Apple Acquired CUPS

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A new posting at Cups.org reveals that Apple has purchased CUPS and hired its author:
In February of 2007, Apple Inc. acquired ownership the CUPS source code and hired me (Michael R Sweet), the creator of CUPS. CUPS will still be released under the existing GPL2/LGPL2 licensing terms, and I will continue to develop and support CUPS at Apple.
CUPS stands for Common Unix Printing System and was adopted by Apple in 2002 for Mac OS X.

Article Link
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,825
1,735
Western US
It still sounds like some kind of supermodel SWAT team to me, but good for him. I love it when people who write some boring, unassuming utility get a payday.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Good for him! Sounds like an excellent situation.

I wonder... with Apple purchasing CUPS, and getting so cozy over the past few years with GIMPPrint / Gutenprint, and then also with them pushing Rendezvous/Bonjour out into the PC world... is this all part of some single underlying strategy regarding simplifying printing? I find printing, particularly network printing, vastly simpler on Macs (as long as the hardware is supported) than on Windows. CUPS is so much nicer than the hodge podge of annoying hacks that the industry calls printer drivers on Windows.

But in terms of the overall simplicity of printing... it still has a ways to go. In principle, non-network printing doesn't really need to be any more complex than hooking up a monitor (which could also be simpler gaah), and network printing via Bonjour ought to be much simpler, too, a la the level of complexity of finding information on websites using Google, etc.
 

Mad River Engr

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2007
1
0
Single Window Printing

I use a variety of printers and paper sizes on both Macs & Windoze - I'd like to see the print dialog allow switching of sizes & orientation with closing & switching to the printer setup, then back. I hate to say it, but for me printing to Windoze is more flexible...
 

Aggamemnon

macrumors member
Nov 24, 2005
69
2
Bath
I use cups on a mixed Linux / OS X network and it is far superior than a windows print server in those circumstances. Don't confuse the underlying print server with the dialogues presented to you by your OS / application.
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
How does this affect people like me who just plug in a simple printer to print out normal text/graph documents.
 

jdechko

macrumors 601
Jul 1, 2004
4,093
218
But in terms of the overall simplicity of printing... it still has a ways to go. In principle, non-network printing doesn't really need to be any more complex than hooking up a monitor...
Unfortunately, it seems that as the devices themselves become more complex, so does the setup. Setting up an all-in-one device or a photo-printer in Windows is a chore (don't know about OS X). There's just too much software (in addition to the driver itself) to install. It's aggravating.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,032
649
Pennsylvania
Unfortunately, it seems that as the devices themselves become more complex, so does the setup. Setting up an all-in-one device or a photo-printer in Windows is a chore (don't know about OS X). There's just too much software (in addition to the driver itself) to install. It's aggravating.
I had to download and install 2 drivers to get my printer/scanner that I bought with my macbook pro working. It wasn't too bad, and I could have easily just popped the CD into the computer, but the point is there were 2 drivers that I had to install to make the thing work right. Very un-appleish.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I had to download and install 2 drivers to get my printer/scanner that I bought with my macbook pro working. It wasn't too bad, and I could have easily just popped the CD into the computer, but the point is there were 2 drivers that I had to install to make the thing work right. Very un-appleish.
It is kind of funny (and very nice) that when you even have to install any drivers on a Mac, it feels like an unnatural experience. ;)
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,636
0
How does this affect people like me who just plug in a simple printer to print out normal text/graph documents.
The biggest potential change is in the license exceptions. This allows Apple and third-party developers (on Mac OS only) to integrate closed source features. Printer makers who have previously offered only half-baked support on the Mac may be more willing to provide those currently Windows-only features, now that they aren't under pressure to reveal quite as many details about how their stuff works.
 

jholzner

macrumors 65816
Jul 24, 2002
1,384
0
Champaign, IL
I had to download and install 2 drivers to get my printer/scanner that I bought with my macbook pro working. It wasn't too bad, and I could have easily just popped the CD into the computer, but the point is there were 2 drivers that I had to install to make the thing work right. Very un-appleish.
Yeah, things not made by Apple tend to be that way.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,170
1,149
Colorado Springs, CO
I hate to say it, but for me printing to Windoze is more flexible...
Same here. I don't know about the underlying architecture of the printing service but Apple's implementation of it is the worst in the industry if you ask me. They don't even offer the user the ability to print a selection of text which my family and I (used to) use a lot.
 

