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Send Data Stream to Printer

Posted on 2003-11-10
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Last Modified: 2010-03-31
Servlet generates PDF data stream and returns the stream to applet. How to send the stream to printer so that it can be directly printed? Thanks..
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Question by:kasimchen
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Expert Comment

by:objects
ID: 9720446
Doubt you can. What is done with the data is handled by the browser, the servlet really has nothing to do with it.
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Author Comment

by:kasimchen
ID: 9720498
sorry.. i didn't mention it clearly.
I mean to send the stream to printer from applet side.
What is the Java API to do this action?
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Accepted Solution

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Tommy Braas earned 200 total points
ID: 9720526
As far as I know, all printing in a browser (where the applet is running) is handled by the browser. In other words, I don't believe that you can print the stream content to a printer using the printing support in Java from inside  applet.

Also, I haven't heard of a printer that is directly PDF compatible, which means that even if you could open a network stream directly to a printer, you wouldn't be able to print it without transforming the PDF to a printer specific language. Of course, translating PDF to PostScript is rather simple, but not to e.g. PCL.

Good luck,

\t
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by:objects
ID: 9720529
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Expert Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 9720894
Theoretically, you could encode it as PostScript in the applet and send it to a printer, using new FileOutputStream("lpt1");
The applet would have to be signed or the security policy altered.
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Expert Comment

by:objects
ID: 9726460
Far easier to use Java's Print API.
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Author Comment

by:kasimchen
ID: 9728144
I tried the method offered by CEHJ, but the applet hangs (not responding) when I execute printing. It stucks at the line fos.write(data); and does not throw any exception. I had the applet signed already.
        try {
            FileInputStream fis =  new FileInputStream("c:/out.ps");
            FileOutputStream fos = new FileOutputStream("LPT1");
            int data;
            while ((data=fis.read()) != -1)
                fos.write(data);
            fos.close();
        }
        catch (Throwable ex) {
            System.err.println("*** exception ***");
        }
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Expert Comment

by:Tommy Braas
ID: 9728810
Just making sure, is there a printer connected to LPT1: ? Also, I am not sure that LPT1: behaves like a file on Windows. It does (if supported) on *nix platforms. You could try (if supported by the printer) to access the printer over TCP/IP and switching the implementation to use an outputstream acquired from a Socket.
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Expert Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 9730900
>>Also, I am not sure that LPT1: behaves like a file on Windows.

Yes, it does. But the printer will have to be set up to print like this, as it's a glimpse back into the sepia-tinted world of DOS printing.
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Author Comment

by:kasimchen
ID: 9732181
No, I use network printer.
It seems that Java's Print API doesn't help much. Maybe it's better and more efficient to show the PDF in browser and let user prints from Acrobat Reader.
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LVL 86

Expert Comment

by:CEHJ
ID: 9733079
Yes, if you set the contentType to pdf, if there's a browser plugin, it should activate in-place
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