OpenPrinting works on a fork of the CUPS printing system

The OpenPrinting project (supported by Linux Foundation), made it known that its developerss have started with a fork of the CUPS printing system, where the most active part in development is by Michael R Sweet, the original author of CUPS.

Since since 2007, following the acquisition of Easy Software Products, (CUPS company) Apple has fully controlled the development of CUPS. In December 2019, Michael Sweet, founder of the CUPS project and Easy Software Products, resigned from Apple.

The vast majority of changes in the CUPS code base were made personally by Michael Sweet, but in announcing his departure, Michael mentioned that two engineers remained at Apple who will provide maintenance for CUPS.

However, after Michael's dismissal, the CUPS project stopped developing and it is that during 2020, only a commitment was added to the CUPS code base with the elimination of vulnerabilities.

The forked organization OpenPrinting was created in 2006 for the merger of the Linuxprinting.org project and the OpenPrinting working group of the Free Software Group, which was developing the architecture of the Linux printing system (Michael Sweet was one of the leaders of this group).

A year later, the project came under the wing of the Linux Foundation since the project works on the development of new printing architectures, technologies, printing infrastructure and interface standards for Linux and UNIX-style operating systems.

In addition to also collaborating with the IEEE-ISTO Printer Working Group (PWG) on IPP projects, works with SANE to make IPP scanning a reality.

Maintains cups-filters that allow CUPS to be used on any Unix-based system (not macOS), ands responsible for the Foomatic database and you are working on the Common Print Dialog Backends project.

In 2012, the project OpenPrinting, according to Apple, took care of the cups-filters package with the necessary components for CUPS to work on systems other than macOS (as of the CUPS 1.6 release, Apple has discontinued support for some print filters and backends used in Linux, but not of interest to macOS, and they also deprecated PPD drivers in favor of the IPP protocol everywhere).

Currently, the forked repository contains patches accumulated by various Linux distributions and BSD systems.

The branch will be synchronized, that is to say the main Apple CUPS repository will act as the basis, and the OpenPrinting CUPS versions will be formed as complementsFor example, based on version 2.3.3, it is planned to form version 2.3.3OP1.

After extensive testing, changes developed in the fork are planned to be returned to the main CUPS codebase, sending pull requests to Apple.

Till Kampeter, leader of the OpenPrinting project, commented on the stalling of CUPS publications, noting that if Apple stops participating in this project, he, along with Michael Sweet, will take development into their own hands, as CUPS is important to the Linux ecosystem. . In addition, he mentioned the intention to soon end CUPS support for the PPD printer description format, which is deprecated.

CUPS will still be required on Linux. CUPS queues jobs (not all printer applications or native IPP printers do), pre-filters PDF from user applications in a format that the printer (or printer application) understands (IPP does not require a printer / server IPP understand PDF) and share printers over the network, also with sophisticated authentication systems such as Kerberos.
CUPS will stop supporting PPD files soon (this is one of the major roadmap changes) so classic drivers consisting of PPDs and filters are no longer supported and printer apps are the only way to supply drivers printer.
Check out the Linux Plumber Microconferences, the OpenPrinting Summit / PWG meetings (see the OpenPrinting website, "News and Events"), and my monthly OpenPrinting news posts.

Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it about the project, you can check the details by going to to the following link.


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