Computer Science Laboratory
June 14, 1978
ToPress Printer Users

FromDan Swinehart, Joe Maleson

Final Update on Press Printing Changes
As previously announced, EARS will be officially retired as of tomorrow, June 15. At the same time, we will be releasing an improved set of document printing fonts (the TimesRoman and Helvetica families) that will require you to update the fonts.widths file on each of your Alto disks, along with many of the Alto subsystems.
The following procedure will be in effect as of midnight tonight. After verifying that you are using OS version 15, you can accomplish the printing update procedure by fetching and executing the command file
If you don’t update your disks, Press files created with the previous Fonts.Widths and previous versions of Alto subsystems will continue to print. Spruce will use the new character shapes spaced using the old widths. The appearance of such documents will be adequate for some purposes. This applies as well to all Press files created prior to June 15. To print EARS files, either old ones or those that you create using Pub, see the EARS section, below.
The following files, all on Maxc, explore all these issues in some
<Gr-Docs>Printing.Press -- the current state of printing at PARC. Much of it is of value to all Press users.
<Gr-Docs>PrintingUpdate.Press -- the mid-May announcement of the impending cataclysm.
<Fonts>SpruceFonts.Tty -- a list of the standard fonts to be maintained on all PARC printers. This will probably form a base for other installations, as well.
<Gr-Docs>FinalPrintingUpdate.Press -- This document.
<Doc>PrintingChanges.Tty -- descriptions of changes to Maxc printing software, released earlier this week.
Font Guru
Joe Maleson (CSL) has agreed to coordinate PARC font issues. Please forward any requests for changes in the standard fonts, etc., to him -- in writing or by message.
As always, the official version of this file will be
The previous version will be available as
PARC and SDD installations will adopt this version, contributing to it as necessary. Other installations are urged to adopt it as well, because recent changes allowing Spruce to retain compatibility with previous width standards require consistency in the dates assigned to width modifications.
Alto Fonts
Although previous .AL fonts will continue to work, new ones have been created that match the new printing fonts better, and that will look better in the Bravo hardcopy view. The command file includes requests to update these. These files are available as [Maxc1]<Altofonts>*.al.
New versions of Bravo, Empress, NPPR (for SIL), PressEdit, and Draw will be available, and must be obtained before things will work right. Those responsible for these systems will be issuing separate announcements. You can obtain these systems any time after they are announced, but they will absolutely require the new widths file after midnight tonight.
The new release of Empress provides a global switch (/D) that forces the transmitted file into the new format. This will allow correct printing of files created by subsystems that have not yet been updated, using the new widths file.
Creating EARS Files
The Pub formatting system (on Maxc) produces EARS format files as output. It uses the EARS fonts (<Fonts>*.EP) for width information. As of June 15, these .EP fonts will reflect the new widths; the old .EP fonts will be available as ...*.ep-6-14-78. The List, Copy, and Ears commands on Maxc may well continue to be willing to produce EARS files for you, but it is not recommended that you try it.
Printing EARS Files
. . . is not going to be easy. To print an EARS format file will require the use of the Alto subsystem PressEdit. Your disk must contain the file to be converted, the PressEdit program, and the appropriate fonts.widths file (the old one for EARS files created prior to June 15, and the new one for new Pub output.) Very old EARS files may not submit to this conversion. Please contact Joe Maleson or Dan Swinehart if this poses any special hardship.