Another PPA Update!


The eagle-eyed among you might just have spotted that my PPA list now includes a new entry for Gutenprint.  The reason for this is that I wanted an easy way of distributing a particular patch - namely my PSSpeedup patch.  This patch, as it name might suggest, provides a significant speedup when using Gutenprint's Adobe Postscript Level 2 driver.  As such, this is potentially useful for anyone using PhotoPrint in conjunction with HP-IJS, TurboPrint, the Avasys Epson drivers, laser printers that understand Postscript, and anything else not directly supported by Gutenprint, but for which Linux drivers are available.

Note that this is the stock Ubuntu package of Gutenprint 5.2.6, taken from version 10.10 (Maverick), with the one extra patch applied.  While the PPA contains the same version for Lucid, this was actually done accidentally!  Since it might turn out to be a useful backport for some people, I've left the Lucid version there - but use at your own risk.

To install the updated package for Ubuntu 10.04 or 10.10, add ppa:amr/gutenprint to your software sources, then upgrade all gutenprint packages.

What does the patch do?

The Gutenprint Postscript driver generates and writes the image data character by character, while the patched version batches the writes into blocks of 4k.  How much difference this makes depends on precisely what you're printing, but when printing from PhotoPrint it can make a very significant difference.  Because PhotoPrint renders and prints the whole page as a single high-resolution image, just generating the postscript for a single A4 page with 4 photos on, using the stock driver, takes 59 seconds on my laptop.

The patched version reduces this to a mere 8 seconds.

(That's only the time taken to load, process and generate PostScript code for the images, of course - it excludes the time taken by the system printer driver to actually print the document, but it still represents a saving of nearly a minute on the whole process.)