Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Drafts Cloud Printing Plan For Chrome OS

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-needs-drivers-anyway dept.

Google 126

snydeq writes "Google is unveiling early-stage designs, software code, and documentation for a project whose goal is to let users of the company's Chrome OS print documents to any printer from any application. Called Google Cloud Print, the technology would dispense with the need to install printer drivers by routing print jobs from Web, desktop, and mobile applications via a Chrome OS Web-hosted broker. 'Rather than rely on the local operating system — or drivers — to print, apps can use Google Cloud Print to submit and manage print jobs. Google Cloud Print will then be responsible for sending the print job to the appropriate printer with the particular options the user selected, and returning the job status to the app.'"

cancel ×

126 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So Google invented.... (5, Funny)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876616)

So Google invented a print server. Brilliant!!! Those guys are AMAZING. What will they do next. :P

What will they do next. .... (4, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876750)

make it work when the internet goes out?

Re:What will they do next. .... (2, Interesting)

severoon (536737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877596)

I think perhaps the main point if this is being missed.

Does anyone remember Jini? It was the technology developed by Sun prior to EJBs that promised to make efficient distributed computing and pervasive connectivity a reality. Except, it never caught on because it required software development organizations to invert their staff profile. Instead of having a few device driver coders and enterprise architects, a few more low-level programmers and architect/designers, and the bulk of the staff in standard software development, Jini would have pushed the work to the outsides of that bell curve; nearly every developer would be playing the role of either device driver programmer or enterprise architect on most Jini projects. Recognizing this, Sun's compromise was EJBs, a distributed technology that brought half the functionality with perhaps 10x the weight.

Now we see that Google has rolled out a series of technologies that can all be combined to accomplish a similar vision: Google App Engine (cloud development platform), Chrome browser (thin client presentation layer), Google Apps (useful software including Docs, sensitive data hosting such as Health, etc), Chrome OS / Android (netbook/device hardware layer), and Wave (real time connectivity platform and protocol--the *product* most people think of as Wave is one possible manifestation of a front end to the Wave back-end and GWFP, but largely irrelevant for the purposes of the point I'm making here).

Laugh if you want, but demonstrating this bit about being able to host drivers in the cloud for any old device adds a necessary, though admittedly not particularly flashy, part of a fearsome distributed computing technology stack.

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876752)

files that are sometimes non-local being sent to non-local printers.

yup, sounds revolutionary to me, too.

(there must be something that we're missing, here?)

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878550)

files that are sometimes non-local being sent to non-local printers.

yup, sounds revolutionary to me, too.

(there must be something that we're missing, here?)

The absence of local printer drivers.

Or more specifically one universal printer driver.

Printing sucks on Linux, Windows, Mac, and every other platform because it is a very large problem, and abstractions tend to hide controls that are necessary to produce decent results.

Paper type, ink type, paper size, paper margins, duplexing capabilities, and other finishing functions such as collating and binding are issues, that the driver generally needs to know what to do about.

Also what should be done if an document overflows from the size of the printable area. (If you are printing things to go in a button machine, you want the image to not be scaled. If there is an important disclaimer at the end of the page you want the page scaled so the disclaimer shows.

Also brightness of the paper, and color of the paper are issues if you actually care about what the finished product looks like.

Spot colors are another factor for the print driver to deal with.

If Google can pull this off, it would be a huge step forward, however, it will probably be a limited enhancement of lpr.

Re:So Google invented.... (4, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878940)

Or more specifically one universal printer driver.

Postscript? It doesn't control the paper handling, as you point out, but there are a lot of different solutions on offer along these lines. Xerox printer/copiers run a web server that allow you to upload print jobs through a web interface and set paper handling/stapling/job deferment/billing etc. through an HTML form. A generalization of this would be nice, but what's the difference between typing the IP address of the nearby printer to submit a job and typing http://print.google.com/ [google.com] to submit a job, fundamentally?

Printing sucks on Linux, Windows, Mac, and every other platform because it is a very large problem, and abstractions tend to hide controls that are necessary to produce decent results.

