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    Changing Browser used by the GUI for Print Reports

    • Article Type: General
    • Product: Aleph
    • Product Version: 16.02

    Is it possible to change the browser engine used to render XML/XSLT-based print reports in the GUI?

    I've tried modifying the following entries in ALEPHCOM.INI to get the print reports to use Firefox to render the reports' HTML markup, with absolutely no effect:

    EXE_COMMAND=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe $1
    WORD=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe $1
    BROWSER=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe $1

    htm=A X C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe %s

    I also have my (Windows XP) machine default associations for ".htm" and ".html" set to Firefox. Again, this has no effect.

    As a little background, we've been following some of the ALEPH-NA mailing list's past advice on how to use receipt printers for loan receipts, but one of the sticking issues here is that Internet Explorer 6 seems to have broken the GUI's ability to designate specific printers for specific printing tasks (for example, the GUI under Windows XP simply ignores the Device ID specified in the "print.ini" file (column 6), and instead uses the default printer (for Windows) unless you specify to have the "Print Setup" dialog box prompt everytime for the specific printer task). We've got some circulation machines that need to use different printers for different print reports, and we'd prefer not to burden our staff with the Print Setup dialog box for every report. We have followed the instructions for SP 1491 (and I'm creating a separate CRM ticket for questions on this "fix"), but we'd like to explore the option of using a faster or more robust browser for XML/XSL print reports.

    1] In /tab/form_print_method, add a line with giving the form name in column 1 and put EXECUTE BROWSER2 in column 3.
    [2] For Firefox, in alephcom/tab/alephcom.ini add in [PrintExecute]
    BROWSER2=C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe $1

    On my computer, this loads the file as raw XML, without its stylesheet. I haven’t used Firefox before, so I don’t know a lot about its treatment of XML. Is this what you hoped to achieve?

    [From site:]

    The following file was modified:


    However, the rest of your message clued me in to the problem. From your message, it sounded as if I need to generate a new print-report in order to see the functionality, and of course I had been only looking at previously-generated print-reports. I've always noticed that the standard print-reports contain the non-XML-compliant header line "## - XML_XSL", so on a hunch I changed that line in a previously-generated print-report to

    ## - BROWSER2

    And voila, it works!

    I also added a different form-name to the form_print_method file (loan-receipt) and tested out newly generated loan receipts and these too also worked as expected (launched Firefox and displayed XML text nodes). Curiously I didn't see any file name changes on our end, but I'm not too worried about that.

    Ultimately, as you point out, this is not currently a very useful configuration, since one would need to do more to get Firefox to transform the various print-reports using the correct XSLT stylesheet. However, it's nice to understand how it could potentially work. (I tried adding $2 to the end of the BROWSER2 line in the PrintExecute section, but that just passes the text "form_print_preview", so I don't know how to get the right XSL file referenced.)

    If you're aware of any way to change which browser is used to render the XML_XSL-generated HTML, that would be great to know. Otherwise, this ticket could be closed.

    • Article last edited: 10/8/2013