[Server-devel] 9.1 Proposal: Printing support

Martin Langhoff martin at laptop.org
Tue Oct 21 04:46:28 EDT 2008

On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Bill Bogstad <bogstad at pobox.com> wrote:
> Martin will probably hate me for this...

Oh, I won't! However implements this gets to say how it's done; good
to hear you have an opinion that you're willing to back with code :-)

> If you can assume the existence of an XS (or at least a suitably
> configured web server), what about doing printing via file upload in
> the Browse activity?
> Punt ALL the complexity of printer drivers/queues/etc to the server.
> Instead of Write generating a postscript/pdf file and queuing it, just
> send the file directly.
> CUPS already has management of the print queues via http (which is
> really just ipp).  So why not add the ability to accept all the
> 'standard' file formats which
> XO activities generate?

That's not *that* hard. And even then, we could just say "generic PS
printer support is what we do" and provide it on the XO itself and
it'd make sense too. I suspect we can aggressively trim cups to only
only eat 20% of your NAND.

But printing it's a much broader problem. You'll want quotas,
priorities, printer selection and related management to get something
usable in a school environment you get ac lot of human/social
considerations. PS vs PCL is not where the intersting problem is. I've
worked with several secondary schools and tertiaries, all using
various schemes for this, all imperfect and leaky, but quite
informative about the challenges.

It's a big task. Right now I have other priorities that will take a
while. Printing *is* important, but other things are more important
and more reachable right now -- I'm pleased to hear others care a lot
about this. Hopefully enough to get moving on this!


 martin at laptop.org -- School Server Architect
 - ask interesting questions
 - don't get distracted with shiny stuff  - working code first
 - http://wiki.laptop.org/go/User:Martinlanghoff

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