I don't know what you're doing wrong or right, but CUPS is excellent.

Also what should be done if an document overflows from the size of the printable area. (If you are printing things to go in a button machine, you want the image to not be scaled. If there is an important disclaimer at the end of the page you want the page scaled so the disclaimer shows.

This is a client issue, not a printer issue. The printer should treat all information as semantically neutral, letting the client know what the page geometry is and making its own adjustments accordingly.

Also brightness of the paper, and color of the paper are issues if you actually care about what the finished product looks like. Spot colors are another factor for the print driver to deal with.

ColorSync. Again, the technology for all of this stuff has been around since the 80s. The only real difference here is Google is trying to commoditize it over the WAN, since making it easier to run is an important part of making Google app/Chrome TCO lower, demand higher, thus ad revenues higher.

Re:So Google invented.... (3, Informative)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31879226)

If you were to say that cups is the best solution we have today, I might agree with you, but posts like this one http://weblog.zamazal.org/cups-sucks.html [zamazal.org] are pretty common for cups, and printing is at least as bad on other platforms.

The big problem with cups is the UI and the ablity to secure it so you can safely put your print server on the net, without random spammers printing their ads on your printer.

Cups is a good start, but there is a long ways to go.

Shouldn't you be able to print your report for the office from home or on the road on a laptop?

Cups could get there, but right now it is a long ways from being easy.

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31879334)

Shouldn't you be able to print your report for the office from home or on the road on a laptop?

I can set that up for you today with a VPN, which after all is a much more general and thoroughgoing solution which encompasses security, privilege and policy issues as well as merely printing.

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

suso (153703) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876766)

A paper mill.

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876816)

So Google invented a print server.

Indeed they did ...

What they need to do is not send print jobs to the cloud just so they can come back "down to earth". Get together with the major printer manufactures, develop a common intermediate print-job description language and print all ChromiumOS jobs in that PDL. The manufactures can implement their own drivers in the firmware of their printers. This gives us true plug & play, eliminates the need of installing drivers and lets everyone print on any printer they encounter that supports this technology.

It goes without saying that this should be open source and available on all other platforms as well.

Re:So Google invented.... (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876894)

You mean something like Postscript?

Re:So Google invented.... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876918)

You mean something like Postscript?

I knew there was a word for it ;-)

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877476)

Google IS the terrorist you fear...

Re:So Google invented.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877580)

geeze, you'd think a guy with a handle like PhilipKDickhead would at least have been able to regurgitate:
"No John, you are teh googles"

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

DerPflanz (525793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877586)

If only it would be that simple.

In our company, we have several postscript printers, several OSs, several applications, all with different results. Printing a PDF from evince crashes both evince and printer (postscript colour Dell printer), printing from Foxit, no problems. Printer A accepts letter size postscript and scales it to A4 (because that is what the printer has), printer B doesn't and stalls waiting for paper.

Printing sucks. Always has, always will. Just don't do it.

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Interesting)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878412)

Printing sucks. Always has, always will. Just don't do it.

It's for this reason that I was a little disappointed about GDocs new "more paper-like" interface. I always figured people would do 95% of the work collaboratively and without real interest in formatting, and have on guy download and do final formatting only if the product needed it.

It seems that this new interface is going to encourage more time-wasting formatting debates and more useless printing.

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878028)

It seems like what they have re-invented is the Common Unix Printing System (CUPS [cups.org] ). Like the new Google Cloud Print, CUPS encapsulates the drivers for printers, filters and converts jobs based on the type of printing needed, sets classes of printers where the first available will be used, and much more. You can read a summary of some of the top features at its Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] .

It's also open-source, licensed under the GPL and LGPL, and has been used in Gnome, KDE, Mac OS X, and several Linux variants for years.

Re:So Google invented.... (4, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876920)

How are they going to insert ads into your printed documents if you're not sending them to cloud?

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877032)

Zero conf is the solution. Nearly every networkable printer these days has it.

I remember when I first got OS X and walked into a random computer lab, I instantly had all the printers available. Truly zeroconf.

