|UPDF Charter Proposal
|Printer Working Group
Printer Description File Format
|Currently the driver model for most operating systems is a monolithic model. Systems
programmers must implement a unique driver for each operating system (OS) for each printer
the programmer wants to support. The graphics interfaces of each OS, while similar, tend
to be different enough to require major re-write of system code for each operating system.
In order to support a wide variety of operating systems developers must spend a
considerable amount of programmer-months duplicating effort to support functionality for
one printer to print on each operating system. Since there is not an infinite amount of
resources for programming, not all operating systems printer drivers are full-featured.
Usually the operating system with the largest market share will have the most
functionality. The amount of effort invested in other operating systems decreases
proportionate to their market share. A side effect of having to write unique printer
drivers is that they tend to become inconsistent across different operating systems.
Printer drivers today have different user interfaces and behave differently during a print
job. There do exist valid reasons for drivers to be slightly different due to the
operating system, however a lot of the differences are just because we can.
|Another issue with the current driver model is that it is very static. There is no
dynamic discovery mechanism for changes in the printer after the initial installation. If
accessories are added after the initial installation of a printer, a user must manually
install new software into the OS that enables the accessory to be used.
|In order for different operating systems to support any printer, there must be a
separation of the OS specific components and the printer feature components. This group
will define a printer description file format that enables a printer driver to configure
itself based on the unique printer characteristics. The goal is to design or specify a
description format that can be used by multiple operating systems.
|Goals of UPDF Charter are:
- To reduce development time for the system programmer.
- To simplify installation and improve end user experience.
- To define a universal printer description file format that enables a printer driver to
configure itself based on the unique printer characteristics.
- To design or specify a description format that can be used by multiple operating
- To enable dynamic configuration of printers via bi-directional communication of
- To support the largest possible number of existing printers.
- To provide extremely flexible mechanisms for extensibility to enable support for as yet
unimagined printers and features.
|Out of scope for the charter is the creation of an entirely new printer marking
language. It was deemed too complicated and time consuming. Also out of scope is the
definition of the Universal Printer Driver. The intent is that the UPDF will enable
Universal Printer Drivers to be developed on the various operating systems, but this group
will not specify any particular design requirements.
|This charter is slated for the Printer Working Group only. There are no plans
currently to submit it to any other standards organizations.
|Charter Formal Approval
|Requirements Formal Approval
|Proposed Draft Standard Last Call
|Proposed Standard Last Call
|Proposed Standard Formal Approval
|Draft Standard Last Call
|Draft Standard Formal Approval
|Standard Last Call
|Standard Formal Approval
Requirements Document: Not there yet.
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