Why I am irritated with evince

August 23, 2006

Evince is in general a nice PDF viewer (technically it supports other formats too), much nicer and far less irritating than Adobe Acrobat. (For a start, evince actually quits when I click on the 'close window' button; Adobe Acrobat presumes that I wanted it to clear the current document.)

The problems come in when I tried to do something besides view a document. (Perhaps evince was jealous that I wasn't satisfied with it.)

First, evince silently aborts printing if I have it print a document and then tell it to quit once it seems to have finished. There is no sign that it is still working on the print request and no warnings. This is teeth grindingly irritating, especially because when a print job goes missing my immediate assumption is that something in the print system ate it.

(There are lots of grues in print systems, especially around here.)

Attention interface designers: if the user can't tell when it's safe to quit and when it's not, you've screwed up.

Once I worked this out, I was lucky enough to do a test print run of only a small section of the 500+ page IBM Tivoli Redbook I was trying to print. It was lucky because it turns out that evince defaults to forced non-duplex printing and thus I only wasted 20 pages instead of 500 odd. The sheer twisted genius of this choice is breathtaking; I can think of few defaults that so carefully calculated to surprise and irritate people and to waste reams and reams of paper.

(What evince should do is to not override the printer's default settings for duplexing and the like. I know it does, because I was printing to a destination that defaults to duplexing.)

I'm not even sure I can set evince to default to (forced) duplex printing; I may just have to remember to set the ticky-box in a non-default tab of the print dialog every time I want to print something.

Written on 23 August 2006.
« An update on impending changes to access to Solaris patches
How not to get our business »

Page tools: View Source, Add Comment.
Login: Password:
Atom Syndication: Recent Comments.

Last modified: Wed Aug 23 23:01:39 2006
This dinky wiki is brought to you by the Insane Hackers Guild, Python sub-branch.