Now my entire home network is zeroconf configured (oxymoron?). I stopped giving devices static IPs. The sheeva plug is plug.local, the mac is mac.local, open solaris is server.local.

ZeroConf+Postscript should be able to print to anything for sale today.

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878464)

While zerconf is nice(and seems to have been made more broadly useful than uPNP, which largely confines itself to reconfiguring NAT routers at the behest of bittorrent clients), it doesn't really match Google's use case all that well. Consider a few points:

Authentication: zeroconfing stuff works fine in a trusted home environment, or in an .edu lab where they are resigned to rolling the print costs into student fees(or, incidentally, it is totally possible that their crack team of MCSEs connected the printer to the printserver, and locked down the printserver permissions, and then walked away, leaving zeroconf and IPP wide open. Back in the day, that was what usually happened to the various workhorse HPs you'd see in uni labs. They'd be connected to some proprietary print billing system, that either took coins or integrated with student accounts; but FTP and telnet would be wide open, and you could dump jobs to them that way). In any case, zeroconf makes it easy to find stuff; but it only makes access easy if you adopt a totally naive "trust all" model.

The interwebs: Zeroconf, Apple's flavor at least, depends on multicast working properly and plays various DNS tricks. No big deal on a little LAN, not so much with the working across the internet, barring pretty major changes.

In a number of cases, that just isn't good enough(though it is nice to have, when you are on your friendly LAN). If I am sitting offsite somewhere, having to establish a VPN connection to my home LAN to print something pretty much immediately rules out anybody who isn't a gearhead, or a corporate type with their laptop set up for them. If it doesn't work over the internet, it doesn't work(Google, of course, has the additional motivation that it'd be really handy for them to be able to send a print job, on your behalf, directly from Docs to your printer, without you having to download it. That is merely convenient on the desktop; but it is downright valuable if you are trying to work from some resource constrained phone or something). Or, with the proliferation of cellular connections, I might be sitting right next to the printer; but, logically speaking, be far, far away across the internet from it. Yeah, if I understand what I'm doing, I can switch over to LAN, and do my thing; but if reasonably simple technology can spare me the effort, all the better.

Re:So Google invented.... (3, Funny)

Jazz-Masta (240659) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876886)

Ah yes, why print locally when you can send it to Google and have them send it back to you. Instead of a print driver...those nasty inefficient things (no really, anyone use HP drivers?), we'll install some software, send it to...THE CLOUD!!!...and have it sent back to us to print.

And, in the meantime, if someone or something happens to "grab" that confidential document you are trying to print, no problem. What's that? government documents you are trying to print? Send 'em to the cloud, China can't get them there...oh wait.

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877174)

In fairness this will most likely benefit developers who integrate with the Google App Engine already and other applications that rely on it, such as GMail. It also works well with their ChromeOS "vision" where the underlying OS is a black box, the ChromeOS is a software stack on top of that, and the network is where software resides. Also, it's important to note that this is not the Chrome browser like some of the comments here have assumed.

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877684)

Yet oddly we can still bank online securely...

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878444)

Since this is for Chrome and everything is going to be in a web browser, anyway, I think it'll just be a one-way trip from the GOOG servers to the printer.

Re:So Google invented.... (2, Informative)

J'raxis (248192) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878844)

And, in the meantime, if someone or something happens to "grab" that confidential document you are trying to print, no problem. What's that? government documents you are trying to print? Send 'em to the cloud, China can't get them there...oh wait.

Hear, hear. It never ceases to amaze me how virtually every new Google "service" further erodes people's concept of privacy. And people just eat it up. If someone ever wanted to intentionally socially engineer away the concept of "privacy" to begin with, this is how to do it. Makes you wonder...

Re:So Google invented.... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877178)

It makes me wonder if you realize that what they did had nothing to do with creating a print server--it was genericising the print drivers which can still be a royal pain in the ass on windows. It also takes care of hooking you up to local print servers--also pretty cool.

I mean, I realize you were being sarcastic, but that should have SOME relation to the article.

