IPP> MOD - The Universal Print Driver

IPP> MOD - The Universal Print Driver

IPP> MOD - The Universal Print Driver

JK Martin jkm at underscore.com
Fri Apr 25 21:00:47 EDT 1997


During the Model subgroup telecon today, the participants briefly
touched on the concept of the "Universal Print Driver".


Unanimous consensus was quickly reached whereby the group believes
print driver technology should move in a direction that is both simpler
and more powerful in terms of integration and feature support.


Printer vendors have long realized that developing and supporting
printer drivers is an expensive necessity that rarely helps--and
usually inhibits--the business potential for printer products.


The telecon participants wanted to immediately commence an open
discussion on the features and design of the "Universal Print Driver"
that provides (among other things) these kinds of capabilities:


  1.  Clear separation of job/document attributes and print data;
      that is, the driver should submit the print job in a declarative
      manner rather than the current procedural manner.


  2.  Driver-level query of printer capabilities; when the user brings
      up a typical "Print" dialog box, the underlying driver should be
      able to quickly and *easily* acquire the target printer's current
      set of capabilities over the network, rather than relying on the
      existing method of "PPD" files and related static configuration data.


  3.  The basic back-end of the driver should be absolutely platform
      independent; only the front-end need be platform specific so as
      to better integrate with the underlying system user interface
      (whether it be graphical or textual).


These items represent the proverbial tip of the iceberg.  What can you
add to this list?  (Either pro or con, by the way.)  Do you think a
universal print driver is an achievable reality?


IPP clearly holds the best chance for promoting and advancing such
driver technology within the printer industry and marketplace.  Let's
get this discussion started as quickly as possible as the design of a
Universal Print Driver may impact key decisions for the IPP Model.


	...jay


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