AW: [Desktop_printing] Role of CUPS and error handling

Robert L Krawitz rlk at
Mon Apr 3 05:31:25 PDT 2006

   From: Kurt Pfeifle <k1pfeifle at>
   Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2006 22:43:45 +0000

   On Sunday 02 April 2006 04:45, Robert L Krawitz wrote:

   > We aren't going to make inroads into the desktop by simply matching
   > Windows in this area (printing in general).  We need to provide a more
   > compelling proposition. 

   I fully agree!

   And I think we are already on a very good road here. In fact, it is
   my deep conviction that (largely due to CUPS), we already have a
   platform that is superior from an architecture point of view. Every
   time I am able to demo CUPS and KDEPrint in a network environment
   with previous Windows or Unix print frustrations, the admins are
   simply blown away by the power of that combo, and what it already
   offers without any additional, specialized printing software...
   (Gnome-Print is currently about to fill the gap.)

   > While I will grant that very few users want to manipulate
   > linearization curves, it's not going to be very compelling to
   > tell people that they have to give up their current special
   > application for a new special application.  It has to outright
   > blow Windows out of the water in this regard for it to be
   > compelling.

   Believe it or not: I have heard already various times from paying
   customers exactly this phrase, describing it as a fact that "CUPS
   printing blows Windows out of the water" ;-)

   It doesn't mean that there is nothing left to do; on the contrary.
   On the user level, we are still quite weak; our GUIs still suck too 
   much (just look at the horror Firefox tries to sell us as a "printing

That's exactly my point -- the architecture may be great (which
doesn't matter directly at all to end users), and admins may be happy
(which helps large companies, at least at the server side), but the
desktop -- where users actually interact with printing -- is another
matter.  CUPS works very well with any client that can do IPP or lp,
and even Windows can manage that, so this doesn't help us break the
desktop monopoly.

   But that is exactly one of the topics to be tackled by the upcoming
   summit. And the "Portland Project" is about to find a way how a
   better integration of various desktop services (including printing)
   can happen in the future. This is also to serve third party, ISV
   products who should be able to request a printing dialog, where
   they can pipe their printjob in; the ISV should not need to know
   about KDEPrint or Gnome-Print; the application should work the same
   way inside both environments; if a user prefers Gnome, he should be
   able to get his familiar dialog with all bells and whistles;
   likewise for the KDE user.

That is indeed where we need to focus.

Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at>

Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail lpf at
Project lead for Gutenprint   --

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

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