I think we are getting all balled up in terminology. In my thinking
there are two (at least) "drivers" used for printing in the PC OS
(read Win95, WinNT, OS/2) world:
1) Printer Language Driver - generates the PostScript, PCL, etc.
needed by the printer to render the job.
2) IPP/HTTP driver which takes the output from the Printer Language
driver and transports it across the network to the destination. Also
handles responses from the far end.
In my case, the Printer Language Driver is unique for each printer or
printer family. The IPP/HTTP driver is common across all printers.
This scenario is basically what we have today with print redirectors
which send the job to a Server using IPX/SPX, NetBEUI, etc. I don't
see any way to have a universal Printer Language driver any more
than we can today. Sure, everyone can install the Apple LaserWriter
driver and call it a "Universal PostScript" driver or they can install
an HP LaserJet 2 driver and call it a "Universal PCL" driver but
the functionality is of course very low.
I think the choice belongs to the user. The user could:
1) Install a "Universal" language driver and live with the limitations
2) Install the printer's driver across the network living with the download
time depending upon the user's connection method.
3) Install the printer's driver from the operating system's diskettes
or CD-ROM if known and available.
Am I missing something? I know in some cases, a PPD driven PostScript
driver is available. In that case, the PPD may be all that needs to be
downloaded but even then, all the features of the printer may not be
available without using a custom printer language driver.
To: babakj%microsoft.com @ interlock.lexmark.com (Babak Jahromi) @ SMTP,
IPP%pwg.org @ interlock.lexmark.com ("'IPP at pwg.org'") @ SMTP
cc: (bcc: Don Wright)
From: cmanros%cp10.es.xerox.com @ interlock.lexmark.com (Carl-Uno Manros) @ SMTP
Date: 12/17/96 07:23:35 PM
Subject: RE: IPP> RE: Printer Instance Creation/Installation
At 06:46 PM 12/17/96 PST, Babak Jahromi wrote:
>>>>if I recall correctly, one of our user requirements was that we would
>>like to avoid having a separate print driver to install for every new
>>printer that a user may want to use. Compare this to fax today - you do
>>not expect the user to download a new piece of software for every new
>>fax address he/she wants to use. My hope would be that the "IPP print
>>is a generic piece of software, which can be used for many different
>>in combination with a relatively short list of capabilities and options
>>particular printer. This list could be stored locally or downloaded every
>>Am I too optimistic here?
>>"Generic" is synonym to "poor feature list". Why do we want to force
>people who have invested in full feature printers to treat them like
>monochrome fax machines? If people like to use Internet Printing as a
>fax service, then the server can install the printer with a minimal
>driver, and we can arrage that all Internet clients would have that
>minimal driver. But beyond that, the driver would have to be downloaded
>from the server. And the good thing is that the driver does not have to
>know anything about the new protocol. i.e. no change is needed in
OK. I can probably live with having at least a simple generic IPP driver
that does not require explicit download in advance, with downloading and
automatic installation in other cases. Do we have any expectations about
the time needed to download a print driver over HTTP, using say in worst
case a 14.4 modem? Are there agreed naming conventions for drivers, so
that the clients can identify if they already have the right driver
installed, or do we need to come up with a driver naming scheme?