October 15, 1998
The Printer Working Group (PWG), a coalition of key worldwide printing experts representing many printer and print server vendors, today announced that the first interoperability "bake-off" of the Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) was a major success.
On September 23, 1998 through September 25, 1998, the Printer Working Group held its first IPP "bake-off" at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus. Sixteen companies, representing printer manufacturers, operating system developers and others, jointly tested their implementations of IPP. Basic pair-wise testing to verify printing of simple jobs was 96.9% successful. Testing was done from a variety of clients including Windows 95/98, Windows NT and Sun Solaris. In addition, a number of test clients and test suites were used to print. Both real and virtual printers were also tested including some with embedded implementations of IPP. All implementations were designed to comply with the June 30, 1998 IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) drafts of the IPP specifications.
A "bake-off" is an event held where multiple independently developed implementations of a new standard are tested against one another. The results of the "bake-off" not only verify the interoperability of these independently developed implementations but are also useful for determining the quality of the standard. Complete, well written standards ensure ease of implementation.
Participants in the "bake-off" were Auco, Epson, Fuji Xerox, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, i-data International, Japan Computer Industry, Lexmark, Microsoft, Novell, Osicom, Ricoh, Sun Microsystems, Tektronix, TR Computing Solutions, and Xerox. Sixteen printers and eight clients were tested. These combine in 128 possible combinations; 124 were successful.
"The phenomenal success of this 'bake-off' is indicative of the outstanding job that Carl-Uno Manros and the whole IPP Working Group have done in creating and documenting the Internet Printing Protocol. My hat is off to all of them," said Don Wright, Chair of the Printer Working Group and Lexmark International's Product Manager of Strategic Alliances.
The Internet Printing Protocol is a client/server protocol that allows the server to be either a separate print server or a printer with embedded networking and server capabilities. The focus of this effort is optimized for printers, but it could also be applied to other output devices. The Internet Printing Protocol is expected to revolutionize printing in the computer industry. It will provide a single standard interface for interrogating the capabilities and state of a printing system, submitting a print job, and monitoring the state of that print job. IPP will be quickly deployed to provide easy to use printing interfaces across a broad range of printing systems and operating systems which will inter-operate using the protocol.
Chartered by the PWG, the Internet Printing Protocol working group was formed in November 1996 and began developing necessary standards for print job submission and monitoring for the Internet based on early submissions by many different companies and individuals.
After a successful "Birds of a Feather" session at the December 1996 IETF meeting in San Jose, CA, this group was also chartered by the IETF on March 6, 1997. Representatives from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Lexmark, Microsoft, Novell, Sharp, Sun Microssystems, and Xerox act as chairs, authors, and editors for the IPP project. Internet drafts covering requirements, model and semantics, the protocol and other related areas of IPP have been submitted to the IETF and will continue to be revised and become Request for Comments (RFCs).
More information about the IPP group and specific technical details are available over the Internet in the following ways:
The Printer Working Group is an unincorporated alliance among printer manufacturers, print server developers, operating system providers and print management application developers chartered to make printers and the applications and operating systems supporting them work together better. The PWG is open to any company or individual interested in developing these new printing standards. The PWG earlier developed the SNMP Printer MIB (RFC1759) and is currently working on both a Job Monitoring and a Finisher MIB; both are expected to be published jointly by the PWG and the IETF. The group meets regularly in person and on telephone conference calls. The next formal meeting of the IPP Working Group at a PWG meeting will be held in Tucson, Arizona in early November.
PWG Chair: Don Wright, Lexmark International, 606-232-4808, firstname.lastname@example.org
IPP Chair: Carl-Uno Manros, Xerox Corporation, 310-333-8273, email@example.com