What they did is actually amazingly useful.

Gateway not server (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877320)

You mean they invented a printing gateway that translates between their own protocol and a variety of proprietary ones.

Re:Gateway not server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31878118)

... and how will we print to their protocol.... I'm guessing there's some sort of driver, we'll have to install... and full circle COMPLETE!

Re:Gateway not server (1)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878470)

It's for ChromeOS, which doesn't allow app (or driver) installs, so the driver will be included in the digitally-signed OS image. (The clue was that the story was on the ChromeOS blog.)

Re:So Google invented.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877740)

apps, printing...so the idea is to get us completly dependant on our cable provider and rely on their performance as they hike up the cost for bandwidth while you sit there on a lame terminal?

lpr (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876628)

I think I'll just stick to lpr...

first! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876646)

Why is this item red?

Re:first! (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876828)

Why is this item red?

Because Google will support color printing?

No. Hell No. (1)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876684)

Yes, I want spam coming in on my printer with it's outward facing IP. Not to mention Google data sniffing every document I print.

Worst. Idea. Ever.

Re:No. Hell No. (2, Insightful)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876838)

Not just google sniffing the document. Having the government subpoena the document from Google (as it will be somewhere in their huge data store). Of course, my printer (and yours too) don't have an outward facing IP and we don't port forward our routers to it either for exactly the reason you mention. Spam, or just some jack nut deciding to waste all your paper and toner.

I guess I would have more faith in it if it does the equivalent of creating the print file, sending that back to your Chrome device, then your chrome device does the equivalent of the old ability to just copy formatted print file to a printer. So nothing on your network gets exposed. But certainly there would need to be a very stringent policy on what Google could do with your print file and how long they could store it (0 seconds!).

Re:No. Hell No. (2, Interesting)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877330)

Of course, my printer (and yours too) don't have an outward facing IP and we don't port forward our routers to it either for exactly the reason you mention.

This wouldn't necessarily pose a problem.

Google for Domains customers can install a small app to go on a Linux server which communicates with them and allows you to integrate your systems with theirs. It gets around the firewall by the simple expedient of establishing the connection from the inside out. If you were to integrate that with Zeroconf - abracadabra! Any Google user can indeed print directly to all your printers.

I wouldn't be too surprised to see something like that built into Chrome OS.

Unauthorized printing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876842)

Yes, I want spam coming in on my printer with it's outward facing IP.

Spammers wouldn't have your Google account's password. Without authenticating, they aren't authorized to use your IPP server or the printer behind it.

Re:No. Hell No. (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877264)

But come on dude, Google will translate this into 60 languages, add it as a doc in your account, email it to you, send it to every chrome/android device registered with your account, share it with all of your contacts via buzz, bookmark it, add it as a gadget to your home page, subscribe to changes inmyour Reader account, scan it from faces and plop photos of in your picasa account, and serve it all back to you in ads based on a natural language index algorithm of keywords in your work.

What's not to love?

(god I am tired of Google)

Re:No. Hell No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31879082)

That sounds exactly right. Except you missed the phone-related part of the googleverse, and eventually they'll be looking to take the part of (or integrate with) facebook. Your phone will be Google, and so will your TV. Your internet backbone, your web browser, and your OS are all Google. They seem to be operating under the principle that the utility of a network is proportional to the square of the network times the number of services. They will be a great engine of change in the world, and you may rather want to be terrified than sarcastic.

Re:No. Hell No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877630)

If they really wanted to do this right instead of just grabbing some more mind-share, they'd write end-to-end encryption and authentication into the protocol. I would love to have a simple and secure remote printing protocol. I will not send my documents through the net without absolute confidence that anywhere between my computer and the printer or my local print server, there's nothing but undecipherable gibberish on the line. The design documents however don't even mention encryption. I guess someone like me, who refuses to put personal documents in the cloud, is not the target audience.

Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876704)

Even though this sounds like a good idea, I'm just leery of sending my print jobs through a central server, in plaintext, then having the server drop them to a printer. Just too many places where my data could be intercepted, especially if I want to print something confidential, such as a sealed bid, or an employee's payroll/HR records.

