The next release of the reporting-package is in the forge and a milestone release seems to be unavoidable now. It’s amazing how many small bugs and issues add up once you make the decision to make the release. The minute after the commit-ban is in place to let the release build, bugs start to float in. Luckily, we are no evil mega vendor, so we can be agile about it and just make sure the next release hits the market faster than the bugs hit us. So far, we already squashed 68 cases, half of them bugs, and half of them new features that make bridge gaps we identified or just were easy to implement. (Yes, laziness is one of the deciding factors in what new feature should go in first.)
The surely most needed improvement was the page-setup dialog. For some foolish reason, we made the assumption that when the JDK comes with a Page-Setup dialog, then it would be usable. But JDK 1.5 is badly broken and the fixes in JDK 1.6 just made this functionality broken in other interesting ways. So far, Sun hasn’t managed to deal with missing attributes in responses from a CUPS server that breaks printing on Linux, and likewise wasn’t able to test whether a printer-driver is installed on Windows (which gives a NullPointerException if you haven’t one installed). Well, I cant fix the JDK, and printing with Java might be a adventure I dont want to get back to any time soon.
But Pentaho-Reporting has some nice features that have been hidden in the past. One of them is our ability to print on a large virtual page (also known as poster-printing). So if you ever wanted to see your company presentation on a 10 by 10 meter paper but only have ordinary desktop printer available, we can make that dream come true.