The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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html/css to ps conversion

Not really a design topic per se, but does anyone have experience with converting HTML/CSS to PostScript on a Unix platform?

I've tried html2ps but am feeling it's not supporting enough CSS. Drawing hairlines is such a PostScript goodie, but html2ps squashes them and I would have to do a lot of dirty xsltproc'ing in order to get something approaching the original. Version 1.0b4 is from this year, but 1.0b3 is from 2000!

(If you're wondering, the user does some wizz-bang DHTML mods in their browser, the DOM is sent back to the server, the server needs to interface with the fax server which only handles takes PS or PCL files.)
slava Send private email
Sunday, July 10, 2005
If you have access to a browser, you can get the browser to render it and then save to PDF, usually through the print-to-file functionality.  On the Mac, it's exceptionally easy with the native PDF support and Applescript.  Not sure about other Unix, though, because I've given up using it as a desktop for five years now. :-)
Art Send private email
Monday, July 11, 2005
HTMLDoc is extremely good at converting HTML to high quality PS. CSS support is appearing in the now forming version (1.9), but non-CSS is well supported for 6 years now.

[ ]

It's open source, and if you put in some cash, you might get to determine how fast and what features 1.9 acquires.
Ori Berger
Monday, July 11, 2005
I don't have access to the user's browser (they're on Firefox/Windows). Asking the user to install a ps driver and asking them to save to particular file thru the print dialog won't work: the user believes they are faxing an prescription to a someone not printing or saving files.

If I could configure Mozilla to run as a batch program on the server rendering a HTML/CSS file into PS without any UI, that would work.

Ori, thanks for the htmldoc link. I'll check it out. Oh yeah,  I'd be happy with a commercial product too.
slava Send private email
Monday, July 11, 2005
Can't you run a browser on your server and have it do the print to pdf for you? I'd imagine you could automate firefox to do this.
Zach M.
Monday, July 11, 2005
I'm out on a limb here; would it be possible to take the Mozilla source code and build only the rendering engine and printer support ?

It could become a Mozilla project on which you could get people to help you produce, might become valuable.
There are some starting points at
with a section on embedding a browser into other software at
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

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