Monday, 30 July 2007

A little problem of GIMP printing and Kubuntu

Usually printing with GIMP is a no-brainer. Once you've installed Gimp-Print, you're ready to go.

On Kubuntu 7.'04 I found a tiny bug that can make things quite difficult. It happens that GIMP cannot find your printer -even if you correctly configure CUPS and Gimp-Print from the GIMP-Print gui. When you try to print using the default setting of "(Default printer)" you'll get the following error: "lp: Error - no standard target available".

For some reason, GIMP doesn't understand which printer is the default printer. What you have to do is:

- Setup your model of printer etc. on GIMP-Print correctly
- Have a look in /etc/cups/ppd and look for the .ppd files. There should be one corresponding to the name you gave the printer(s) when you installed. For example, I have a single file named HP_Laserjet_1300.ppd. Remember that filename.
- In the GIMP-Print dialogue, look for "Setup printer..." and click. Another dialogue will open. Now check the "Custom command" button and write the following line:

lp -s -d name_of_your_printer -oraw

and substitute name_of_your_printer with the filename you found before, without the .ppd extension. So if your filename is "myprinter.ppd" the line will be "lp -s -d myprinter -oraw".

Click "OK". Now you should be able to print. Try to see if you can save the settings -it seems it did it, but somehow after a reboot I had to do this again from scratch. Let me know.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Installing the new Oxygen icons under KDE 3

KDE 4 is coming, and it is bringing a truckload of improvements and goodies. Among these, there is the brand-new Oxygen icon theme. Oxygen will be the default icon theme of KDE 4 and it is going to be damn good. Look at the preview to have an idea by yourself.

With a strange move for an open source project, KDE 4 is quite secretive about the new icon theme. The plan is to present the whole suite together, keeping Oxygen as a "novelty", so, even if Oxygen is being currently developed and most icons are already done, there are no official downloads provided for Oxygen. Moreover, the KDE 4 developers somehow "discourage" using Oxygen on a KDE 3 system.

However, Oxygen is open content (Creative Commons Attributions-Share Alike and LGPLv3 dual-licensed) and it is online in the KDE 4 SVN repository. So nothing legally prevents you to download and try the current Oxygen development version on your system.

It is not straightforward to obtain a KDE 3 -installable theme from the KDE 4 SVN repository, however someone (as often happens in the OSS world) has done the dirty work for you. After a bit of googling I found a handy script that automatically downloads the latest revision of Oxygen icons, converts them (using Inkscape for that purpose, so check you have it installed) and packages it as a theme (that is a single .tar.bz2 file) in your home directory.

The script is a bit slow, but works: basically just download the file from the webpage above, unzip it, open a shell, enter in the directory, run ./ as a normal user and wait. When it has finished, just look for the Control Center in your KDE menu and go through Appearance and Themes --> Icons --> Install new theme and open the oxygen-icon-theme.tar.bz2 file in your home directory created by the script. VoilĂ , theme installed.

How does it looks? Really professional and cool. I must admit however that it can look somehow out-of-place on a common KDE 3 system, so probably KDE 4 developers are right -to fully experience Oxygen, better wait KDE 4 at the end of the year. However, here is some screenshot for your pleasure: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4