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History of Printing on the Java Platform

Basic printing support for the Java platform was first introduced in the Java Development Kit, version 1.1 in 1997. The JDK 1.1 printing API provided developers with a basic framework for printing the user-interface content from client applications. JDK 1.1 printing, also called the AWT Printing API, was designed around the java.awt.PrintJob class, which encapsulates a printing request. The PrintJob class creates a subclass of Graphics, which implements the rendering calls to image the page.

In 1998, the JDK 1.2 advanced printing on the Java platform with the java.awt.print package by allowing applications to print all Java 2D graphics, which includes 2D graphics, text, and images.

For the JDK version 1.3, the JobAttributes and PageAttributes classes were introduced to AWT printing so that client applications could specify the properties of a print job and the attributes of a page.

The two APIs primarily support page imaging, which is the rendering and formatting of a page and is one component of a printing subsystem. Although a client can choose a printer from a print dialog and can specify printing attributes using JobAttributes and PageAttributes, neither the AWT nor Java 2D printing APIs support discovery of printers based on their capabilities, which is another key component of any printing subsystem. For more details on the history of printing on the Java platform refer to Printing on the Java Platform.


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