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Author Topic: NANY 2012 Release: Printer PaperSource Explorer 1.2.0.0  (Read 8701 times)
Ath
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« on: November 17, 2011, 02:59:37 PM »

NANY 2012 Entry Information

Application NamePaperSourceExplorer
Version 1.2.0.0
Short DescriptionDisplay information about your printers Paper Trays (the source of the paper...)
Supported OSes Windows XP forward
Setup File DCMembers page
History
  • 2011-12-07: v1.2.0.0 NANY2012 Release version!
    Several extra information options, display printer Location,
    Stores options and main form position/size between sessions
    Improved the print information option (Ctrl-P) to include all selected information
    Has the application icon on the main form too
    Displays main form and then loads data
  • 2011-12-03: v1.1.3.0-beta Added bin-name match for if it's tagged in the printer name (Win Server 2008R2 on VMWare)
  • 2011-12-03: v1.1.2.0-beta Improved bin-name match algorithm
  • 2011-12-03: v1.1.1.0-beta Remove whitespace in bin-name match algorithm
  • 2011-12-02: v1.1.0.0-beta Separating Active and Hidden/Disabled trays
  • 2011-11-30: v1.0.0.0-beta Pre-release for NANY2012
System Requirements.NET 4.0
Author InfoAth
DescriptionEver needed to setup Tray numbers in an application for a complicated, multi tray, office printer? Then here's the way to find out the correct tray/bin numbers.
Features
  • Displays the printers trays by number and the name the Windows driver assigned to it
  • Print information about the trays on paper
To do
  • Print a page from each available paper tray
  • Design/find a spiffy application-icon(done)
  • Add the spiffy icon to the main form without adding it twice in the exe(done)
ScreenshotsOn Windows 7:


On Windows Server 2008R2 (VMWare):

InstallationRun the installer, that'll create the shortcut(s) for you and take care of installing .NET if it's not yet installed.
Using the applicationView the information on the investigated printer by expanding or collapsing the tree (Default printer pre-selected and expanded)
Print the info on a page if required (File/Print or Ctrl-P)
Display Hidden/Disabled printer bins by expanding the corresponding tree-node
UninstallingRun the un-installer from the Software/Programs and Features Control panel option
Known IssuesLocalized printer driver papersource names don't match with English tray-names from the Windows PrintServer undecided
DisclaimerAny discrepancies caused by drivers are the manufacturers' responsibility tongue
HistoryThis is one of the first .NET applications I made, back in 2007/2008, using WinForms but never actually released to anybody but myself embarassed


« Last Edit: December 06, 2011, 05:41:49 PM by Ath; Reason: Release for NANY2012, released 1.2.0.0 » Logged

cranioscopical
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 03:40:26 PM »

Nice idea, Ath.
Where were you when I needed this many moons ago?
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Chris
Ath
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2011, 03:43:11 PM »

Where were you when I needed this many moons ago?
I was here, and also was this tool, but I didn't know... ohmy
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2011, 04:44:48 PM »

Interesting... So does this interact with the printer directly at any point, or just read the info available to/through/from the driver?
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Ath
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2011, 05:07:16 PM »

It's just info available from the printer driver, but not query-able elsewhere, as far as I found. And it does sometimes change based on OS or after a driver update ohmy
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2011, 05:55:32 PM »

Okay, I'll watch for a beta - There's like a couple hundred printers at the office I can test it on for ya. Wink
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 06:26:50 AM »

Nice idea, Ath!  thumbs up
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Ath
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 05:22:19 PM »

Ok, here is a pre-release for PaperSourceExplorer 1.0.0.0-beta. Official release will be ofcourse on 01-01-2012.

Download available from the above pledge message, here
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 06:22:29 PM »

OoooOOoo, cool stuff.  I can find an immediate use for this!!
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 06:30:36 PM »

Hm... It doesn't quite seem to have the same information as the print driver does for the HP LaserJet PCL drivers.



Note: The LaserJet 2100 has a maximum of 3 trays, mine only has 2 trays ... But the PCL drivers (all brands) always list the optional trays (even if they don't actually exist).
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Ath
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2011, 02:44:17 PM »

SJ, I'm investigating this, to see if I can detect what trays are actually available/installed. Usually it can be either set from the Advanced tab on the printer settings, or it's detected by the driver by querying the printer. Now to get my prying fingers at that info... huh
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2011, 10:15:44 PM »

I'll warn you ahead of time, the Universal Print Driver that HP (and many others) have switched to for Win 7 tends to fail when trying to read that info from the printer. That's why trays 3 - 9 aren't grayed out (like they should be) in the shots above.

