[Desktop_printing] Kicking off the Open Printing Summit
mike at easysw.com
Sat Jan 7 06:20:57 PST 2006
Robert L Krawitz wrote:
> There are some issues here:
> 1) The technical criteria to use. What's acceptable to one person
> might not be acceptable to someone else; if there's a color
> problem, it might be fine for most people but not for people who
> are more finicky.
It might make sense to just indicate the type(s) of color management
the driver supports, e.g. "none", "srgb", "icc", and "custom".
> 2) Auxiliary printer functions. A lot of printers are multi-function
> devices, with fax, scanning, and copying built in. From what I've
> seen, many users expect that a working printer also implies that
> the other functions will work, but that's not always the case,
> since the folks who write printer drivers aren't the same people
> who do SANE. Another problem that sometimes happens is that
> vendors will release specs for the printer but not for the
> scanner. I suspect that these devices are produced by two
> different organizations within the company with different levels of
> friendliness toward FOSS.
In many cases, the vendor has to rely on a third-party (that provided
the scanner technology, for example) for any documentation/support, and
NDA/IP issues may prevent disclosure as well.
Anyways, again we can break out the print, scan, and fax portions of
the functionality to be "N/A", "Yes", and "No".
> A related problem is that sometimes there will be some auxiliary
> printing functionality, such as printing to CD's. A particular
> printer might work quite well, with certain functional exceptions.
> Whatever scheme used needs to factor that in. The same kind of
> issue, of course, exists for roll paper, manual feed (to enable
> printing to boards that cannot bend, for example), and so forth.
For a certification process we should require full functionality
at least for printing.
> 3) Paper and ink types. Vendors generally want to see their inks and
> papers supported, and generally don't much want to see third party
> supplies supported. I suppose vendors don't care too much about
> specialized third party supplies such as premium inks and papers
> (which cost more than the OEM supplies and have very limited
> markets), but there can be a lot of controversy over cheap third
> party inks and refilling. I'm not going to get into the technical
> merits or demerits here, but there could be some issues here in
Here I see two options: a vendor supplies an open source driver and
list third-party stuff, or they supply a closed-source driver and
do not list third-party stuff.
(and yes, I think we need to allow for closed-source drivers)
> I'd personally really hate to see distributions (and architectures,
> for that matter) thrown into the mix. That's going to contribute to
> fragmentation of the Linux community. It's also going to get too
> complicated for end users, especially with installable drivers and
> driver updates (for example, we were very successful in releasing
> updates to Gimp-Print 4.2 that added new drivers).
I agree - the whole driver certification/availability issue should
be separate from Linux distributions, aside from requiring LSB
conformance on Linux.
Here is an off-the-cuff self-certification form for printer vendors:
Model Name: _____________
Driver URL: _____________
Driver Type: __ PostScript __ CUPS Raster __ IJS
Driver License: __ Open Source __ Closed Source
(certified drivers must allow unlimited
CUPS Version: __ CUPS 1.1 and higher
__ CUPS 1.1.19 and higher
__ CUPS 1.2 and higher
Color Management: __ sRGB __ ICC __ Custom
(check all that apply)
Scanning: __ Yes __ No __ Not Applicable
Faxing: __ Yes __ No __ Not Applicable
Operating Systems: __ FreeBSD INTEL (5 and higher)
__ Linux IA32 (LSB conformance required)
__ Linux IA64 (LSB conformance required)
__ Linux AMD64 (LSB conformance required)
__ Linux PPC (LSB conformance required)
__ Linux SPARC (LSB conformance required)
__ Linux S/390 (LSB conformance required)
__ MacOS X PPC (10.3 and higher)
__ MacOS X Intel (10.3 and higher)
__ Solaris SPARC (7 and higher)
__ Solaris INTEL (7 and higher)
__ Other: ________________
Languages: __ English (required)
__ Other: ________________
PPDs: __ Yes __ No
Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Publishing Software http://www.easysw.com
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