Brother HL-L2340D printer and lpd?

freebsd at freebsd at
Wed May 6 19:26:47 UTC 2020

On 2020-05-05 11:49, Kurt Hackenberg wrote:
> On 2020-05-05 14:01, Victor Sudakov wrote:
>> A PostScript translator (GhostScript or any other) can be expected to
>> "raster" the PS input incorrectly if this input contains encodings it does
>> not understand, or glyphs/fonts it is lacking.
>> I've seen so many problems with Cyrillic in my life, believe me. I've
>> seen PDFs with some Cyrillic glyphs replaced by garbage, and much more
>> of such weird stuff than I wish to see.
> It would be nice if you could send plain Unicode to a printer. Ideally, 
> I guess, either compressed or not -- UTF-8, UTF-16, or UTF-32. I don't 
> expect it to happen.

In support of the "I don't expect it to happen" statement:

For many many years, in many many printers, no rendering of any kind is performed inside the printer.

These printers expect all input in the form of a binary raster, many times this raster itself is in a proprietary non-standard format. This is regardless of interface type: network, USB, LPT, etc.

All rendering of all fonts, embedded images, everything, is performed in a "driver" running on the computer interfaced to the printer. Often these "drivers" are also proprietary binary blobs which only function on a specific operating system. 

The manufacturer of this specific operating system is now also one of the world's largest source contributors to major public source software projects. After decades spent attempting to marginalize, break, and eliminate free/open source software as a product, and as a development model, now they espouse: 

"XXXXX’s commitment to openness and collaboration is ingrained in our day-to-day approach to doing business alongside industry partners around the world, including open source communities."

Brother, as a printer manufacturer, has been a major adopter of the binary, proprietary model of printer support in this fashion, on this specific operating system.

HP, for all it's faults, does support an entire public source framework for utilizing all the features of it's products on free *nix operating systems, e.g.:


1) Why, at this point, would anyone be surprised that a printer will not take plain text directly as input? One could conclude that this is an artifact of being able to perform all one's computing within a free *nix environment, thus having no exposure to the broad corporate trends of consumer and enterprise computing products. This conclusion would be evidence of the broad capabilities of free/open *nix environments in the modern world. 

2) Given the decades of corporate effort to squash the very mode of cooperation being attempted here on this mailing list, please choose products from companies that provide corporate support for a diverse and open-standards based technical ecosystem.

3) Please, do not allow the cozy *nix world of open technical features and specifications to serve as blinders. These blinders prevent one from being aware of the current efforts, by the worlds most wealthy and powerful corporations, to privatize/pwn the free/open software phenomenon. This threat is real.


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