linux postscript distilling technique(s)

linux postscript distilling technique(s)

Post by Kevin J. Davi » Mon, 24 May 1999 04:00:00



Hi all,

I've seen at a PDF conference a technique where a un*x (or linux,
running on i386 if that matters) server is used in the distilling
process, to make PDFs a part of regular pre-press and web workflows.

The setup was not well-explained so I am interested in any ideas people
might have to accomplish this. Basically a linux server was set up (in
this case with AppleTalk, although I'm sure Samba would do for windows
environments) and essentially postscript files were dropped into a
shared folder on the linux machine, and distilled, relieving each user's
computer of burden of the task.

As I am not sure how this was done, I envision one of two ways--any
suggestions, or people with success stories, please pipe in!

* The folder becomes "watched" to distill any postscript files found
there via some command-line tool at some interval (via cron or similar).
I'm not sure if ghostscript or pstill have command-line distilling
options(?)

* Ideally, but perhaps not possible right now, the file could be
"printed" to PDF, spooling on the linux box, so the file would be made
right away. This would be somewhat simpler than each user accessing a
shared folder, since we already have regular printer spooling being done
on the linux box. This would seem to require a PDF "printer driver" and
some way to configure the PDF output, location to save the PDF file,
etc.

Any ideas or discussion appreciated!

Kevin Davis
Regular Baptist Press

 
 
 

linux postscript distilling technique(s)

Post by Dr H. T. Leu » Mon, 24 May 1999 04:00:00


I think the 2nd case is much easier, at least on my current linux box. I have
already got netatalk and samba installed, and it is already doing print serving
(talking postscript job from the apple macs, pass it through gs to convert to
pcl, then send the result over to M$network to print). What is required is really
modify the printcap file to create a new print queue, modify the magic
filter (apsfilter) to by-pass the rest of the print sequence whenever it is
called by this queue, but instead use ghostscript with the pdfwrite option to
write the pdf file to the samba/netatalk shared directory, and set the correct
permission for it to be readable by the samba/netatalk user (print jobs are
probably created with root ownership...). If I have to do it with my box I can
probably have it setup that way within an hour.

I think the 1st option is not very practical... your cron job would need to run
very frequently and that's not a very good thing to do if you are only using the
service once in a while.  


|> Hi all,
|>
|> I've seen at a PDF conference a technique where a un*x (or linux,
|> running on i386 if that matters) server is used in the distilling
|> process, to make PDFs a part of regular pre-press and web workflows.
|>
|> The setup was not well-explained so I am interested in any ideas people
|> might have to accomplish this. Basically a linux server was set up (in
|> this case with AppleTalk, although I'm sure Samba would do for windows
|> environments) and essentially postscript files were dropped into a
|> shared folder on the linux machine, and distilled, relieving each user's
|> computer of burden of the task.
|>
|> As I am not sure how this was done, I envision one of two ways--any
|> suggestions, or people with success stories, please pipe in!
|>
|> * The folder becomes "watched" to distill any postscript files found
|> there via some command-line tool at some interval (via cron or similar).
|> I'm not sure if ghostscript or pstill have command-line distilling
|> options(?)
|>
|> * Ideally, but perhaps not possible right now, the file could be
|> "printed" to PDF, spooling on the linux box, so the file would be made
|> right away. This would be somewhat simpler than each user accessing a
|> shared folder, since we already have regular printer spooling being done
|> on the linux box. This would seem to require a PDF "printer driver" and
|> some way to configure the PDF output, location to save the PDF file,
|> etc.
|>
|> Any ideas or discussion appreciated!
|>
|> Kevin Davis
|> Regular Baptist Press
--
          --------------------------------------------------
"What you don't care cannot hurt you."            Chap. 7a, AMS-NS

 
 
 

linux postscript distilling technique(s)

Post by Kevin J. Davi » Mon, 24 May 1999 04:00:00


Quote:> What is required is really
> modify the printcap file to create a new print queue, modify the magic
> filter (apsfilter) to by-pass the rest of the print sequence whenever it is
> called by this queue, but instead use ghostscript with the pdfwrite option to
> write the pdf file to the samba/netatalk shared directory, and set the correct
> permission for it to be readable by the samba/netatalk user (print jobs are
> probably created with root ownership...). If I have to do it with my box I can
> probably have it setup that way within an hour.

I was hoping such a thing was possible. The Samba is not needed for us
as all PDF flows will be coming from Macs--all NT machines are for
customer service etc. and are not part of pre-press. I want to keep this
fairly simple. I am uncertain how the bypassing is done; could you show
me a hypothetical printcap setup that accomplishes this?

Quote:> I think the 1st option is not very practical... your cron job would need to run
> very frequently and that's not a very good thing to do if you are only using the
> service once in a while.

I did not think it very practical either, but in my experience the
designers output from Pagemaker to PDF using export, and either distill
immediately or create the postscript file for later; and the "watched
folder" is an option although I haven't experimented to see what it
does. In this scenario they would have to basically set up a linux
"spool" printer and use the print option rather than Export --> Adobe
PDF?

Thanks for the assistance!

 
 
 

1. Can Distiller save the PostScript file that it distills?

Here's one for all the PostScript gurus.

My situation is as follows:

System: Windows 2000, Acrobat 5.x (default install), Accelio Forms
Designer 4.0.

Problem: Adobe's new Accelio Forms Designer, for some unexplicable
reason, no longer has a "Print to File" option, duh! My workflow
requires that I produce both a .ps (or .eps) and a .pdf file from each
Accelio source file, but without a Print to File option the Acrobat
Assistant (acrotray.exe) utility intercepts the PostScript file, feeds
it to Distiller, and then deletes it once the PDF is produced. So it's
impossible to keep a copy of the .ps file! It's the craziest thing
I've ever seen. I can't find any way to configure the Acrobat
Assistant, and when I turn it off, the application (Accelio) crashes
when I print to Distiller. The Acrobat documentation and Adobe's
online knowledgebase offer no help at all.

Switching to GhostScript or some other software would severely disrupt
our PDF-X 1a workflow and I would like to avoid that if possible.

So here is my question. Can a code snippet be added to Distiller's
Prologue.ps or Epilogue.ps file(s) that would cause Distiller to save
a copy of the PostScript file to a local or network drive, either
before or after the distillation process?

If this is possible and there is a kind soul out there willing to
provide me with such code, then I'll definitely buy him/her a cold
beer next time we meet!  (-:

Thanks,

Bryan Guignard

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