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Community: Improvements to LinuxPrinting.org and the Printing HOWTO

[ Thanks to Grant
Taylor
for this link. ]

By Grant Taylor

I’ve made a variety of improvements to the LinuxPrinting
website:

The Location I’ve moved the site from my
personal pages at picante.com out to a more suitable and easier to
remember domain name: http://www.linuxprinting.org.

Support Database

I’ve relocated the entry point for the support database; it’s
now http://www.linuxprinting.org
/database.html
. Anyone with links to the old printer_list.cgi
may wish to change them; going directly there lets people bypass
some of the introductory explanatory information.

The HOWTO

I’ve revamped the Printing HOWTO. It’s now written in DocBook
SGML; this allows, among other things, illustrations and a
high-quality index. See http://www.linuxprinting.org/howto/
.

Pick-a-Printer

I finally added a selector that lets users go directly to a
specific printer. This was perhaps the most overdue change.

Foomatic

I’ve continued active development of Foomatic, a
spooler-independent driver/spooler integration system. A useful
level of functionality is now available, and large portions of the
code have been moved out from the website into a more portable, and
free, package. Execution data can now be entered by people other
than me using a set of web forms; as the data is entered more and
more drivers will become useful in the system. The data-to-spooler
conversion code is now available for people to work with; it would
be straightforward to add support for additional spoolers or fix
bugs. See http://www.linuxprinting.org
/foomatic.html
.

Raw Data

I’ve created a new mechanism for software to fetch data from the
database. Programs can fetch both an overview list, containing
basic info (ie make, model, notes, drivers, pnp signatures, etc) on
all printers, or a printer/driver data structure representing
everything there is to know about using a particular printer and
driver together (this structure is, of course, the magic behind
foomatic). The foomatic developer snapshot includes example code
for both of these new features. I plan to switch to an XML export
format in the near future; the punctuation will change, but the
functionality will be identical.

Developer Articles

I’ve added developer articles section to the site. The intent is
to accumulate a large body of technical information useful for free
printing software developers. Thus far there are only a few
articles, but in time there will be many; let me know of anything I
should include!

Licensing

I’ve placed all of the code that is useful outside my network
under the GPL, and settled upon an informal LGPL-like license for
the data itself.

About LinuxPrinting.org

The LinuxPrinting project provides a single location for users
and developers to find out anything they need to know about
printing on free Unix with free software. The two main resources on
the site are:

Printing HOWTO
The HOWTO has been the authoritative source of Linux printing
information for 8 years. In its current incarnation is a 65 page
overview of the available software and a tutorial guide to the
configuration of LPD (the most common spooler) and PDQ (an elegant
alternative to LPD).

The Linux Printing Support Database
The Database contains information about the use of particular
printers with free software. Its extensive coverage and active
community participation have made this one of the best places to
find out about using printers with free software.