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Frequently asked questions about Gimp-Print for RISC OS

Q: Gimp-Print for RISC OS? What happened to GemPrint and ROUGPS?
A: ROUGPS, the original name of the project, was a bit uninspiring and rather difficult to pronounce. GemPrint was thought to sound nicer and be easier to remember. Unfortunately, the name had to be retracted due to trademark issues. Therefore, the project is now referred to as Gimp-Print for RISC OS.

Q: Will Gimp-Print for RISC OS replace !Printers completely?
A: No, this would not be desirable. The strength of the new printing layer is that it integrates with the existing printing framework, so applications need not take any special action to use it. This means that every application that can print using the standard !Printers system will be able to make use of Gimp-Print for RISC OS.

Q: But I have heard that !Printers has certain limitations, e.g., it cannot print at high resolutions. Would it not be better to do away with !Printers?
A: No. !Printers is both - a printing framework and printer drivers. The current drivers (the so-called PDumpers) have many limitations, most notably they do not support the advanced data processing mechanisms required to achieve high resolutions, so the new printing layer replaces them completely. There is nothing inherently wrong with the main printing framework provided by !Printers, so there would be no point in replacing it. Besides, the Printers+ project is working on an improved framework.

Q: There are so many versions of !Printers around already, and now there is Gimp-Print for RISC OS as well. Which one should I choose?
A: First of all, Gimp-Print for RISC OS is not another version of !Printers. To the contrary, it complements the existing versions of !Printers and you still need a version of !Printers to use the Gimp-Print drivers. You are free to choose which version of !Printers you want to use with it. It is probably the easiest to continue using the version you use at the moment.

However, the latest version of Printers+ will offer a much nicer integration of Gimp-Print than any other version of Printers, so you may want to consider switching to using Printers+. If you decide to do so, please note that I am unable to offer any support for installing and setting up Printers+ itself. So, before installing Gimp-Print you need to make sure that printing using conventional drivers works satisfactorily (e.g., by verifying that printing to file works using any standard printer definition file).

Q: Which versions of !Printers will Gimp-Print work with?
A: It is currently planned to support all mainstream version of !Printers: Versions 1.53/1.54, 1.62, 1.64a, 1.67 and Printers+. Gimp-Print requires RISC OS 3.5 or higher, i.e., it works with RISC OS 3.50, 3.60, 3.70, 4, Select and RISC OS 5. Please note that RISC OS 3.1 or less will not be supported.

Q: I have heard of CUPS as being the most widely used printing system in the Linux world. Would this not be better alternative than Gimp-Print?
A: CUPS is a printing framework, so it is roughly what !Printers is for RISC OS. Since we have a working printing framework, there is no point in replacing it. What we need are better drivers. CUPS is able to use the Gimp-Print drivers (amongst others), and most people using CUPS effectively use Gimp-Print.

Q: I am fed up with slow printing. Will Gimp-Print be much faster than existing drivers?
A: This is unlikely. Even in the Linux world with much faster CPUs than our current RISC OS hardware offers, Gimp-Print is usually described as being slow. So, you may still want to use the standard RISC OS drivers for low-quality draft printing and only use the Gimp-Print driver for the final printout. Besides, printing with high resolutions inherently requires more processing time. Doubling the resolution (e.g., from 360dpi to 720 dpi) means at least 4 times slower printing.

Luckily, the Gimp-Print driver multi-tasks and you get control back relatively quickly, so you can use your machine (though somewhat slower than usual) while printing takes place in the background.

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Last modified: 17-Feb-04