[lsb-discuss] [Printing-summit] Printer/driver testing and certification

Till Kamppeter till.kamppeter at gmail.com
Mon Aug 21 06:32:19 PDT 2006

Robert L Krawitz wrote:
> My suggestion would be to start by picking a standard set of use cases
> of interest to a reasonably broad set of users.  For each capability,
> evaluate a "support level" for each capability for each printer and
> driver combination under test.
> Support levels might be:
> 1	Printer capability fully supported by driver
> 2 	Printer capability partially supported by printer (describe
> 	exceptions/limitations)
> 3	Printer capability not supported by driver
> 4	Printer does not support capability (i. e. any use case that
> 	requires color output on a black and white printer would
> 	receive a 4 rating -- the printer is simply not appropriate
> 	for this use case).
> Example use cases might include things like
> * Print 10 page A4 document including text and color graphics at
>   standard business quality
> * Print 4x6 photograph on glossy paper
> * Print label on CD
> with appropriate specifications.
>    is "some output was created" enough to verify?
> We received a lot of complaints late in the Gutenprint 5.0 cycle about
> CD's printing slightly "squashed" on a lot of printers, due to a
> design decision we had made in the CUPS driver for how to handle full
> bleed capable printers.  This would easily have passed the "some
> output was created" test, but it wasn't meeting users' needs.
> On a more basic level, we've had plenty of bugs involving something
> that certainly created output, but the output was completely incorrect
> for the printer in question -- the printer might or might not print
> anything, or spit out paper, or it might work in color mode but not
> black and white.  Realistically, somebody's going to have to evaluate
> the output to decide whether the test passes or not.
> Testing photo printers opens an even bigger can of worms.  People will
> have certain expectations of color fidelity.
> Based on the discussion in Atlanta, I think it will probably be
> easiest to test business-oriented use cases than "artistic" use
> cases.

This is a good idea. One could add a little table to each printer's
entry on linuxprinting.org containing the results of tests like this. It
helps the user in purchase decisions much more than having only an
overall rating.

For this we would need to agree on a set of use cases (including test
documents) and a set of rating levels. Perhaps there should be a
downloadable package which the user/manufacturer/tester has to run and
afterwards give ratings for each use case/printout.


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