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CUPS and PPD support



PPD, or "Postscript Printer Description"  files are effectively platform 
agnostic print drivers for postscript printers.

PPD files are test files (well, postscript files) that describe how to make 
use of the 'extra' features that are available above and beyond whatever 
stock features that "postscript level 2 or 3" has.  Examples would be 
"Color Correction", "Image Smoothing", "Quick Collate", and other 
features.

CUPS is the first UNIX printing subsystem that can take advantage of and 
make use of PPD files.  When I install a printer I use the CUPS lpadmin 
with the -P option to specify the PPD, for example:

/usr/sbin/lpadmin -p phaser860 -E -P /etc/tk860dp1.ppd -v http://phaser860.gurulabs.com:80/ipp/

Then you may use the CUPS lpoptions command to view what features the PPD
has made available, for example:

$ lpoptions -p phaser860 -l
XRXEnhancedFastText/Darken Text: *False True
XRXImageSmoothing/Image Smoothing: *False True
XRXCollate/Quick Collate: *False True
[snip much more]

I can make use of these options, on a per print job basis, from the 
command line like this:

$ lpr -o "Quick Collate"=True /some/file

Or even better, the KDE printing subsystem, when told that CUPS is 
in use, provides a graphical way to choose printing options.  See:

http://www.gurulabs.com/files/kprinter-cups-ppd.png

Notice in the screenshot that when Color Correction is selected, that down 
below you can select the appropriate value you wish to use.

Why this email?  Well, I wish that redhat-config-printer would support the 
use of PPD files when adding printers to CUPS.

Has this RFE been filed yet? Any comments?

Dax Kelson
Guru Labs





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