Instead, how about printers go back to old and working standards? PostScript and lpr have served us for decades now. It might add something to the cost of a cheapie printer, but it would be nice to just have one driver/renderer that all printers understand.

Troubleshooting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876736)

I can barely troubleshoot a misbehaving printer now. How are we supposed to fix printers that are only plugged into the cloud?

ahahahaha (1, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876738)

How can anyone take Google seriously outside the search engine market? What won't it do to convince you that you need to do something half way across the world using systems under their control, what you once did perfectly in your office? "We know what you search for, we must see what you print too!" Stop allowing the creation of the next Microsoft, guys. Especially one with far more control and access to your stuff than MS planned for.

Re:ahahahaha (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876900)

convenience? And i dont think its aimed at office use.

Re:ahahahaha (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877012)

Stop allowing the creation of the next Microsoft, guys.

Ha? MS tried to abuse their monopoly to illegally kill competition, for one thing.

Re:ahahahaha (0)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877374)

You are right. I searched for "tinfoil hat" the other day, Google said "Nothing found. Tinfoil hats are permanently unavailable. Get Used."

Re:ahahahaha (2, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877458)

What won't it do to convince you that you need to do something half way across the world using systems under their control, what you once did perfectly in your office?

You've obviously never printed something remotely to Kinkos. That feature is convenient and can be a life-saver sometimes.

This doesn't mean that everyone will start printing remotely 100% of the time, but personally, I'd be glad to have this feature -- even if I only very rarely use it. If Google made it easy enough, I could see myself printing from my phone, from my television set up box, and whenever I'm away from my home or office, or my printer is broken, or my printer doesn't support the colors I want, the particular size, or the quantities of copies I want.

Also, this means that Google could lower the barrier of entry for every mom and pop printer store out there to be able to work like Kinkos, and this should facilitate economies of scales and reduce the cost of printing (Kinkos is nice, but its prices can really be high sometimes).

Re:ahahahaha (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878928)

never printed something remotely to Kinkos. That feature is convenient and can be a life-saver

You're correct - if I want to print something at a random retail outlet, I'll just bring in media and/or laptop. If things don't look quite right, I'm then more likely to be able to fix it.

If Google made it easy enough, I could see myself...

...setting up a printer business by taking a couple of minutes to enable Internet Printing Protocol on Windows 2000 or later, CUPS or Netware?

I'm not sure what Google still need to do to make it easier, though... adverts on your printouts? A Print2.0 marketing moniker?

So, what is next? (2, Interesting)

smith6174 (986645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876742)

I didn't think of this one. Google now wants to see everything you print too? George Carlin was right when he said we would eventually trade all of our freedom in exchange for new toys.

Re:So, what is next? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878846)

Carlin is awesome and I do believe people will hand over their rights but I think it will be for some supposed safety but I don't see why people get so upset about this. The whole premise around the OS is everything is in the cloud. Your mind should be made up already whether or not you'll use it. How they allow you to print is irrelevant to your privacy.

Wait... What? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876754)

let users of the company's Chrome OS print documents to any printer from any application.

Lets see here...

www.goatse.cx

File -- Print -- Select Printer: CEOOFFICEPRINTER.Apple.Com

Pages: 200

PRINT

Something Microsoft did right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876792)

Samba sharing already handles this really nicely on windows/linux networks. You just find the print server, double click it to add it as a printer to your machine and go. I haven't had a locally installed printer driver in years.

Yay! (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876806)

Now i can google those documents i printed! I trust when i print those health care receipts for my HSA that have my social security, HSA account numbers and my direct deposit info google will keep it nice and secure for eternity! wow, thanks google! Your never delete policy is awesome!

Cue spammers in 4, 3, 2... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876818)

a service that enables any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer.

Oh good, so now instead of just Fax spam, we can get Printer spam.

--
BMO

Re:Cue spammers in 4, 3, 2... (0, Offtopic)

toastar (573882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876860)

a service that enables any application (web, desktop, or mobile) on any device to print to any printer.

