Fast personal printing _without_ CUPS

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Fri Oct 28 00:09:08 UTC 2011

> From owner-freebsd-questions at  Thu Oct 27 16:46:51 2011
> Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:46:21 -0400
> From: Jerry <jerry at>
> To: FreeBSD <freebsd-questions at>
> Subject: Re: Fast personal printing _without_ CUPS
> On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:11:32 +0200
> Polytropon articulated:
> > On Thu, 27 Oct 2011 13:39:05 -0400, Jerry wrote:
> > > Printing under MS Windows is a breeze.
> > 
> > > The *nix community has never
> > > gotten printing up to that lever.
> > 
> > It _had_, past tense. :-)
> > 
> > > While there are those who continually
> > > blame the "manufacturers", the truth is that any COO, CFO {or any
> > > other alphabetic combination that you like} that seriously proposed
> > > the creation of a department dedicated to the writing of drivers for
> > > non-windows based systems, a department that would therefore have a
> > > zero based projected cash flow, would be removed from office
> > > posthaste.
> > 
> > Fully agree, but if established standards would have
> > been truly adopted by the manufactueres for their
> > products, there would be no need to develop any drivers.
> > One standard interface could address all printer
> > functionality, and maybe even more, such as scanning
> > or faxing functionalities quite common in the "egg-laying
> > wool-milk-sows" we see on the consumer markets.
> First of all let me say that I love standards; there are so many of
> them to choose from.
> Secondly, I seriously hope that never comes to pass. Once you lock
> yourself into one specific interface the ability to innovate has been
> removed. I cannot think of a worse possible scenario.

There's no real need for a 'standard' for communication with dumb raster
devices, which is what most 'winprinters' are.  

All that is needed is a _published_ specification such that others
can implement communications with that device.

And there isn't a whole lot to such a specification:
  How start-of-page is marked
  How start-of-line is marked
  How end-of-line is marked
  How end-of-page is marked
  How pixels are represented
  Pixels per raster line,
  Raster lines per page,
  How the bits are sequenced
  The compression methodology, if any, used.

there is little reason _not_ to make such specification public.

> > Sadly, "the one standard" doesn't seem to exist, and
> > manufacturers are not willing to discuss one. Of course,
> > such a standard would have to be free and open, so any
> > OS could implement it.
> There you go putting restriction on how such an "standard" should be
> implemented. I have a better idea. Why doesn't the *nix/*BSD {pick any
> other letter combination that turns you on} agree to one uniform method
> of implementing printer drivers and then let the manufacturers
> implement it on their end.

You argued cogently _against_ manufacturers using standards.
Now you argue in favor of the entire *nix commnity agreeing on one.

Somehow, the phrase "double standard' springs to mind.  <grin>

>                            I have spoke to two company reps in the
> past year, one regarding printers, and both stated outright that the
> thought of writing and maintaining drivers on a multitude of platforms
> scares them to death. The problem is not with the manufacturers but
> rather with the fragmentation of the non-windows arena.

There is -no- need for *them* to actually write drivers for use in 
'specialty'/'niche' markets. 

*ALL* they have to do is release the 'specifications' for the communications 
format and protocol that the device uses.

More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list