Date: Friday, July 15th, 2005, 16:13
We think of browsers as a single user, graphical application. Yet Dynalivery is developing a concurrent, headless server version of the Mozilla Gecko (Firefox) engine for printing from Web applications…
We think of browsers as a single user, graphical application. Yet Dynalivery is developing a concurrent, headless server version of the Mozilla Gecko (Firefox) engine for printing from Web applications.
Most Internet users have had the maddening experience of printing a web page and having the output appear far different from the view in their browser.
Dynalivery is developing a solution (“Saffron”) for this common problem, a server version of the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine, the heart of the Firefox browser.
By server, we mean that it runs headless, without browser windows or any kind of graphical user interface (GUI) and handles many jobs concurrently — just like a heavy-duty database management system such as Oracle, IBM DB2, or Sybase.
The freely downloadable versions of Mozilla, including Firefox only handle one job at a time and must have a browser window open. If any kind of dialogue box opens, all processing waits for users to dispatch or release it, effectively making the software unusable in a shared server’s typical unattended mode.
Saffron will print “ink on paper”, as well as generate formats for web delivery such as PDF and others (SVG, AFP, JPEG). Unlike other solutions, the output matches the “print preview” in the browsers based on Mozilla. In other words, the long-standing ease of use standard of personal computers, “What you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) is (finally) approaching for printing Web pages.
A test version is available online.