"Printing is Ugly" with Joel Meador and Charles Suggs

About this Episode

Published May 2, 2024 | Duration: 47:03 | RSS Feed | Direct download
Transcript: English

In Episode 7 of Elixir Wizards Office Hours, SmartLogic Engineers Joel Meador and Charles Suggs join host Owen Bickford to tackle the often tricky task of adding print functionality to web applications. They discuss their recent experiences with browser-based printing and the hurdles of cross-browser compatibility, consistent styling, and dynamic content generation, such as headers and footers.

The trio delves into the limitations of current printing capabilities in browsers, the potential of server-side PDF generation, and the necessity of juggling separate templates for web and print. They also consider accessibility for printed content and the demands of delivering high-fidelity, pixel-perfect prints.

Throughout the episode, Joel, Charles, and Owen offer up practical advice for developers grappling with similar issues, emphasizing the need for thorough research, proactive problem-solving, and the exploration of both in-browser and external PDF generation solutions.

Key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Real-world experiences with software project printing
  • Navigating the limitations of browser-based printing
  • Ensuring cross-browser compatibility and consistent layout
  • Generating dynamic content for print versions
  • Exploring server-side PDF generation and its advantages
  • Balancing design consistency across web and print formats
  • Addressing accessibility in printed outputs
  • Overcoming the unique challenges of high-accuracy printing requirements
  • Practical tips for researching and implementing printing solutions
  • Handling complex data presentations like tables in print
  • Evaluating the pros and cons of different printing APIs
  • Understanding the distinction between web viewing and printing needs
  • Innovating with mixed content in PDF generation
  • Learning from past printing challenges and planning for future improvements

Links mentioned:

CSS3 https://css3.com/
WeasyPrint https://github.com/Kozea/WeasyPrint
WebKit https://webkit.org/
Pdf.js https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js
YesLogic Prince 15 https://www.princexml.com/
PrintXML https://gist.github.com/craiga/2934093
PDF/A https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/A
The PDF/A Family of Archiving Standards https://www.pdflib.com/pdf-knowledge-base/pdfa/the-pdfa-standards/
PDF/X https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF/X
Microsoft Encarta https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encarta

Special Guests: Charles Suggs and Joel Meador.

Transcript (English):