Solaris 8 Software Developer Supplement

Common prolog Files

The common prolog files are:

These files are the print layout prolog files, of which is the common prolog file that is prepended before other prolog files.

The common prolog file,, which resides in the /usr/lib/lp/locale/C/mp/ directory, contains a PostScript routine to re-encode a font from the StandardEncoding to ISOLatin1 Encoding. The .reencodeISO routine is called from the print layout prolog files to change encoding of the fonts. Usually this prolog file does not need any customization. If the users are creating their own prolog files, set the environment variable MP_PROLOGUE to point to the directory that contains the modified prolog files.

Print Layout prolog Files

The print layout prolog files, mp.*.ps files, contain routines for controlling the page layout for printing. In addition to giving a header and a footer for a print page with user name, print date, and page number, these prolog files can provide other information. For example, the prolog files can give effective print area dimensions and landscape and portrait mode of printing to be used.

A set of standard functions needs to be defined in every prolog file. These functions are called when a new print page starts, print page ends, or a new column ends. The implementations of these functions define the print attributes of the printout.

The following PostScript variables are defined at runtime by the mp(1) binary. All the print layout files can use these variables for printing dynamic information such as user name, subject, print time. This information taken from the variables normally appears in the header or footer of the print page.


The name of the user who is running mp, obtained from the system passwd file.


Variable used to hold the name of the type of article to print. The possible values for this variable are:

  • “Listing for” - When the input is a text file

  • “Mail for” - When the input is a mail file

  • “Article from” - When the input is an article from a news group


The subject taken from the mail and news headers. You can use the '-s' option to force a subject to the mail and news files as well as to normal text files.


The time of print that appears in the header and footer. This information is taken from the localtime() function.

Following are the functions implemented in print layout prolog files. All these functions can use subfunctions.


usage : page_number endpage

Called when the bottom of a printed page is reached. This function restores the graphic context of the page and issues a “showpage.” In some prolog files the header and footer information is displayed in only a page-by-page mode rather than in a column-by-column mode. You can implement this function to call subfunctions that display the header and footer gray scale lozenges.


usage : page_number newpage

Routines or commands to be executed when a new page begins. Setting landscape print mode, saving the print graphic context, and translating the page coordinates are some of the functions for routine.


usage : page_number col_number endcol

Display header and footer information. Move to the new print position, and so forth.

For adding new print layout prolog files, you need to define the following variables explicitly within the print layout prolog file.


<number of columns in a print page> 


<width of print area in inches> 


<height of print area in inches> 

Locale-Dependent Prolog File

The locale-dependent prolog file is /usr/openwin/lib/locale/$LANG/print/ and it usually is a PostScript file. This file can contain included Type1 fonts that define PostScript prolog information with some additional PostScript routines. One of the main goals of the prolog file is to set the locale's fonts in an alias for a set of font names that are pre-defined and used in the mp(1).

Support for this file is provided to conform with the file that is used by /usr/bin/mp. If this file exists, then it is given preference and mp.conf file is not scanned for backward compatibility.

The sections about mp.conf file that follow are reprinted from the OpenWindowsTM Localization Guide.

What Is

The purpose of the file is to set up non-generic fonts. Applications use these pre-defined PostScript font names for printing. The prolog file must define at least the following font names for Desk Set Calendar manager and mp.

These fonts need to be able to print the local character set in the following example usage of those fonts:

Example of the File

The localization kit provides a sample for the Japanese environment. Alternatively, this file is found in the /usr/openwin/lib/locale/ja/print/ directory.

How to Add or Change Composite Fonts in an existing File

For example, the following defines a composite font called LC_Base-Font:

(Foo-Fine) makecodeset12 
(Base-Font) makeEUCfont

LC_Base-Font is a composite font of Foo-Fine and a base font called Base-Font. Foo-Fine is a font that contains the local character set. You do not need any in-depth PostScript knowledge to add or change a font.

How to Create a File

The best way is to study the example version. In the example, two routines need to be written, makecodeset12 and makeEUCfont. Makecodeset12 sets up local font encoding information. This routine might differ from locale to locale. MakeEUCfont combines the base font and the locale font to form a composite font. The creator of the prolog file should have good knowledge of PostScript in order to write makecodeset12 and makeEUCfont. file support is kept for backward compatibility only. Do not create a new file for the printing needs of a locale. Use mp.conf instead.

Where Is

The path is: