New printer system unveiled by MW SoftwareBy Chris Williams. Published: 28th Aug 2003, 13:14:28 | Permalink | Printable
Inkjets? gimp-print to the rescue!MW Software has today announced the RISC OS Universal Graphics Printing System project, or ROUGPS for short. The plan is to develop a RISC OS printer driver which will be based on the gimp-print, which itself employs a portable library called libgimpprint. By being based on gimp-print, ROUGPS will be able to drive a huge range of printer models at high resolution and also offer support for different media and photo-real printing.
With this in mind, ROUGPS will relieve the pressure on RISC OS users who have to find and buy the few printers still supported by RISC OS' aging normal printing system. MW Software's move today opens the door to all kinds of new printers and printing resolutions, which will be good news to RISC OS dealers who could then sell a greater range of printer hardware. However, MW Software's task is far from trivial and we'll have to be patient.
"Developing high-quality printer drivers for photo-real printing is a very demanding task. Native printer driver developments under RISC OS have fallen behind considerably and this situation is unlikely to change", Martin of MW Software explained earlier today.
"Luckily, the Linux community has an active group of people working on printer drivers for high-resolution photo-real printing on current inkjet printers (e.g., by Epson, Canon and HP)".
gimp-print is open source and distributed under the GPL. This means any software developed from gimp-print and released by MW Software must follow a few restrictions; primarily, MW Software would have to distribute the source along with it and others can also freely redistribute it. This closes the door somewhat on MW Software producing a commercialised product.
However, users are all urged to instead donate money to support the project, a project we believe is very worthwhile. It's also worthwhile to MW Software as being developers of Artworks 2, they would most probably want their users to be able to print out their illustrations and artwork to the fullest quality. However, you don't have to start writing cheques off right away but you're invited to email MW Software to show that you're more than interested in such a project.
Once again, we're seeing further reliance and employment of open source software to further RISC OS and at least try to keep up with the pack. Will there come a time when virtually only the RISC OS operating system core is the non-open source component on our desktops?
ROUGPS website - You want printers? You sign up!
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