Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 12th Jul 2007 19:23 UTC, submitted by wibbit
Apple Apple has bought the CUPS code base, and has hired it's lead developer. "CUPS was written by Michael R Sweet, an owner of Easy Software Products. In February of 2007 Apple Inc. hired Michael and acquired ownership the CUPS source code. While Michael is primarily working on non-CUPS projects, he will continue to develop and support CUPS, which is still being released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms."
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RE: Question
by Doc Pain on Fri 13th Jul 2007 12:57 UTC in reply to "Question"
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

"Are there other open source alternatives to CUPS?"

Just to mention two, there's apsfilter and PostScript (explaination of choice follows).

"If so, are they better or worse?"

It depends on your printer and what you're going to do with it. I have used laser printers only, all of them were supported (HP Laserjet IIP, 4, 4M, 5, 4000 duplex, Lexmark Optra S1650) by apsfilter. The LJ4000 has PS support, so it does not need any driver because all UNIX applications usually generate PS output for printing which can be "put into the printer" without any problems.

For multi function devices (that include a inkjet pee printer and a scanner) or photo printers (such as built by Canon or Kodak) apsfilter won't be suitable, I fear. Furthermore, these devices usually don't conform to existing standards which makes them requiring a special driver that is not available in UNIX land.

Apsfilter does not have an integration into KDE (because it does not need one), but it can be used with KDE, too, but without KDE as well. To have support for dotmatrix printers (except simple text output) apsfilter needs special compile options. Additionally, apsfilter can use gimp-print drivers brought along by the Gimp.

"What I am getting at is this, assuming there is no comparable alternative to CUPS, would people who are against the GPL see some benefit to having the current GPL'd code always available to the public?"

As it has been explained before, Apple just bought the right to get their own license of CUPS, so they do not need to use it under the terms of the GPL. The "GPL branch" of CUPS will continue developing anyway, and maybe because of Apple's engagement there will be better printer drivers again in the future. The CUPS code will stay available for the public, only Apple's changes surely won't. We'll see...

"I don't mean to start another war about which license is the best."

This is a good idea, because "best" always depends on the license user's intention. :-)

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