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The question relates to printing out user submitted data on a governmental portal (Canada, not US).

While so far I found a couple workarounds using browser dev tools, I am still looking for a better solution, programmatic or using off-the shelf software.

I unsuccessfully tried to ask to Stack Overflow as all workarounds I found so far involve browser developer tools and manipulating either JSON or HTML/CSS content. Regretfully, the question was deemed as not-programming related.

Web Application forwarded the question to Super User, which tried to bounce it back, and, it seems, closed the question as off-topic as well (well, I understand they shy away from anything web related).

I am looking for recommendations where I should ask my question or how to improve question to make it more acceptable.

https://webapps.stackexchange.com/posts/173007/revisions

Even if printing documents/data from web might seems like a long shot, I got some progress already and further discussion can help me (and perhaps others) resolve the issue fully satisfactory.

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    Is calling Canada Immigration Services not an option in this scenario? I think they'd be happy to help you navigate how to print your documents out.
    – Makoto
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 16:29
  • I give it a thought so far I was not able to even request back money I over-payed, the support just sends template answer which does not help
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 16:51
  • I doubt that printing is foreseen by portal devs. Even if I will manage convince them to improve portal it will take many month, I plan submit documents sooner. I believe the better way is programmatic, perhaps some Greasemonkey script, or another browser etc
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 17:06
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    I think you're reading too deeply into my advice here...what I'm really getting at is, you have a problem with one very specific website in the world, and given its nature there's a very good chance that you could get in touch with a human who is in context to that website and its quirks who could get you better help, rather than someone technical who just knows technical. So my question still stands, why not try CIS first, and if you don't get anywhere with them (which would be a surprise), then experiment with other approaches?
    – Makoto
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 17:24
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    There is no phone to contact CIC, I do not think they would encourage communication except live and death situation. They have webform for immigration related issues, but so far any answers were slow to come, template written, and not helpful when discussing more serious (monetary) issues.
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 17:49
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    On one of previous submission of the question to webapp or superuser exchanges I got comment that printing is impossible, so next time data should be prepared in a text file, and then copy pasted into web forms. I imagine it was a person familiar with said web portal.
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 17:52
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    Re "prepared in a text file": That is a good idea in general. In general, web interfaces can't be trusted with your data (though some are better than others). On one of the web sites I use for ordering there is a seemingly random "An unknown error occurred" and I have to reenter everything again from the beginning (incl. using the required search interface). Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 19:58
  • I did not see such crushes at CIC PR portal, though I had feeling that's a few corrections did not stick (maybe just imagining or forgot click save). Most of data is extracted from previously existing documents or forms. For cross-checking sections and forms I used forms JSON dumps.
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 18:54

2 Answers 2

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If you're trying to get a temporary visa, possibly Travel. If you're trying to permanently immigrate to Canada (or elsewhere), possibly Expats. But you will need to significantly rephrase the question. You should focus on describing the outcome you are trying to achieve (i.e. "I want to [visit/immigrate to] Canada, I've already filled out [whatever forms], and I want to print this particular form because of [reason]"), not the technical minutiae of the CIS's website. The answer might reasonably end up being something along the lines of "You don't have to print that form, just [do something else] instead." For example, maybe CIS offers some paper equivalent that you can fill out without using a computer at all, or maybe there is a final confirmation screen where they will show you everything you've entered (and you can review it there).

If you really just want to print the form, and are not willing to entertain any other means of accomplishing whatever you are trying to accomplish, then (in my opinion) it is unlikely that Stack Exchange can help you with that. You should contact CIS and ask them for help.

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  • Well, in my original to web apps question I already mentioned that forms are already filled, and want to print them for validation by a less computer savvy friend. But you might be right, I should seek help elsewhere. Honestly I am not surprised that question was closed on Stackoverflow, which do not welcome open-ended question, and Superusers which is not about web portals, but Web app reaction disappointed me, as they welcome question on advance website usage and tweaking e.g. with Greasemonkey. I can try expats of course
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 20:41
  • So I asked the question on Expats, unlike technical sites, I got no helpful hints, but, on the other side nobody tagged question as inappropriate or down-voted.
    – Serge
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 21:41
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If you haven't done or tried any programming yourself yet, I doubt there is any site you could post your question from a programming angle.

You could ask for software able to do this on Software Recommendations. They also allow questions asking for plugins and scripts.

I would also suggest showing a (blank) example document, in the original state and a desired state, showing what you're trying to remove from or change in it. This way others immediately get a much clearer idea of what you're after.

And lastly, have you tried something like a browser's Reader View yet? In Firefox you can press F9 or its icon enter image description here to strip a page of most of its markup and distractions (Chrome might have it disabled by default). There are undoubtedly plugins and user scripts with the same purpose that might be customizable.

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    I am a programmer, and can write a script. Yet I prefer to think ahead to minimise coding (and already have some semiworking solutions at my hand). I will certainly try reader view, thanks. I posted to expats, as somebody recommended, but might consider move it to Recommendations. Actually soft or script to better render JSON data into a human readable document might help
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 27, 2023 at 22:08
  • Apparently no need to risk the personal data with unfamiliar add-ons, yesterday I noted that merely reducing the width of the browser window removes the buggy sidebar. I suspect governmental developers either use old small monitor, or place newest ultra-vide monitors vertically, to see more code
    – Serge
    Commented Nov 29, 2023 at 15:13

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