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OS X Printer Software Apple Linux

With Push for OS X Focus, CUPS Printing May Suffer On Other Platforms 267

Posted by timothy
from the long-predicted-effect dept.
CUPS is the popular open-source printing system that many projects have used successfully as a core, for desktop printing and as the basis of dedicated print servers. Reader donadony writes with word that Apple "has chosen to abandon certain Linux exclusive features, [while] continuing with popular Mac OS X features. The changeover is being attempted by Apple to set new printing standards that will not require 'drivers' in the future." However, as this message from Tim Waugh at Red Hat points out, all is not lost: "Where they are of use for the Linux environment, those orphaned features will continue to be maintained at OpenPrinting as a separate project."
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With Push for OS X Focus, CUPS Printing May Suffer On Other Platforms

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  • So what is the fuss? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gweihir (88907) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:05AM (#39109967)

    True to open-source fashion, the missing features get maintained by somebody else. If Apple makes more problematic changes, my guess is that eventually CUPS will just be forked.

    This is not a big deal. It would be with closed-source software were the vendor can force changes down user's throats.

  • Re:OK, whatever. (Score:5, Informative)

    by HarrySquatter (1698416) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:10AM (#39110029)

    They aren't breaking compatibility. They are simply moving features they don't need into a separately maintained project.

  • Re:Until... (Score:5, Informative)

    by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:20AM (#39110135) Homepage Journal

    That's how OS X works now. We've gone through a bunch of printers at my office, and a variety of brands. Each one just needs a wifi password set, then the desktop lets us print to it with no question. It just appears in the list of available printers.

    OS X comes with a long list of drivers installed. Apple would love to drop those, partly because it involves a lot of coordination with printer manufacturers. Little from the customer perspective would likely change.

  • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @10:36AM (#39110311) Homepage

    Even printers that DO speak PCL and PS don't all work the same.

    Feed-tray options are one big reason.

  • by jbolden (176878) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:01AM (#39110635) Homepage

    Postscript is proprietary. But there are languages like it which are open standards.

    The big issue with postscript as a printer file format is that the printer makes runtime choices. So for example printer fonts are used and fonts don't need to be included. Which effects both the look of the page and the spacing. Because computations can be done on the printer print times with postscript are inconsistent. That is why in commercial environments postscript is ripped to something like IPDS before being sent to an actual physical printer.

    So the very flexibility that makes postscript "driverless" is also what makes it a poor choice for document consistency. Adobe itself saw the problem in that when it switched the page definition standard to pdf which was from a printer language perspective a downgrade.

  • Re:Wait what ????? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Karlt1 (231423) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:03AM (#39110665)

    is it legal for someone or a company to use an open source system or software and make people pay for it.

    Apple bought the source code for CUPs back in 2007 and hired its main developer.

    http://apple.slashdot.org/story/07/07/12/1342258/cups-purchased-by-apple-inc [slashdot.org]

  • Re:Printer? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:04AM (#39110691)

    Yeah, not living in the real world lets you ignore certain mission critical things.

  • Re:OK, whatever. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @11:16AM (#39110931)

    Slashdot and GPL zealots rant and rave all the time about how awesome it is to use OSS because you can 'fork it' ... funny how any time the situation arises where forking would get you right back to the state you desire ... no one wants to do it.

    Actually, OSS is helping here quite a bit. If CUPS was closed, then these changes would leave Linux users in a real bind. However, since it is open, the features being removed are being picked up by a different project. That is how OSS is supposed to work -- if the developers drop support for something, but the users want it, they have access to the code and can add it back.

  • Re: forks (Score:3, Informative)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @12:58PM (#39112643) Homepage

    People bitched about Oracle to no end on this site when both of those forks were announced

    Considering MariaDB was forked before Oracle bought Sun, I'm pretty sure they haven't.

  • Re:OK, whatever. (Score:4, Informative)

    by serviscope_minor (664417) on Tuesday February 21, 2012 @02:56PM (#39114307) Journal

    Schadenfreude is great when the misfortune is happening to complete twats.

    Sure.

    But you seem to think that people complaining that Apple have effectively removed Linux support are complete twats and deserve to have Linux support removed. Or you think that's karma or something. It's not really karma if it happened first.

    This has nothing to do with patents. Apple own CUPS and can do what they like wit it. That's valid copyright, not patents.

    You were making so little sense that I assumed that you were talking about something else.

    In other news, Apple is using patents in exactly the way they are intended to be used.

    Well, yes. If you look into the history of patents then they've pretty much been invented since day 1 to be abused, so in that you are correct. On a more recent note, patenting trivial inventions and aggressively enfocing them does not "promote the useful arts".

    They come up with an innovation for their products, they patent it to restrict others copying their innovation.

    That is very rare. What Apple do generally design well-integrated products which are solidly produced (generally not especially buggy) and also popularise existing, but otherwise almost unused ideas (e.g. multitouch), or ideas from other areas (magnetic power connectors). Very rarely do they come up with inventions. It's kind of sad that they feel the need to strongly protect their non-inventions because the Apple's product creation method is generally what sets them aside and that's something which it is not possible to copy.

    Of course the minority on slashdot who are cretins try to claim (and maybe even believe) that Apple has patented the black rounded rectangle, and other such bollocks.

    So what, pray tell is this [uspto.gov]?

    And I'd also like to note that it looks awfully similar to the HP-Compaq TC1000 with the keyboard detached, which was released in 2003, a whole year before Apple filed a patent on a strikingly similar design. Basically, Apple managed to patent a design invented by someone else and are busy trying to defend that using lawsuits. That's reprehensible behaviour by any standards.

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