[Desktop_printing] Omni driver framework

Till Kamppeter till.kamppeter at gmx.net
Mon Jan 16 15:13:48 PST 2006

There are some POS printers which are not supported otherwise, also it
seems that Omni has more special drivers for dot-matrix printers.

Omni was also an implementation for using UPDF, but it seems that UPDF
files for printers never were really produced.

But Omni did not really get very mature, it has bugs and the printout
quality for the many supported printers which are also supported by
other drivers was always worse than with the other driver. Omni was also
rather slow.


Bastian, Waldo wrote:
> I notice that LinuxPrinting provides the note below wrt the Omni driver
> framework.
> Are their aspects of the Omni printer driver framework that are
> perceived as valuable? In particular, does omni provide drivers for
> printers that aren't available elsewhere and/or are their instances
> where omni drivers offer better quality than drivers available
> elsewhere?
> Are their aspects of the omni framework that would be worth making
> available in e.g. foomatic or cups?
> Cheers,
> Waldo
> NOTE: It seems that IBM is not maintaining any more the Omni printer
> driver framework, as the driver homepage at IBM and any mention of it on
> IBM's web sites disappeared.
> There is still a SourceForge project where version 0.9.2 was added as
> the last release in September 2004. To keep this repository of
> technology, especially its excellent XML-data-driven concept and also
> the knowledge about the more than 450 printers Omni supported, in mind
> of users and driver developers, we have added this entry now.
> We do not recommend to use Omni in production environments and also do
> not develop on or maintain the project. Volunteers for continuing this
> development are welcome. And anyway, this code is free software and so
> it can help you developing your own drivers.
> Thanks to IBM and Mark Hamzy, Pete Zannucci, and Mark VanderWiele for
> working out this great concept!
> IBM's free GhostScript driver project to support arround 450 printers,
> based on the knowledge about these printers of OS/2 times. The drivers
> itself are in dynamic libraries and nearly all printer information they
> work with is in an XML database, so that when the driver root is once
> built into GhostScript, new drivers can be added without GhostScript
> rebuild (the first plug-in approach for GhostScript drivers).
> Omni provides a model for dynamically loading printer drivers, creating
> new devices by editing XML device description files, and simplifies new
> printer driver development by allowing for the subclassing of previous
> device features.
> It was also planned to add run-time integration of printers described by
> UPDF files. Initial code for that is already in the package.
> Foomatic data and CUPS PPD files are built by the driver package.
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