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New printer system unveiled by MW Software

By 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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This does seem to be a very worthwhile project and Martin is just the sort of guy to succesfully puli it off. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 28/8/03 2:11PM
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Yes i think i'll donate some money to a very worthy cause!

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 28/8/03 4:09PM
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Don't get me wrong, this sounds great, but now we'll have:

ROUGPS from MW; Printers+ from ROL/Sourceforge; Popup printers from Castle; UniPrint/network printers from RCI; PhotoReal from PhotoDesk

Kinda need some pooling of resources here guys.....

(Personally I find !Printers v1.64 coupled with LanMan98 and Samba/CUPS on the Linux box works nicely!)

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 28/8/03 5:01PM
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go Martin go :-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 28/8/03 5:15PM
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Printers+ is a front end mod, as is Castle's effort. UniPrint does what GDI does for Windows, and slings a massive bitmap across the network.

The Photodesk drivers are the only thing that is anywhere near competing, and they must be a total pain to deveop and support.

More power to yer elba, Mr W.

 is a RISC OS Usermikeg on 28/8/03 6:46PM
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simo - I think you mix up the levels here. Printers+ and Popup printers are not on the same level as UniPrint and PhotoReal. You can use either of the first two with either of the second two. It is not yet clear where ROUGPS will stand. It might be on the same level as UniPrint/PhotoReal or it might come with its own front-end that you could run alongside !Printers.


 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 28/8/03 7:01PM
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We (the RiscOS community) have been moaning for ages about the lack of up to date printing support. Someone comes along with the know how and offers to do something and all we do is criticse! I for one have pledged my support anyone else? Martin, Sunny Shropshire.

 is a RISC OS UserMart on 28/8/03 10:10PM
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Thanks for clearing that up guys (and I wasn't criticising)!

-- #include "sig.h"

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 28/8/03 11:03PM
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I think Mart has a point there. Not that I think that simo did a lot of criticiseing. But I too have noticed that people seem to have developed a negative attitude towards things.

It's most noticable in the Iyonix/Omega conversations. There has been so much negative talk on the net about this, that a lot of people have just gone to PC land. So we all (and I am no exception) have done a lot of damage to the market. IMO negative aspects of the platform should not be discussed on the net, but in user group meetings. No maker of embedded products is going to use RISC OS for these, when theres so much negative talk about it on the net.

Now from this posting somebody could get the impression that RISC OS is no good and I just want people to keep quiet about it, but this is not true. Every similar product has its strengths and weaknesses. But the RISC OS community mostly seems to mention its few weaknesses over and over again, and keeps quiet about its many strengths. -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 28/8/03 11:32PM
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RISC OS is great! I love RISC OS! It's amazing, get rid of you pet cat/dog/bird/geek and buy a RISC OS computer now! It's amazing, fantastic, superb!

That should make up for a month's worth of ranting.

I confess I know jack-all about printing but whatever increases the OS' ability to compete has gotta be good.

Feel free to moderate. :D

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 29/8/03 10:14AM
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JGZ: I do not think it helps to ignore negative aspects and keep quiet about them - or even worse tell people off for mentioning them. Self-imposed censorship like that does not help. If there is a problem we need to discuss it. There are too many people around who would say that everything is great when in fact it isn't. We can only solve problems if we can pinpoint them. This does not necessarily have to end up in mud-slinging.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 29/8/03 11:13AM
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@Martin: But I'm not saying we should ignore anything. I'm just saying we should not discuss negative aspects in public places like newsgroups and open websites. There are enough other places (like private SmartGroups/YahooGroups, user group meetings and magazines, private mailinglists) where such issues can be discussed without doing any damage.

I do not think that the !Printers+ discussion on the newsgroups falls under the "negative aspects" category, but there are and were way too many negative discussions in public forums and I am not sure wether the damage to RISC OS' reputation among big companies can be repaired. ATM if you want to sell an embedded RISC OS product to a big company you have avoid mentioning RISC OS, at least until you had a chance to demonstrate the product to the decision makers. And this is not easy at all, because usually one of the first questions asked is what OS it runs. -- Julian G. F. Zimmerle

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 29/8/03 11:36AM
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I don't think gimp-print is the 'final solution'. I see that HP supports hpijs for Linux which is at [link]

So I suppose someone needs to port this as well?

 is a RISC OS Userquatermass on 29/8/03 2:00PM
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quatermass: There is a lot of Linux stuff out there that could be ported and a lot of it duplicates functionality found in other software. I cannot see a reason why we should need to port HP's drivers as well if gimp-print gives good results with the printers in question.

In addition, HP's drivers are add-ons to ghostscript, so we are back to printing through PostScript with all its limitations. Yes, a printer driver based on GhostScript is conceivable as well but I have chosen a different approach. Nobody stops your or anybody else from creating a ghostscript-based driver.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 29/8/03 4:50PM
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> JGZ Do you really think that anyone apart from RISC OS users really reads drobe.co.uk or comp.sys.acorn.*? Sounds like a load of nonsense to me.

I do agree with you that people emphasis the negative, perhaps too much. But I think this stems from the fact that if it works then it's hardly worth talking about. If it's broke then kick up a fuss and get it fixed :-)

And any way, when you think about it, do you really think that your above comments will in any way stop people doing what they want?

If you want to show the positive side of risc os, point people to the drobe headlines. These guys do a great job promoting risc os. (my JGZ approved positive comment) -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 30/8/03 11:47AM
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You could always turn of comments to anyone who isn't accessing Drobe with a RISC OS browser ;)

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/8/03 2:30PM
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Is a Risc os version of gimp-print likely to be much slower on a Mico/A7000 /Riscstation than the usual Risc os Printers.?

 is a RISC OS Userjlavallin on 1/9/03 6:28PM
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