UPD Mail Archive: UPD> Background for the upcoming Austin meeting (3 March 98)

UPD> Background for the upcoming Austin meeting (3 March 98)

Jay Martin (jkm@underscore.com)
Tue, 10 Feb 1998 17:33:17 -0500

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For the record, the attached message serves as the first
background material for the expected UPD meeting to be
held as part of the regularly scheduled PWG meeting series.

Note that as of this writing, the UPD meeting is tentatively
planned for Tuesday *night*, March 3rd.

To be consistent with all other PWG projects, all correspondence
about UPD (and related discussions) should be directed to the
official PWG UPD mailing list (mailto:upd@pwg.org). As usual,
cross-postings to other lists should be avoided whenever possible.


PS: This message is cross-posted to the IPP list so as to encourage
IPP participants to use the UPD list, as necessary.

-- JK Martin | Email: jkm@underscore.com --
-- Underscore, Inc. | Voice: (603) 889-7000 --
-- 41C Sagamore Park Road | Fax: (603) 889-2699 --
-- Hudson, NH 03051-4915 | Web: http://www.underscore.com --
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From: Harry Lewis <harryl@us.ibm.com>
To: <pwg@pwg.org>
Cc: <jkm@underscore.com>
Subject: Re: PWG> Austin Agenda
Message-ID: <5030300017787455000002L052*@MHS>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 1998 17:15:47 -0500
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In case anyone missed it...

>What topic(s) are driving the need for a meeting? Can you give
>some sort of an overview or explanation as to why the meeting
>is being held? (Or did I miss that in another message?)

here is an excerpt form the Maui PWG minutes regarding UPD... where it =
determined that there was enough interest in UPD to warrant more discus=

Universal Print Driver

Microsoft has incorporated a technology, similar to the Postscript PPD,=
describing printer characteristics to drivers in NT5.0. They call it th=
e GPD.
They already have support for about 1000 printers (including the NP12/1=
Microsoft is offering the GPD specification to the PWG for standardizat=
ion and
potential cross platform adoption. If this occurs, print driver develo=
could (hypothetically) be reduced to simply producing a PPD file for Po=
and a GPD file for PCL. The topic will be discussed further in March an=
d also
in a private meeting with Microsoft which I am hoping to achieve, here =
Boulder, during February.

Further - Paul Moorue reintroduced the idea of a Universal Printer Driv=
er, this
time, based on Microsoft's GPD (Generic Printer Description) printer dr=
syntax. This new driver technology for Windows uses a printer descripti=
on file
like the Postscript PPD but applies it to any raster printer (PCL etc).=
result is one "universal" driver with many GPD files that enable the cl=
build the right PDL for each printer. About 1000 printers are already d=
in this syntax on the NT5.0 Beta DDK. A GPD is about 30K bytes per prin=

The ASCII GPD file can express device options, limitations between feat=
(ex. "don't allow envelopes unless AUX tray is installed" or ("can't st=
if media is transparency") and may be used to dynamically build the pri=
driver UI. Settings can be grouped, for example, for the "fastest", or =
quality". Currently, the GPD is static or manually updated. A future
improvement could be to dynamically update the GPD from something like =
Printer MIB database, preferable using IPP.

Microsoft is offering the syntax as a model for standardization, beyond=
Windows platform. There was enough interest that an agenda item has bee=
n agreed
to for the March meeting in Austin. People would like an opportunity to=
look at
the spec prior to this meeting. Concern was expressed that, in general=
, job
control should be migrated out of PDLs into the control of job submissi=
languages or protocols (like IPP, PJL or the Adobe Job Ticket). Some
participants were also concerned about loss of product differentiation =
if one
Universal Print Driver were to become ubiquitous. Others wondered if it=
be possible to structure the GPD in XML.

Harry Lewis - IBM Printing Systems