understand it at all.  Can I write
Pascal code that will output to postscript and use GNU to send to the printer
online?  I have not found a reference to postscript in any of my Turbo Pascal
manuals.
Quote:



> >I guess I could figure out how to do what you suggest, or maybe not.  I would
> >much prefer an answer to my question.
> (snip)

> He did answer it, and to be honest I was very impressed with such an
> easy and elegant solution. What's your problem with the answer? Are
> you sure you understood it completely?

> -- Mark



Tue, 26 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question


Quote:
>Can I write
>Pascal code that will output to postscript and use GNU to send to the printer
>online?

In a word, yes.

Quote:
>I have not found a reference to postscript in any of my Turbo Pascal
>manuals.

That's because your Turbo Pascal manuals describe Turbo Pascal, not
PostScript. PostScript is another programming language altogether,
primarily designed for describing pages to printers. Ghostscript is a
free interpreter for PostScript that translates PostScript into the
native control codes of printers that do not support PostScript
directly, which would be most inkjet printers.

If you would like to learn how to program in PostScript, you can
download a Glen Reid's book, _Thinking in PostScript_ in PDF format
from:

http://www.rightbrain.com/download/ThinkingInPostScript.pdf

or look at P.J. Weingartner's online tutorial at:

http://www.cs.indiana.edu/docproject/programming/postscript/postscrip...

Alternatively, you could check out Luc Devroye's PostScript pages for
some preprocessors that would save you the severe brain shock involved
in jumping from procedural infix languages like BASIC and Pascal to a
stack-based postfix language like PostScript:

http://www-cgrl.cs.mcgill.ca/~luc/postscript.html

My personal favorite, which may be well-suited to your needs, is Lout,
a simple but powerful document formatting language designed to be a
vast improvement over TeX, which it is, IMHO. You can check it out at:

http://www.ptc.spbu.ru/~uwe/lout/

Your only alternatives, at least terms of BASIC and Pascal under
Windows, are Microsoft Visual Basic and Inprise (Borland) Delphi, the
latter being the distant descendant of Turbo Pascal. Unlike the
preceding suggestions, both of these will cost you money, though I'm
pretty sure Inprise offers an introductory version of Delphi at a
reduced price, and is the better product of the two, again, IMHO.

Of course, you could always try sending raw printer codes to your
printer. Epson, HP, and (as far as I know) the other major printer
vendors all sell references to their printer control languages. (Epson
printers use a "language" called ESC/P2, and HP printers mostly use
PCL. ESC/P2 is extremely low level and amounts to little more than a
simple protocol for sending raw bitmaps to the printer, whereas PCL
provides some higher-level drawing primitives. The current version of
Epson's escape code manual, which I recently purchased, is also about
two years out of date, so programming their newer printers requires a
bit of trial and error.)

-E.

+-------------------------------------------------------------------+
| "I have come a very long way from myself only to realize that     |
| identity is a skill and self-betrayal is a habit. Once lost, the  |
| former is very hard to regain; once gained, the latter is very    |
| hard to lose."  ---I. Corvus, _The Europe of Our Dreams_          |
+-------------------------------------------------------------------+



Tue, 26 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question


Quote:
>The question was "is there a language that works within Windows 95 so that it can
>use printers that can't handle DOS, and maybe also use the vast memory available
>in modern PCs".  I don't think that was answered, in fact I'm sure of it!  The
>answer given probably is elegant, I really am not a good a judge of that.  It
>might save money, but it might consume a lot of time.  You suggest that I might
>not understand it completely.  I really don't understand it at all.  Can I write
>Pascal code that will output to postscript and use GNU to send to the printer
>online?  I have not found a reference to postscript in any of my Turbo Pascal
>manuals.

Yes, you can. PostScript(TM) is a language ideal for specifying pages
for printers. Your existing program outputs postscript for the GNU
software, which then reads the postscript and handles the printing for
you.

Incidentally, if you're used to Turbo Pascal, you may want to check
out Modula-3 for developing under Windows. Quite a bit of work is
going into the NT port, which ISTR working pretty well with 95 too.
The syntax is Pascal-like, and it'll handle memory management, GUI
stuff, multithreading, etc. But, there are many other langages that
are also suitable, especially if you don't mind switching to C-like
syntax or something.

