[Desktop_printing] PAPI for CUPS: Volunteers needed!

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at suse.de
Thu Jun 29 02:14:37 PDT 2006


On Jun 28 13:39 Michael Sweet wrote (shortened):
> In the case of firmware files (or PPD files, or any other support
> file required for a device), I've never found a single vendor that
> was unwilling to provide us with the necessary files freely, mainly
> because it helps to drive more sales... :)

I have the same experience.

As an example below what I sent to manufacturers who had a
too resrictive license in their PPDs and almost immediately
they changed the license into an appropriate one:
> Thank you for your feedback on the recently released
> PostScript printer description (PPD) files.
> We are in the process of incorporating your feedback within
> the PPD files. We plan to release a new version in a few weeks.

We would appreciate it if such a new version would have a
sufficiently free license - e.g. the original MIT license
as it is shown here:

Here some reasons why we (and you) need a free license:

We must be allowed to modify the PPDs at least to change
*DefaultPageSize: Letter
*DefaultPageSize: A4
because all PPDs in our products should have the same
default media size.

Redistributors must be allowed to modify the PPDs
at least to change our
*DefaultPageSize: A4
*DefaultPageSize: Letter
(e.g. when the redistributor makes a product for the US).

Additionally we must be allowed to modify the PPDs to fix bugs
which are easy to fix because we will not have PPDs in our
product which cause cupstestppd to "FAIL".
For example we remove whitespaces form lines which contain only
whitespaces ("\n \n" is not allowed but "\n\n" is).

And we must be allowed to redisrtibute such bug-fixed PPDs.
Otherwise such PPDs could not be used in an OEM product.
We will not have PPDs in our product which cannot be used
for OEM.

Of course you will get feedback about each bug-fix
so that you can correct your PPD as well.

We understand very well that a printer manufacturer does not want
that PPDs which are broken because they have been modified
are distributed or redistributed as "original manufacturer PPDs".

For example an addendum to the MIT license that any modification
of the PPD must be documented as a comment inside the PPD
(who changed what and when) is no problem and it does not inhibit
modification and distribution and/or redistribution of the PPD.

A non-free license
- inhibits distribution of the PPDs via Linux distributors
- inhibits bug-fixing and optimization of the PPDs
- inhibits optimum out-of-the-box support of the printers
- does not really prevent that end-users modify the PPD
- does not really prevent that broken-modified PPDs get published 

In contrast a free license makes sure that optimal and bug-free
PPDs are available for the end-users out-of-the-box.

It is unlikely that end-users will modify such a perfect PPD
and even if some end-users do it, it is unlikely that such
broken-modified PPDs cause real trouble because perfect PPDs
are available in the Linux distributions and why should a user
use a PPD from an unknown source when he already has a perfect PPD.

By the way regarding "talk to the manufacturers":
My experience is that when the manufacturer talks at all, it is
no problem to find a solution but there are some manufacturers
who don't talk, I assume because they are not interested in Linux.

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstrasse 5      Mail: jsmeix at suse.de
90409 Nuernberg, Germany                    WWW: http://www.suse.de/

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