NOTE: This is planned to be the last development release prior to
alpha for the next stable line, and it contains a number of major
enhancements. Please test this thoroughly!
Gimp-Print 4.3.24, released November 21, 2003, is a development
release of this package. Like all development releases, this version
is considered unstable and should only be used by those individuals
tolerant of the likelihood of problems. Individuals desiring a stable
release of Gimp-Print should use the latest 4.2 release.
Gimp-Print is a suite of printer drivers that may be used with most
common UNIX print spooling systems, including CUPS, lpr, LPRng, or
others. These drivers provide high quality printing for UNIX
(including Macintosh OS X 10.2 and newer) and Linux systems that in
many cases equal to or better than proprietary vendor-supplied
drivers, and can be used for many of the most demanding printing
This software includes the Print plug-in for the Gimp, and Ghostscript
and CUPS drivers, including Foomatic data.
The Print plugin for the Gimp requires the Gimp 1.2 (later versions of
the Gimp are not supported). You may need to install a package named
"gimp-devel" or the like on many distributions.
The CUPS driver requires CUPS 1.1.15 or higher. You may need to
install a package named "cups-devel" or the like on many
distributions. We strongly recommend using CUPS with Gimp-Print as a
general-purpose printing solution.
We do not currently recommend using Foomatic, as the Foomatic data
generator included with Gimp-Print offers very limited capabilities.
This will be fixed in a future release. The Foomatic data will work
with either Foomatic 2.x or 3.x. Foomatic 3.x has additional
capabilities that this package detects and takes advantage of.
The IJS-based GhostScript plugin driver requires GNU Ghostscript 6.53
or later, ESP Ghostscript 7.05 or later, or APFL GhostScript 7.04 or
Users of Macintosh OS X 10.2 and above can use this package, as the
printing system is based on CUPS, which is supported by Gimp-print.
Note that Macintosh OS X 10.0 and 10.1 (including 10.1.5) cannot use
this package. A precompiled OS X package should be available shortly
after the release of this package.
Please read the README file for full instructions on installing this
Gimp-Print 4.3.24 contains the following major changes over Gimp-Print
1) Additional dither algorithms based on EvenTone dithering have been
added that show considerable promise as far as improving
The first variation is called Hybrid EvenTone. This dither
algorithm perturbs the dot positions slightly to break up some
patterning seen in standard EvenTone dithering in solid regions of
pale tones. This very slightly reduces the smoothness of texture
in exchange for largely eliminating this undesirable patterning.
This algorithm is also expected to be more resistant to
The second variation is called UniTone. This dither algorithm
calculates the placement of all dots (except for yellow) using a
single EvenTone pass, not just all of the dots of one color. This
technique improves the quality when multiple inks must be mixed,
such as when color inks are used to produce gray. It does so by
ensuring that all dots are equally spaced. Typically when printing
neutral tones with EvenTone dithering the cyan, magenta, and yellow
dots are positioned very close to each other, even though the
individual cyan dots are well-positioned. This causes the groups
of dots to appear to be single, large dots. UniTone dithering
evens out the spacing between all dots, producing a smoother
UniTone dithering works best at improving output when the drops are
already very small, which is usually at high resolutions. With
these small drops, the eye has difficulty distinguishing the color
of the individual drops, so their color tends to be distinguished
primarily by their darkness. While cyan ink is lighter than black
ink and magenta ink is lighter than cyan ink, these differences are
not overwhelming and hence the eye does not perceive a difference
between them. With large drops, the eye perceives the color of the
individual drops, and small spots dominated by one ink become
As noted above, UniTone dithers yellow separately. This is because
the yellow ink is much lighter than any other ink, and the
positions occupied by yellow drops appear as holes, reducing the
quality of the print. Even light cyan and light magenta inks
appear to be significantly darker than yellow.
Experiments conducted to date suggest that UniTone works very well
on the Stylus C80 at high resolutions, when the printer is using 3
picolitre drops. On the Stylus Photo EX, at 1440x720 DPI, using 8
picolitre drops, quality is improved significantly when printing in
normal 6-color mode but quality is slightly worse in 4-color mode,
as the drops are apparent. At 720 DPI (using 12 picolitre drops),
quality is improved in 6-color mode but degraded significantly in
UniTone only functions when printing with more than one ink; when
printing black ink only, it becomes standard EvenTone dithering.
Finally, a Hybrid UniTone dither algorithm is provided, combining
the principles of both of the above.
2) The package now works properly under OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) and 10.3
(Panther). A bug that prevented printing from applications from
working properly (821992) has been fixed. The specific problem was
due to the fact that CUPS by default sets the input slot (media
source) to Autoselect; this was not recognized correctly by the
driver. The current behavior is to treat the Autoselect option as
the printer default. This also resolves bug 627266.
3) The CUPS driver has been renamed rastertogimpprint.4.3, and the PPD
generation program is now named cups-genppd.4.3. This permits
installation of multiple versions of Gimp-Print on a system
(currently a 4.2 and a 4.3 version). In the future, the CUPS
programs will be suffixed by the major and minor version numbers.
4) The CUPS driver now enforces that the PPD file must match the exact
version of Gimp-Print installed on the system. Therefore, when
installing the CUPS driver it is essential to upgrade your PPD
files, either by means of Configure Printer or by means of the
cups-genppdupdate.4.3 script supplied with Gimp-Print. Failure to
upgrade the PPD files causes the Gimp-Print driver to not run,
printing a diagnostic message to the log. This is being done to
eliminate a common source of error that can yield unpredictable
results or difficult-to-diagnose errors.
5) The Epson Stylus Color 600, 800, 850, 1520, and 3000 should now
print correctly in grayscale/monochrome mode.
6) Preliminary support for the Epson Stylus Photo R300 and PM-G700,
PM-D750, and PM-G800. These printers are not tuned and quality is
likely to be poor. The Stylus Photo R300, PM-G700, and PM-D750
drivers likely work; the PM-G800 driver may or may not work.
7) Direct printing to CD's is now supported experimentally on the
Epson Stylus Photo 900, 950, 960, 2100, 2200, R300, and the
PM-950C. To use this, select the Print To CD media source (input
slot) and either CD - 5 inch or CD - 3 inch media size. This is
currently not tuned, so it will require some experimentation to
derive correct ink levels. Most likely, the density setting should
be reduced somewhat, as the surface of the CD's probably cannot
absorb very much ink.
The CUPS PPD files do not presently enforce the restriction on
media size. However, selecting a different media size will cause
the job to error out early, during parameter verification.
8) The Epson Stylus Photo 2100/2200 now supports 1440x1440 DPI
printing. This mode only barely deposits enough ink to fill the
page on most papers. However, it prints as fast as 1440x720 DPI
(although the calculation time is longer) and in some cases offers
better quality than both 1440x720 and 2880x1440 DPI.
Experiments have determined that this printer is very sensitive to
the choice of dither algorithm, unidirectional vs. bidirectional
printing, resolution, and weave pattern. In general, it appears
that this printer often prints better quality in bidirectional mode
than unidirectional. The Staggered weave pattern in combination
with Hybrid EvenTone dithering may also yield better results;
Ordered dithering often yields good results, too.
We recommend that you experiment with settings to identify the
settings that work best for you.
Robert Krawitz <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Tall Clubs International -- http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Project lead for Gimp Print -- http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net
"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
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