I was actually wondering why PPSE thought I had custom paper in trays 1 & 2.
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Ath
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« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2011, 01:47:24 AM »

I was actually wondering why PPSE thought I had custom paper in trays 1 & 2.
That info is straight from the driver. Originally I never thought about getting current configuration from the printer, as I was just interested in the  binnumbers embarassed.
I've been experimenting/investigating with reading current info from the PrintServer, but that has the disadvantage of using different names for the inputbins Cry but I'm trying to match them. Not sure yet if the bin-type has anything to do with the paper type setting, I'll compare those too to see if there are differences or more accurate data. I'll post an update tonight (CET), so we can see if/how my matching algorithm works out tellme

Maybe I should add a disclaimer like:
Any discrepancies caused by drivers are the manufacturers' responsibility tongue
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« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2011, 07:25:47 AM »

I was actually wondering why PPSE thought I had custom paper in trays 1 & 2.
That info is straight from the driver. Originally I never thought about getting current configuration from the printer, as I was just interested in the  binnumbers embarassed.

Trust me, That one is a nightmare as there really isn't a prevailing standard on how to put what where, so you spend the entire time MIB walking the plank trying to find a crumb of valid info.. But I was going the SNMP route for network printers ... You should have better luck with the locally attached/driver query route.

I've been experimenting/investigating with reading current info from the PrintServer, but that has the disadvantage of using different names for the inputbins Cry but I'm trying to match them. Not sure yet if the bin-type has anything to do with the paper type setting, I'll compare those too to see if there are differences or more accurate data.

As I understand it no.
Bin types are standard tray, envelope feeder, etc.
Paper types are plain, letterhead, glossy... (media descriptions)
Paper size is letter, legal, custom, 11x17, etc.

...But that's from the print device side of the driver. Hard to say what happens on the other side for the user (I try to stay away from them).

Maybe I should add a disclaimer like:
Any discrepancies caused by drivers are the manufacturers' responsibility tongue

 cheesy Thmbsup
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Ath
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« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2011, 04:47:46 PM »

Updated Printer PaperSource Explorer to version 1.1.0.0-beta.
From the Changelog:

Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2011-12-03, v1.1.0.0-beta
  2. - Use Windows PrintServer runtime information to separate Active from Hidden/Disabled bins
  3. - Load printer data at startup only, and when Refresh is used, to improve display speed.
  4. - Added Edit/Expand All Nodes option
  5. - Added Edit/Display Hidden/Disabled bins option
  6. - Added Edit/Display Runtime bin-names option
  7. - Added Edit/Display Unrecognized Runtime bin-names option
Get the update either by running Help/Check for Updates (using DCupdater), or download the installer form the first message in this thread.

@Stoic Joker: Hope you can find some time to check this out, please report any issues here
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2011, 05:17:38 PM »

The "Visit program web page to download update" button on the update checker sent me to a 404 here:
http://ath.dcmembers.com/...b/papersourceexplorer.php

Did I show up to early?  cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2011, 06:10:57 PM »

Okay... Probably not the result we were looking for, but I did find something interesting. My main machine is Win7 Pro x64, and is using the in box (early UPD) driver for the LaserJet 2100. It now is giving this output:



Which I'm guessing is not what you expected. However, my wife's WinXP pro machine, which is running the old straight PCL driver (also an in box for XP) gives considerably different results for the exact same printer.



Printer Properties for the LJ2100 on XP (some things are grayed because she's not an admin)




So it's looking like HP's UPD is (a truly chronic PITA...) part of the problem, as unfortunately I've never seen it detect a printer's configuration right yet.
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2011, 03:30:34 AM »

The "Visit program web page to download update" button on the update checker sent me to a 404 here:
http://ath.dcmembers.com/...b/papersourceexplorer.php

Did I show up to early?  cheesy
I mis-typed the url, have to fix that in the next update, sorry embarassed The download link from this thread's first post is correct, as you found out.



I can now see why on your Win7 config it didn't match the AutoSelect unrecognized tray: Half of the driver-trays have a space pre-fixed to the name. I'll have to strip that off during comparing Wink, missed that from the previous screenshots, but now it seems obvious.
I can only agree on the crappyness of the HP drivers, as they have IMHO been for the recent 10+ years.

The WinXP display seems quite accurate, doesn't it?
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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2011, 05:59:36 AM »

Updated Printer PaperSource Explorer to version 1.1.1.0-beta.
From the Changelog:
Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2011-12-03, v1.1.1.0-beta
  2. - Fixed wrong website url in .dcupdate file
  3. - Remove surrounding whitespace when comparing tray names

Get the update either by running Help/Check for Updates (using DCupdater), or download the installer form the first message in this thread.
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Ath
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2011, 06:33:22 AM »

Updated Printer PaperSource Explorer to version 1.1.2.0-beta.
From the Changelog:
Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2011-12-03, v1.1.2.0-beta
  2. - Improved matching algorithm because of an issue with PDFCreator bin names on Windows Server 2008

Get the update either by running Help/Check for Updates (using DCupdater), or download the installer form the first message in this thread.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 06:37:48 AM by Ath; Reason: Added website url » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2011, 09:30:34 AM »

The WinXP display seems quite accurate, doesn't it?

