Driver for the Xerox XPRESS Plotter

Using xpress_plot with GDSPLOT and lp Plot Spooling

express_plot has two basic functions: initialize the plotter with respect to roll selection and plot format and send the XPRESS a stream of alternating blocks of cyan, yellow, magenta, and black pixel data that has been converted from the RTL plot format. One can manually send an RTL file to the XPRESS with the following command line:

          xpress_plot <device_file> rtl <rtl_file> [optional_arguments]

However our real goal is to automate the process -- have GDSPLOT send the RTL to xpress_plot and have a plot generated without any further user intervention. Unix makes this possible with the lp (line print) service.

To work with lp, express_plot has been designed to accept input from stdin; this is specified on the command line by using the "-" in place of the file name.

          xpress_plot /dev/xpress0 rtl -  2>/dev/null 

At the core of spooling is the actual command that sends data to a printer in a shell script found in /etc/lp/interfaces. Each UNIX printer destination has its own script in /etc/lp/interfaces. We include a sample script called lpXpress that can be used as a template for setting up an XPRESS print spooler.

Creating the spooler script lpXpress

Step 1.        Create an empty file called .xpress on your plot server workstation.

            touch /usr/local/lib/.xpress

Step 2.        Using the Solaris admintool create a new printer queue:

            Printer Name: xpress

            Description: xpress

            Print Port: Other...              [point to the file created in Step 1]

            Printer Type: Postscript          [we're not really sending Postscript but no matter]  

            File Contents: Any

Step 3.        Replace the script generated by admintool with the template provided by Artwork.

            # cd  /etc/lp/interfaces

            where you'll find that the admintool created a new script called xpress. 
            Copy the template lpXpress over this file.

            # cp lpXpress /etc/lp/interfaces/xpress

Step 4.        customize /etc/lp/interfaces/xpress to suit your needs; specifically you may want to set the quality, roll
                     selections, and busy wait time to values of your choosing. These options are discussed in Sending a Test
                     Plot File.


Step 5.        Test your new print spooler. Using the colors.rtl file you should be able to generate a plot as follows:

            $ lp   colors.rtl -d xpress

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