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Re: [hfdb] Sorry - fixed now Re: [Fwd: Summary of the LSM Free Software

From: Joe Shaw
Subject: Re: [hfdb] Sorry - fixed now Re: [Fwd: Summary of the LSM Free Software Printing Summit]
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 10:46:02 -0400

On Sun, 2004-07-25 at 07:31 +1000, Zenaan Harkness wrote:
> > autodetection of printers (although something like 1% of the printer
> > descriptions actually have that info, sigh.).
> .. and collecting that sort of information is what we are in the
> business of doing (and working with the existing projects). Early days
> yet, but we're on the way...

Enhancing the existing foomatic tools to get this information seems like
the best route, since they already advocate that people submit similar
info for foomatic.

Attached is a printer XML file from foomatic.

> Don't know enough on this to comment. Naively, I would assume it would
> be good to unify the printer drivers ("PPD files" or whatever) if there
> are separate collections of such, so that there is a single, canonical
> database.

The purpose of foomatic is to generate PPDs for printers based on
information in its database.  Most distributions generate the PPDs ahead
of time and ship only the PPDs with the distro (SUSE for example puts
them all in /usr/share/cups/model).  The majority of people configure
their printers through one of these.

In some cases people may use a PPD that isn't from foomatic.  These are
downloaded from the vendor or come on a CD with the printer or whatever,
and aren't apart of any database.  In general I'm not sure how you would
fit those into a hardware database.

> And beyond even that, in the HFDB project we are working to a
> unified db of hardware device descriptions across all hardware device
> categories. At the minimum, a centralized collection point, but I think
> ideally actually storing all the data, and generating multiple output
> formats as needed for various projects.

Makes sense, I think.  You should talk to the foomatic folks and see if
you can get some buy in to the idea.  At the very least, the foomatic DB
is a good starting point for your own printer database.

<printer id="printer/HP-DeskJet_3550">
  <model>DeskJet 3550</model>
        <en>1 colour (CMY) cartridge or 1 black (K) cartridge</en>
    <!--one or more "partno" elements.--></consumables>
    <proprietary /><!--no pjl-->
    <!--no known parport probe information-->
  <!--no "contrib_url"-->

    Does not understand PCL as most other DeskJets, it uses the
    so-called &quot;Lightweight Imaging Device Interface
    Language&quot; (LIDIL).&lt;p&gt;


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