[Printing-summit] Printer/driver testing and certification

Ulrich Wehner uwehner at lanier.com
Mon Aug 21 09:43:40 PDT 2006


Jens,

It appears that a discussion with "us manufacturers", and LSB, the Linuxes =

in general, and also the guys that make the (say gutenprint) drivers about =

what a certification could and should entail would be useful.


We (us manufacturers) do a LOT of compatibility testing, a lot of =

benchmarking, etc.


Microsoft for example charges a good bit to "certify" that the drivers we =

provide do not crash the server\pc


One could definitely think of somewhat automated test scenarios that could =

verify that the proper commands are included in the printjob.

say PJL commands, PCL commands, etc

(If LSB were to create or provide exisiting standard test documents to us, =

we could print them in our labs also.)

print files could be rendered in some fashion to see if what is sent to =

the printer is correct.

speeds and feeds are not of much concerns for the OS vendor, that is our =

responsibility anyway.

LSB coould easily verify if drivers are present in the first place, if =

installers succeed, etc


Regards
Uli Wehner
Solutions Engineer



"Stark, Jens" <Jens.Stark at seeg.sharp-eu.com> =

08/21/2006 07:46

To
"Robert L Krawitz" <rlk at alum.mit.edu>, <uwehner at lanier.com>
cc
<sschafer at synergy-tech.com>, <fdechelle at mandriva.com>, =

<printing-summit at lists.freestandards.org>, <slauriere at mandriva.com>, =

<lsb-discuss at lists.freestandards.org>
Subject
AW: [Printing-summit] Printer/driver testing and certification






Robert wrote: =

>We received a lot of complaints late in the Gutenprint 5.0 cycle about =

>CD's printing slightly "squashed" on a lot of printers, due to a =

>design decision we had made in the CUPS driver for how to handle full =

>bleed capable printers.  This would easily have passed the "some =

>output was created" test, but it wasn't meeting users' needs. =

>On a more basic level, we've had plenty of bugs involving something =

>that certainly created output, but the output was completely incorrect =

>for the printer in question -- the printer might or might not print =

>anything, or spit out paper, or it might work in color mode but not =

>black and white.  Realistically, somebody's going to have to evaluate =

>the output to decide whether the test passes or not. =

>Testing photo printers opens an even bigger can of worms.  People will =

>have certain expectations of color fidelity. =

>Based on the discussion in Atlanta, I think it will probably be =

>easiest to test business-oriented use cases than "artistic" use =

>cases. =

Ooookay.. There are a number of different classes of printers. =

And different use cases. =

Let me give you an example : =

I use a couple of different printers, for different needs. =

One Brother QL-500 for label printing. =

One Canon Pixma 4200 for home CD labelling and the odd page of text. =

Job-related stuff is of course printed at work, where there are things =

like a 70ppm A4 capable mono printer that can make brochures, staple and =

punch paper and it's slower brother that can do color.
One set of requirements will never fit them all. =

But f=FCr A4 capable printers and up, something like "Print the CUPS test =

page" is at least a start. =

When it comes to quality... How do good color printouts look ? =

Spectrometrically correct ? Sharp ? =

This is not easy to decide, even for the experts. =

So there is no serious way of determining if a color printer "works" well =

in photo printing. =


There are also a number of tests for the hardware bit. =

Here is a good example of a stress test : =

http://www.eci.org/eci/en/031_altona_test_suite.php =

But - is hardware quality something to worry about ? =

Usually, the manufacturer is concerned with providing the best possible =

quality (really, they are!). =

Quality isn't always the same, even under Windows. =

(One could print a page using the Windows driver, then using a CUPS =

driver. Do they look the same ? Same quality at least ? :) )
What CAN be tested (usually by the manufacturer) are the following : =

- is the printer working ? =

- reliably ? =

- without empty pages ? =

- is the printout "correct" ? (Does it match reasonable expectations?) =

- Is the printer locking up ? (A no-no) =

I would love to see a set of sample originals and printing instructions =

for each class of printer. =

Any manufacturer or user could download a set, print it and claim =

compliance or non-compliance. =

"The Hogwash 23-40A will print the office files fine, but when printing =

the large size photos, you need extra RAM or it will crash."
This is what linuxprinting.org is about - all it needs (maybe!) is a =

slightly more "formal" approach. =

And a manufacturer who claims compatibility with the test suite will =

gladly tell the world about it. =

Would they lie ? Unlikely. The loss in reputation would be massive. =

Best, =

   Jens =

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