Printing on OS X Goes Open-Source; Epson Provides Laser Owner Relief

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2002, 06:19
Category: Archive

The transition to OS X has separated Mac users into two distinct classes: those who have drivers for their printers, happily printing away in Jaguar and wondering what all the fuss is about, and the miserable, huddled masses, suffering from their marginalization from society caused by the lack of print drivers for their printers. These are not obscure, no-name printers, but once-proud names, humbled by lazy manufacturers. Printing underclass, your day has come, thanks to open-source.

Gimp-print for Mac OS X is a mature package of some 183 drivers, supporting over 300 printers. (The developers have a list of supported printers, regularly updated as the software grows.) Thank Apple for its release: Mac OS X 10.2 (not earlier versions) incorporates an open-source print spooler called CUPS. And best of all, anyone can run Gimp-print: while it started out as a print facility for the open-source image editor GIMP, it’s evolved since then and no longer requires installation (or knowledge of) GIMP.

Even if you have drivers for your printer, you might want to bask in the glow of open-source: the developers claim that in many cases quality and performance exceeds that of the commercial drivers. You’ll need Ghostscript, by the way, if you want to print from Carbon apps and not just Cocoa, but once you’ve got it, you’re good to go.

And in other printing news, we tend not to post drivers and software updates on the PowerPage, but this one was too long-awaited to pass up: Epson finally has Mac OS X drivers for its EPL57i laser. So outside open source, there is at least some hope from the big corporate coders to get drivers for (ahem!) recently shipping printers!

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