June 19, 2007

Expanded Linux printer support is goal of new driver development kit

Author: Shirl Kennedy

The Linux Standard Base Driver Development Kit (LSB DDK), released last week by the Linux Foundation, aims to allow printer manufacturers to support virtually all Linux distributions via a single driver package.

"The LSB print driver development kit is exactly the kind of work we can expedite as a united community of developers, vendors and users," said Jim Zemlin, Foundation executive director, in a press release last week. "We all know we have to make it extremely easy for printing manufacturers to target Linux. This kit will reduce the effort it takes for them to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity Linux represents, and will help users 'just print' while using the Linux desktop and printer of their choice."

The DDK includes resources that will help printer manufacturers develop a single driver kit that will work with all LSB-compliant distributions. The press release noted that all major distributions plan, in future releases, to incorporate LSB DDK in their printer setup tools. The DDK also includes a Web API from the OpenPrinting database that "will allow Linux printer setup tools to automatically find and download printer driver packages, even when there is no local driver available in the distribution."

The Linux Foundation, founded earlier this year by the merger of the Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group, "promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms."

Shirl Kennedy is the senior editor of theDocuTickerandResourceShelfweblogs as well as the "Internet Waves" columnist forInformation Today. She has been writing about technology since 1992.


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