[Desktop_printing] Usability: Printing roles, tasks and environments

Robert L Krawitz rlk at alum.mit.edu
Wed Mar 8 05:54:44 PST 2006

   Date: Wed, 08 Mar 2006 14:31:41 +0100
   From: Ellen Reitmayr <ellen.reitmayr at relevantive.de>

   Michael Sweet wrote:

   > CUPS 1.2's web interface is, IMHO, a step in the right direction
   > (but hey, I'm biased ;) in that administration and printer
   > installation/configuration happen in one place for the user.

   Does there happen to be a demo online? and if so: could you give us a
   demo account where we can play a bit? :)

   > All printers have some common configuration information:
   >     Name (queue name, sometimes human-readable, e.g. "LJ4000")
   >     Description (human-readable text, e.g. "HP LaserJet 4000")
   >     Location (human-readable text, e.g. "Building 4 Room 301")
   >     Device URI (geek-readable, e.g. "ipp://")
   >     Printer Driver (PPD filename, e.g. "hp4000_6.ppd")
   >     Page Size (e.g. "Letter", "A4", etc.)
   > Most of this can be auto-assigned via device discovery, and this is
   > how CUPS 1.2 does things...

   that means CUPS also knows about the proper ppd file when a printer is
   connected to a computer (plug-and-play)?

There can be multiple valid PPD files for a particular printer
(e. g. different drivers available).

   > Many printers provide optional accessors such as auto-duplexers
   > and extra paper trays.  These show up as "installable options"
   > in the PPD file and must (currently) be manually selected by the
   > user when they setup the queue:
   >     Auto Duplexer: Installed/Not-Installed
   >     Large Capacity Tray: Installed/Not-Installed
   >     ...

   is there a special reason why they have to be selected manually?
   and how many optional accessors may that be (max number in a
   high-end user)?

Some printers may not offer status information for this.

   > Most printers offer additional device output/quality options:
   >     Media Type (plain, glossy, matte, etc.)
   >     Media source (auto, tray 1, upper, lower, etc.)
   >     Duplexing (1-sided, 2-sided long edge, 2-sided short edge)
   >     Color Mode (grayscale, color, photo, etc.)
   >     Resolution (600dpi, 2880x1440dpi, etc.)
   >     Output Tray (top, side)

   > High-end printers (basically copiers with built-in computers)
   > typically offer finishing options:

   >     Staple (top-left, side, saddle)
   >     Fold (booklet, Z-fold for brochures, etc.)
   >     2/3 Hole Punch (top, bottom, left, right sides)
   >     Mailbox (next available, specific slot, etc.)

   ok, thanks.
   are these lists complete?

Far from it :-)  There's also unidirectional vs. bidirectional (for
many inkjet printers), various color adjustments, and so forth.  I've
taken a cut at enumerating what's currently available in Gutenprint,
but that's subject to change.

Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at alum.mit.edu>

Tall Clubs International  --  http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail lpf at uunet.uu.net
Project lead for Gutenprint   --    http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton

More information about the Printing-summit mailing list