-- Mark



Tue, 26 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question


Quote:
>The question was "is there a language that works within Windows 95 so that it can
>use printers that can't handle DOS, and maybe also use the vast memory available
>in modern PCs".  I don't think that was answered, in fact I'm sure of it!  The
>answer given probably is elegant, I really am not a good a judge of that.  It
>might save money, but it might consume a lot of time.  You suggest that I might
>not understand it completely.  I really don't understand it at all.  Can I write
>Pascal code that will output to postscript and use GNU to send to the printer
>online?  I have not found a reference to postscript in any of my Turbo Pascal
>manuals.

And, of course, none of the PostScript fans have addressed the issue
of a language that runs under Windows 95 rather than under DOS.

I suggest you look at Borland's Delphi package and at Microsoft's
Visual Basic.  Both are for Windows.  I haven't used Visual Basic
in four or five years, but even then it was very easy to print to
Windows printers using it (not just text, but text in any font,
and graphics of various kinds).  I can only assume it's gotten
more capable in the meantime.

On the hand, Delphi is (as I understand it; I've not used it)
a competitor to Visual Basic which uses an object-oriented
dialect of Pascal.  In that sense, it's a Windows descendant
of TurboPascal.  I'd be surprised if it didn't handle printers
as well as Visual Basic does, though I admit that that is a
guess.

Good luck in your search!

Will Duquette



Tue, 26 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question
Now I have several answers that I can understand.  Sorry if I seemed testy before, but
I write engineering and science code and am somewhat out of date on languages beyond
fortran, Basic, and Pascal, and others that go back to 1959.  I really appreciate the
help.
Quote:



> >The question was "is there a language that works within Windows 95 so that it can
> >use printers that can't handle DOS, and maybe also use the vast memory available
> >in modern PCs".  I don't think that was answered, in fact I'm sure of it!  The
> >answer given probably is elegant, I really am not a good a judge of that.  It
> >might save money, but it might consume a lot of time.  You suggest that I might
> >not understand it completely.  I really don't understand it at all.  Can I write
> >Pascal code that will output to postscript and use GNU to send to the printer
> >online?  I have not found a reference to postscript in any of my Turbo Pascal
> >manuals.

> And, of course, none of the PostScript fans have addressed the issue
> of a language that runs under Windows 95 rather than under DOS.

> I suggest you look at Borland's Delphi package and at Microsoft's
> Visual Basic.  Both are for Windows.  I haven't used Visual Basic
> in four or five years, but even then it was very easy to print to
> Windows printers using it (not just text, but text in any font,
> and graphics of various kinds).  I can only assume it's gotten
> more capable in the meantime.

> On the hand, Delphi is (as I understand it; I've not used it)
> a competitor to Visual Basic which uses an object-oriented
> dialect of Pascal.  In that sense, it's a Windows descendant
> of TurboPascal.  I'd be surprised if it didn't handle printers
> as well as Visual Basic does, though I admit that that is a
> guess.

> Good luck in your search!

> Will Duquette



Tue, 26 Jun 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Naive question

Quote:

> vendors all sell references to their printer control languages. (Epson
> printers use a "language" called ESC/P2, and HP printers mostly use
> PCL. ESC/P2 is extremely low level and amounts to little more than a
> simple protocol for sending raw bitmaps to the printer, whereas PCL
> provides some higher-level drawing primitives. The current version of
> Epson's escape code manual, which I recently purchased, is also about
> two years out of date, so programming their newer printers requires a
> bit of trial and error.)

In addition, their newest photo-quality printers like the Stylus Color
Photo EX use the ESC/P Raster protocol, which is not compatible with the
ESC/P2 (although there are some identical commands) and you are not going
to get any docs about it from Epson, they send you to Microsoft or Apple ...

Zoltan

+------------------------------------------------------------------+
| ** To reach me write to zoltan in the domain of bendor com au ** |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------+
| Zoltan Kocsi                   |   I don't believe in miracles   |  
| Bendor Research Pty. Ltd.      |   but I rely on them.           |
+--------------------------------+---------------------------------+



Fri, 06 Jul 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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