Oh good, so now instead of just Fax spam, we can get Printer spam.

--
BMO

funny

Fine! (5, Insightful)

hyfe (641811) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876820)

Fine, alot of you don't see the need for this. Don't use it, and more importantly, don't complain about it.

I work as teacher, mostly for fun, and got suckered into supposedly being admin for the school network. In reality I'm a general janitor / IT-support though. I have next to no time to spend on actually setting infrastructure. If anybody gives me a simple solution for printing any document, from any operating system on any computer easily to our public printers I'd give them a big, wet kiss. I certainly don't know any easy way of doing it now, because adding printers to students laptops is a f***king bother, and there's always some weird problem.

I'm certainly sure there's lots of other uses for this, aswell as lots of places it won't be usefull.

Re:Fine! (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876892)

Yeah you just have to learn how to add your printers to the google cloud and then how to add printers to each computer FROM the google cloud. Easy right???

Re:Fine! (2, Interesting)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877078)

Doesn't Bonjour [wikipedia.org] solves your problem?

Re:Fine! (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877350)

Not if the OP has older printers, which is very likely in a school.

Re:Fine! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877124)

CUPS?

cups.org

Re:Fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877276)

A million googlers, one cup

Re:Fine! (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877140)

Someone mentioned "postscript" a while back.

This is all you really need.

Set a language standard for the printing and have the network & print queue sort it all out.

All Google is doing is dressing up an ancient Unix idea and giving it a lot of unecessary added complexity.

Re:Fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877230)

The problem isn't that it isn't useful, but that this has existed for as long as I can remember.
Windows doesn't use printer-specific formats to cue print jobs and can be configured to share printers without requiring model specific drivers. Apple has the same thing going on with Bonjour. Then there's the Postscript standard that is supported by most modern printers. And some corporations and companies employ dedicated print servers. Google reinvented the wheel.

Re:Fine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31878376)

I work for a school as well,
Try http://www.papercut.com/ [papercut.com] webprinting. I haven't used it for the web printing feature but find Papercut to be fantastic.

Yes of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876852)

...another brilliant fucking time-saving idea from Google. Now, not only do they get your location, aggregated browsing history from cookies and analytics/web trackers, pictures of your house (and face/car they "forgot" to fuzz out), but with this the full contents of any documents you print with their "wonderful" new service. Not to mention, dozens of other things I'm sure I'm forgetting.

Of course they want to roll out their own internet service...then no bit is left uncached. Forever.

"Welcome to City 17. It's safer here."

Fuck google. Shit disgusts me.

So ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31876888)

So even more things will have to go through Google's servers. Great!

More of my data for them to parse!
More personalized Ads for me!

As long as your printer is exposed to the internet (2, Insightful)

ravenscar (1662985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876952)

Sure it will allow you to print to any printer...that can be accessed via the internet. I'd wager that's a step a large number of people haven't taken when it comes to their home networks.

Re:As long as your printer is exposed to the inter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31879250)

ipv6

FA10 Machine (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876980)

I think we have this already. It's called efax.

They announced this ages ago (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31876996)

Google had a cloud printing [google.com] service set up ages ago, so how's this new?

Re:They announced this ages ago (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877452)

Either you're quite the joker or that April Fool's joke went over very very well.

Not like lpr or Samba (1)

MosX (773406) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877016)

This is supposed to be for devices that don't have ports (small netbooks running ChromeOS or something) and/or use web apps. Google wants everyone to easily be able to print from Google Docs or some other web based software and not have to think about the hardware involved.

There are definitely privacy concerns, but it's not supposed to be like lpr or Samba sharing.

More than far enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877034)

The search engine was as far as they needed to go.

alpha (2, Funny)

jDeepbeep (913892) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877056)

I'm trying out the alpha, and the printer has an undecipherable message.

PC_LOAD_GOOGLE

What does that even mean?

Re:alpha (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877686)

Actually, there's a way to change that message to whatever you want. That's how Google plans to pay for this.