MacNemesis

macrumors member
Apr 12, 2005
46
0
Cincinnati, OH
I had to download and install 2 drivers to get my printer/scanner that I bought with my macbook pro working. It wasn't too bad, and I could have easily just popped the CD into the computer, but the point is there were 2 drivers that I had to install to make the thing work right. Very un-appleish.
Because it wasn't Apple that made you do that. It was the printer manufacturer.
 

Teddy's

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2006
441
12
Toronto
It is kind of funny (and very nice) that when you even have to install any drivers on a Mac, it feels like an unnatural experience. ;)
Compared to all the "stuff" you have to install on a PC just to get a printer working... I think it's ok :D

Drivers x and y, Toolbars, Quick launch, Start up Icons, Desktop icons, Your little Print App and Image Editor app Trial, etc...
 

xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,587
6
The Kop
The biggest potential change is in the license exceptions. This allows Apple and third-party developers (on Mac OS only) to integrate closed source features. Printer makers who have previously offered only half-baked support on the Mac may be more willing to provide those currently Windows-only features, now that they aren't under pressure to reveal quite as many details about how their stuff works.
Well this must be a good thing and i am assuming it will help all those who use much more advanced features then me.

Compared to all the "stuff" you have to install on a PC just to get a printer working... I think it's ok :D

Drivers x and y, Toolbars, Quick launch, Start up Icons, Desktop icons, Your little Print App and Image Editor app Trial, etc...

Tell me about just installed an all in one on an xp machine and boy was that painful.

I don't get it.

How can Apple have purchased a system that Chandler invented as a way of giving Joey money?
Wondered why i thought it was funny when i first read the title but now i remember it, what a game but it isn't as good as go johnny go go go go.
 

pieman02

macrumors regular
Apr 27, 2007
123
0
Because it wasn't Apple that made you do that. It was the printer manufacturer.
...and I don't know about you guys but the first thing I do when I get a new Mac is to reinstall OSX to get rid of the 2 gigs of printer drivers and languages or whatever is on there OFF!
 

JeffDM

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2006
708
8
...and I don't know about you guys but the first thing I do when I get a new Mac is to reinstall OSX to get rid of the 2 gigs of printer drivers and languages or whatever is on there OFF!
It's quicker to go into /Library/Printers and remove the brands you don't use.

Anyway, I really haven't had much problem installing printers in Windows. I just installed a networked color laser printer and it's pretty easy. Apple's Bonjour found it, but it wouldn't let me turn on the printer's duplexing.

I think the biggest thing is to not get USB printers or to not use the USB mode.
 

cliffjumper68

macrumors regular
Mar 1, 2005
221
1
Castle Rock, Colorado
Good for him! Sounds like an excellent situation.

I wonder... with Apple purchasing CUPS, and getting so cozy over the past few years with GIMPPrint / Gutenprint, and then also with them pushing Rendezvous/Bonjour out into the PC world... is this all part of some single underlying strategy regarding simplifying printing? I find printing, particularly network printing, vastly simpler on Macs (as long as the hardware is supported) than on Windows. CUPS is so much nicer than the hodge podge of annoying hacks that the industry calls printer drivers on Windows.

But in terms of the overall simplicity of printing... it still has a ways to go. In principle, non-network printing doesn't really need to be any more complex than hooking up a monitor (which could also be simpler gaah), and network printing via Bonjour ought to be much simpler, too, a la the level of complexity of finding information on websites using Google, etc.
I think this might be a move to integrate and streamline printing standards. Apple has been great at doing the same for video codec's in order to standardize platforms under H.264. Hopefully this will move us towards some sanity in global print standards across platforms.
 

peters438

macrumors newbie
Jun 9, 2007
19
0
Play for the enterprise

With all of the iPhone hype, it's easy to overlook some of Apple's subtler plans for PC world domination. They've been stepping up their efforts in the enterprise lately. The calendar/collaboration server features in Leopard server are one example.

Apple's network printing is a weak point in that strategy. Windows has a very elegant and powerful network printing architecture. Clients automatically pull down drivers from print servers. Print servers can hold drivers for any OS version (95,98,2000/XP,Vista, etc.). Queue administration is a snap and can be done from any computer. Permissions are fine-grained.

It would be great to see Apple's acquisition of CUPS translate into a much better implementation of network printing for mid and large sized networks. There is much to be improved in this area, and Apple has the opportunity to bring their user experience touch to network printing.