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PC WEEK: IETF charters group for Web-based printing standard
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May 1, 1997 6:15 PM ET
<b><font size=6 face="ARIAL,HELVETICA,TIMES ROMAN">IETF charters group for Web-based printing standard</font></b>
<i><font size=2 face="ARIAL,HELVETICA,TIMES ROMAN">By <a href="mailto:scott_berinato at zd.com">Scott Berinato</A></font></i>
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The Internet Engineering Task Force has chartered a consortium of vendors to develop a standard interface for Web printing.
The Printer Working Group announced this week that the IETF has formally chartered the Internet Printing Protocol Working Group to create the interface, which would address job submission, ticketing and some basic management features for Web-based printing, IPP officials said.
Formed last November under a charter from the PWG, the IPP is faced with making printing over the Web simpler, by providing universal protocols for submitting jobs and controlling printers connected to the Internet. The architecture will address printers either connected to a Web server or with an embedded Web server, so that designated users could access the device remotely.
In this vein, enterprises could set up "public printers," so one business partner could push a hard copy to another enterprise over the Web, avoiding overnight delivery costs.
A Web printing standard would also lay the groundwork for publishers to push customized magazines to subscribers, said IPP officials.
Sources said Microsoft Corp. presented to the working group its architecture for Web printing, which contains some of the basics the group hopes to implement. However, the Redmond, Wash., developer did not address all the issues, such as job ticketing, that the IPP wants to standardize, sources said.
Windows NT 5.0 will support the IPP specification, the sources said.
The IPP protocol will be designated for printers, but officials of the IPP said there's no reason such a design couldn't be transferred to other Web-enabled devices.
"They've got very broad industry support and that will help," said Grey Held, associate editor of the Hard Copy Observer, in Newtonville, Mass. "I think [support for] the IPP spec will show up by the end of the year. It's on the fast track. People are anxious for it."
A first draft of the Web printing guidelines is available at www.pwg.org/ipp.
Members of the IPP working group include Adobe Systems Inc., Canon Computer Systems Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Kyocera Electronics Inc., Lexmark International Inc., Microsoft, Netscape Communications Corp., Novell Inc., QMS Inc., Sharp Electronics Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc., Tektronix Inc. and Xerox Corp.
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