Internet Printing Protocol Update

Rohit Khare (
Fri, 25 Apr 97 11:32:59 -0400


The IPP Internet Printing Protocol for managing print jobs and accessing
print resources across TCP/IP networks is expected to get its first public
airing in the next couple of weeks, once its supporters get the marketing
details tightened up (OR 31).

Novell Inc has already started talking-up its involvement to the annoyance
of some of the other vendors and those that look after the spec at the
Internet Engineering Taskforce Force (IETF). The Printer Working Group
(PWG) there did not takle too well to Novell taking so much of the credit
ahead of time - especially as the PWG is dotting the i's on its own press
release for this week that will list all the other vendors contributing to
the effort. The group doesn't reckon Novell is further ahead in its
efforts than any other vendor.

The protocol, which combines IBM Corp's HyperText Printing Protocol and
Novell's LDAP Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is being developed
and supported by about a dozen companies, including Xerox Corp, IBM,
Novell, Sun Microsystems Inc, Microsoft Corp and Netscape Communications

Its aim is to define simple printing instructions, like how to print a
page, inquire on the status of a print job, or how to delete an item from
the printer queue.

The PWG held a meeting in Memphis, Tennessee between April 7-11 but that
was just a review process. Most of the real work gets done within the PWG.
At least two prototypes are due to be implemented by next month. The spec
is due for submission in August with a request for comments.

It could also enable internet fax services at a fraction of today's fax
rates and more advanced printing features, like pausing or redirecting
print jobs would follow. The aim is to have IPP supported on web browsers
by year-end as a feature of HTTP.