PRINTER COALITION PROVES INTERNET PRINTING PROTOCOL.
The Printer Working Group, a coalition of printer and print server
vendors, has been testing out the interoperability of the Internet
Printing Protocol at Microsoft Corp's Redmond, Washington campus.
Sixteen companies, representing printer manufacturers, operating system
developers and others jointly tested their implementations of IPP last
month. They included Epson, Fuji Xerox, Hewlett-Packard Co, IBM Corp,
Lexmark International Inc, Microsoft Corp, Novell Inc, Sun Microsystems
Inc, Tektronix Inc and Xerox Corp. Sixteen printers and eight clients
were tested, and 124 out of a possible 128 were successful. IPP aims to
provide a single interface for interrogating the capabilities and state
of a printing system, submitting a print job and monitoring the state
of the job over the internet or TCP/IP network. It works through
describing the characteristics of a printer within a text file on the
printer itself. Users should be able to print to printers anywhere
within an organization, regardless of location, and will be able to
send print jobs to customers and partners without the need to use email
or other distribution methods before documents are printed. Individual
clients won't need to be configured for each printer. Operating
system vendors will need to support only one driver. Adobe Systems Inc
PPD files are similar in concept, but work only on PostScript printers.
Microsoft's version is the GPD Generic Printer Description file for Windows NT. The Printer Working group, working within the Internet
Engineering Task Force, was originally Novell's idea in the summer
of 1996, and turned into a merging of Novell's Lightweight
Document Printing Application and IBM's HyperText Printing
Protocol (CI No 3,081).