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Re: [mingp@corel.ca: Anyone in Debian working on or following IPP to make it available on Linux???]

Craig Sanders <cas@taz.net.au> writes:

> for some people/printers/systems it IS easy. for others it is hard.

Exactly, and one of the reasons for this, which actually has nothing
to do with Debian or Linux, is IMNSHO that printer manufacturers are
actively changing protocolls by the minute, even to the point that you 
have to check manufacturing dates to make certain that a given printer 
supports _that manufacturers_ protocoll of last week!  This is
especially so in the consumer market, where you can get away with this 
sort of behaviour much more easily.

This steadily changing landscape of mostly not backward compatible
protocolls not only harms users of non-windows OSs, who mostly have to 
develop their own drivers, with no support, and sometimes active
hostility from the manufacturers. It also harms users of Win*, because 
under these circumstances even the manufacturer developed drivers are 
by necessity often very buggy, and of poor qualitity, thus often
necessating frequent updates, which most home users will not perform,
so that they are in effect left to using alpha to beta quality drivers 
for a product they had to pay hard cash for.

Which BTW, is why I own an "old" HP LaserJet 5L, which at least uses a 
"de-facto" protocol, which for some years was quite stable, and which
is thus very well supported and stable.  Sadly, even HP who for some
years refrained from daily designing ever more stupid protocolls
without necessity, have for some time now re-joined the crowd,
especially with their DeskJet series (or how they are called

So in effect, as long as stability and reliability[1] are being dumped
in favour of featuritis, price and model-explosion, this will not get
better, and I can only recommend to everyone out there to look at
ghostscript prior to buying, and preferably getting yesterday's model.

But back to Debian&co.: _IF_, and that's a big if in my eyes, the IPP
manages to make base-line printing easier and standardized across the
board of printer manufacturers, thereby deincentivizing the current
practice of protocol fluctuation, the IPP will be a big boon not only
to the Debian/Linux community, but for everyone who simply wants to
get ink on paper without any hassles.  And IMHO Debian should be at
the forefront of supporting this.

But to achieve this, the IPP will in effect have to be a PostScript (and
more) for the masses, and not yet having read the specs themselves, I'm
still kind of confused how the IPP will achieve this, without either
alienating certain OSes, or certain printer manufacturers or certain
users, thus recreating the situation of PostScript.  In a way, the IPP
must make sure that there will never be a low-end market for printers
without the IPP, which seems quite difficult in my eyes, since supporting
IPP directly seems kind of expensive.  Because if the IPP doesn't achieve
this, it will be yet another standard, which makes the quoted sentence of
Craig even more true.  Still I wish the IPP the best of luck on this, and
most certainly hope this will work out for the best of all concerend.
Until then, I'll try to get time to read through the IPP, and maybe think
about ways of integrating that with Debian... :)

Regs, Pierre.

[1]  The same goes for the printer hardware as well.  Even the LJ5L I
have is IMHO a lot to flimsy, and the trend goes on, so in the future
you'll probably either have to get a full industrial-strength high-end 
machine for >>$1000, or buy a new printer every year...  Compare this
to the trusty old Epson MX-82F/T 9-dot matrix printer I still have,
and which after 18 years (15 of which it was in full, sometimes heavy
duty use) still is in perfectly good condition, and the only problem
you have nowadays is finding printer-ribbons ;)

Pierre Mai <pmai@acm.org>               http://home.pages.de/~trillian/
  "One smaller motivation which, in part, stems from altruism is Microsoft-
   bashing." [Microsoft memo, see http://www.opensource.org/halloween1.html]

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