While your document prints, ads will show up on the display for the printer: Print Documents/At Staples/No Job is Too Big/or Too Small!

No local drivers for remote printers--good idea. (4, Insightful)

Seor Jojoba (519752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877084)

I always thought it was a terrible design to require installation of hardware-specific drivers for a remote printer. You know how you get some crummy nonstandard print status window popping up when you print? Like it will be this hyperbranded thing with a zazzy, colorful diagram of your printer and "buy toner online now" button on it. Almost indistinguishable from a pop-up advertisement except that there is a progress bar showing your print job going through. As far as I can tell, that is the only reason for there to be local drivers for remote printers--so manufacturers can bring up their fancy nonstandard dialogs out of some paranoid necessity to convince you your printer is not a commodity item. In fact, they would probably prefer you called it something other than a "printer", i.e. your "HP-SmartPaperDuplicator TM".

So, yes, this is one thing Google seems to be getting right--a standard print dialog with no local drivers for remote printers.

Re:No local drivers for remote printers--good idea (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877370)

I always thought it was a terrible design to require installation of hardware-specific drivers for a remote printer.

Good thing they don't then. At least, all the decent ones don't.

Re:No local drivers for remote printers--good idea (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878468)

I always thought it was a terrible design to require installation of hardware-specific drivers for a remote printer.

Uh, you don't have to. On Windows, when you print a document to a remote printer, it is converted locally to EMF format (a beefed up version of WMF) and transmitted to the remote print server, where the EMF is spooled just as if it was a local job, picked up by the print processor, passed through the driver, and sent to the printer. No driver need be installed locally.

If you WANT, you can have the driver run locally by setting the spool format to RAW -- it will then render and print to PDL on the client system, and is direct spooled on the server. But why would you do that? Who wants to install remote print drivers locally?

More cloud bullshit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877098)

I want local applications, thank you.

Yes and No. (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877108)

Frankly, I have zero interest in sending my printed documents through Google's grubby hands. However, I think that their implementation shows real promise and(as is even mentioned in their documents) it would not be difficult for 3rd parties to run their own "cloud" print servers.

Even for comparatively small organizations, being able to ditch the ghastly nuisance of driver-shuffling and the more-or-less-strictly-LAN-bound world of SMB printer sharing, for a system that will work on any device with internet access to the organization's print host and the ability to spit out a PDF would be great. Google's approach may or may not be the best approach to the reinvention of the print server; but it has strong potential to be good enough quite easily amenable to 3rd-party implementation, build largely on standardized components(HTTP, PDF, PPD, bit of XMPP, etc.) and Google's support might help it reach critical mass.

If there's one thing that belongs in the cloud... (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877206)

it's printing.

Seriously, the cloud is not the solution to poorly-supported printers and difficult to find drivers. The solution is to demand, simple, consistent network interfaces for printers from the manufacturers.

Re:If there's one thing that belongs in the cloud. (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877386)

Seriously, the cloud is not the solution to poorly-supported printers and difficult to find drivers. The solution is to demand, simple, consistent network interfaces for printers from the manufacturers.

We've already got that, and we've had it for years.

It's called "don't buy the cheapest shittiest printer with an RJ45 port that you can find". Do that properly, and the thing should support IPP, Zeroconf and Postscript at a bare minimum.

didn't read any of this but (1)

sucati (611768) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877214)

Being able to print from Google Docs to my local printer would be dope. Make it happen.

Re:didn't read any of this but (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877464)

Um... you can? It's built into the Google Docs printer... it creates a PDF, which opens on your local machine for previewing, and then you can click print.

Is A Botnet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877216)

considered to be Google Cloud Server?

Thanks in advance.

Yours In Novosibirsk,
Kilgore Trout, C.T.O.

Ahead of Google for once! (1)

Urban Garlic (447282) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877270)

Hah! I've been doing this for years, I have a centralized CUPS server, and all the workstation clients use it to send jobs to any of the printers in the lab.

Phear me, for I am become THE CLOUD!!one!!!eleven!

