The PrintManager enables the printing of a queue from within the iNEWS client. It consists of the PrintClient and the PrintServer. The PrintClient is used by the iNEWS user to select the queue to print, the PrintStyle and the printer or print preview. The PrintServer processes the print requests. After the user started the print job the PrintClient sends the print request to the PrintServer. After interpreting the request the PrintServer opens a connection to the iNEWS server and downloads the queue contents. It uses the PrintStyle to transform the contents of the queue into a PDF file. The resulting PDF file is saved into a special directory on the PrintServer machine. The PrintClient polls this directory and if the requested file appears the PrintClient downloads it. The PrintClient presents the file to the user or prints it to the printer selected by the user. The whole procedure from starting the print job until the result is presented to the user takes usually lesser than 10 seconds.
The PrintClient is the graphical user interface (GUI) of the PrintManager. It is installed on the iNEWS client machine. The user chooses the queue to print in the iNEWS client and simply puts it into the PrintClient by drag-and-drop. After selecting an appropriate PrintStyle and printer the print job can be started. There is also an option to display the result in the Adobe Acrobat Reader instead of printing it.
An alternative proceeding is to specify all necessary information required for printing by the PrintClient as command line parameters at the start of the PrintClient program. Then the PrintClient starts the print job in the background without presenting its GUI. In this way the print job can be started from within iNEWS by a button.
With the PrintServer the printing system becomes redundant by assigning several PrintServers to one iNEWS system. There is also the possibility to use one PrintServer for several iNEWS systems. This reduces installation- and maintenance effort. In both cases the PrintClient automatically chooses the proper PrintServer depending on the print job.
As the PrintServer is implemented in Java it is platform independent.
PrintStyles are XSL files which describe the transformation of the contents of queue into XSL-FO. The XSL-FO is then being used to create the resulting PDF file. With the knowledge of News Story Markup Language (NSML) that is used by iNEWS and basic XML concepts one can easily create a PrintStyle. With this technique all of the fields contained in an iNEWS story (e.g. text fields or time fields) can be evaluated and processed.
Due to the modular architecture of the PrintManager, it can easily be adapted to process XML documents from other sources than iNEWS. The output is not limited to PDF; it can be PostScript, SVG, Bitmap or Plain Text as well.
Some of the following links are restricted to specific users. Read the overview on page Welcome who has which permissions.
These broadcasters already use the PrintManager:
— Andreas Hartmann 24.05.2007 10:22