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LinuxWorld.com: HP's open-source printer drivers need improvement

Oct 16, 2001, 14:20 (25 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

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"...How much of the print quality comes from the printer and how much comes from software is an interesting question. With this particular printer, as Bruce Perens said in an interview earlier this year, much of the color handling happens in hardware rather than by the driver. This should mean prints from both Windows and Linux would be the same. It's obvious some enhancement is done to the image the printer is asked to print before it gets there, in much the same way that hitting the "loudness" button on a boombox boosts the bass and makes music sound richer. Perhaps color enhancement is a default settings on Windows but not Linux.

The open source side of the equation (GIMP/HP open source driver) does not deliver the same quality as Windows/HP. Certainly not in resolution, where the open source driver can only achieve 600 x 600 DPI. Though I want more fidelity to colors than either delivered, the "loudness" enhancements on Windows were more pleasing to my eye than the toned-down GIMP print. As I noted above, I believe the Lexmark driver on Linux beats the HP on either platform for trueness of color.

Who do we blame for this poor showing against identical hardware on Windows? I think we need to blame ourselves. HP delivered the goods in terms of open source code for this printer. An HP spokesperson says higher resolutions will be available for this driver in the future, as will the ability to do duplex (two-sided) printing. Now, the open source community needs to step in and bring the drivers up to parity with what users get in the Windows world."

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