The more I think about it, after rereading the thread a few times, I'm actually not sure. But I'm beginning to suspect that I may be reading the programs output incorrectly. You mentioned earlier that in the original version you were primarily interested in the "Bin Numbers". By that do you mean the Tray X column, or the BinNr: X string at the end? I'm actually rather curious what the last one would be used for.

My initial assumption was that the program was to list the trays available, and have a media description (size/type) of the contents of each tray for each print device ... So the user would know how to pick what from where. Am I incorrect in this assumption? Here's a screen shot (from the latest 1.1.2 build) of what I'm thinking the output should be (PPSE is on the left, LJ2100 driver on the right):



I just want to make sure I'm on the right page, because my intention really is to help, not be a PITA. smiley
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Ath
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2011, 10:27:17 AM »

SJ,

My original intent, back in 2007, was to be able to detect/determine the (low-level) bin numbers (the BinNr.:x at the end) to use for some older software that directly drives the printers with PCL5/PCL6 code and needs to select the correct numbers in the PCL code it sends. I had been testing with an old LJ4Plus that had an extra tray mounted underneath the main tray, and all was simple/well.
Eventually it turned out that the drivers used by the more modern (both HP and other brands) printers reported totally different numbers from the actually required PCL-code numbers Angry
Though the list of possible trays was useful in some situations, this was still one of the reasons this project was shelved back then, as I couldn't find more accurate data huh

To be able to match possible paper trays, as gathered from the printer driver, and what's actually installed in the printer, I (have to) query Windows components. I (currently) don't intend to try and query the printers directly to retrieve that information, as that would be a project of several years, just to acquire the knowledge of retrieving it from all the printer brands available. (What are standards good for?)
Seeing your LJ2100, and the totally different (read: 'lack of' for Win7) information available on XP and Windows 7, I don't have much hope for better information from a lot of other drivers.

If you need/want the information on the paper sizes, I can try to squeeze that info in the view, though atm, I'm unsure I can directly match it to the tray at hand.
I'll release 1.1.3.0 first with an added bin-detection method.
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2011, 10:36:39 AM »

Updated Printer PaperSource Explorer to version 1.1.3.0-beta.
From the Changelog:
Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2011-12-03, v1.1.3.0-beta
  2. - Added matching a known bin when the bin-number is in the printer name separated by #: (as seen in Windows Server 2008 R2 on VMWare)

Get the update either by running Help/Check for Updates (using DCupdater), or download the installer form the first message in this thread.
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« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2011, 05:53:14 PM »

It's a tad early, but I took the liberty of making it already official:

NANY2012 Release of Printer PaperSource Explorer version 1.2.0.0.

From the Changelog:
Formatted for Text with the GeSHI Syntax Highlighter [copy or print]
  1. 2011-12-07, v1.2.0.0 (Release)
  2. - Added option to show the location of a printer
  3. - Added option to show the known Media and Sizes (driver-data, not printer-data!) (In Other Information submenu)
  4. - Added option to show the known Mediatypes (driver-data, not printer-data!) (In Other Information submenu)
  5. - Added options to be stored between sessions, including the position and size of the main form. (per user: %APPDATA%\PaperSourceExplorer\PaperSourceExplorer.config)
  6. - Changed Expand All Nodes to not expand the Media and Sizes and Mediatypes nodes if enabled
  7. - Improved to have application icon on the main window
  8. - Improved printed summary to have all selected optional information
  9. - Changed processing order to first display the main form with Loading... text, and then retrieve the printer data
  10. - Changed Installer to also offer to open the Changelog.txt at the end of the install

Get the update either by running Help/Check for Updates (using DCupdater), or download the installer form the first message in this thread.

The ToDo that's still open I can't say for sure to be released before/at 01-01-2012, as I'll be busy helping some family members move to their new house from next week on embarassed
I'll check the forum for bugreports and feature requests as usual (maybe a bit less frequent), and release updates when needed thumbs up
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kyrathaba
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« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2011, 08:03:54 PM »

Congrats on the Release, Ath.
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I'm fighting against patent trolls. Join me and tell your representative to support the #SHIELDAct: https://eff.org/r.b6JJ /via @EFF

My DC page: http://kyrathaba.dcmembers.com | My blog: http://williambryanmiller.com/ | Proofreading Service: http://bit.ly/1fQSqQP

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