The document is already in the cloud (1)

Artcfox (557726) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877304)

All this concern people have about sending your document to Google so they can send it back to your printer is silly.

If you are using Google Chrome OS, your document already exists in the cloud. To print it, you will need a way to get it from the cloud to your printer.

Re:The document is already in the cloud (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878290)

Nobody uses Google Chrome OS. Storing your document in 'the cloud' is silly. Even if they pretend to take privacy and openness seriously for now you know that once they get more leverage they won't. Also governments love being able to get at any document in existence without the owner even knowing about it

Misunderstandings (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877324)

This is not about taking a local document, sending it to the cloud, and then having that routed to the printer. These documents are already in the cloud, residing on Google's servers in applications such as GMail or Google Docs. So sending them to your printer from Chrome OS can be accomplished without requiring printer driver support.

Not sure why they chose that route, just wanted to straighten up some apparent confusion here. I think some people assume it will be a "internet printer drivers" for your flavor of OS when in fact it's really for Google themselves and anyone that uses the Google App Engine.

I have no clue what to think honestly. After looking at it all I can say is "okay sure". Is it Good or bad? I can't really tell.

I must be missing the point. (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877384)

This isn't going to work with any of my home or office printers unless I (at home) or the IT department (at the office) do a lot of "behind the scenes" configuration and setup to make this work. If I'm going to do all of that work to provide the ability to print from anywhere, why wouldn't I just us up the VPN to provide access to ALL network resources? And do it without sending potentially confidential data through some Magic Box controlled by a third party.

Re:I must be missing the point. (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877488)

The only thing I can see is being able to log into Google Docs from anywhere in the world and have it print to your home network—regardless of machine you are printing from. I could see this being valuable.

lpd (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877402)

ummm.... this was done 40 years ago. Why can't we do new?

But why? (1)

mugurel (1424497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877410)

Along with everything I don't get about cloud computing, one thing I *did* believe i got right about it is that you don't need to know where it happens. This is hardly compatible with the very idea of printing a hardcopy of your document, is it?

Already done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31877770)

There's products out there that already provide a 'Web Print'/Clientless printing functionality for printers.. for example Papercut (www.papercut.com)
Sits alongside/on top of existing Print Servers, has webpage, webpage accepts files, files go to printers.. its like the future, yesterday!
Find it amusing Google are only just thinking about it now when other people have beat them to this party

Why are printer drivers still required? (1)

Evro (18923) | more than 4 years ago | (#31877992)

Why are printer drivers even required anymore? Mice and keyboards and USB flash drives and cameras can all be connected to computers and not require driver installation on any OS I've tried over the past 5 years. USB printers have been around for almost 10 years, why don't they all just support a basic, standard printer API? printMonochrome() and printColor()? Heck, even with an IP-based printer you still need drivers. Pretty stupid at this point, imo.

An open version of what Fedex does? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31878242)

I haven't used it, but the local Fedex (formerly Kinko's) offers a net print service. I assume that if I sent them the document, it'd be there when I arrive. I generally don't have large jobs, so it's easier for me to *walk* a thumb-drive over there, plug it in, and print. I don't have to interact with a clerk or stand in line when I do that.

I have to walk there to retrieve the document anyway. I guess if I had money to burn, I could have the document Fedex'd 3 blocks.

Cloud Scanning (1)

jab (9153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31878596)

If Google wants to be really clever, they could make sure there is support for scanning in the exact same specification. Historically there has been a huge imbalance between paper sources (printers) and paper sinks (scanners), so it's no surprise that ideas like the paperless office never took off. However, in the last five years, fantastic scanning equipment has reached consumer availability; for example the Fujitsu Scanscap S1500 has an automated document feeder and has dual sensor bars, which allows duplex scanning without weird paper paths and associated jams. It works great for evaporating large piles of random paper from financial documents to old notes from school to obscure manuals for equipment. Hopefully Google will step up to the plate, make Scanning a first class citizen of this initiative, and finally fix the historical imbalance. This will - quite literally - have tons of impact on people's lives. I care enough that I'm willing to help make it happen.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>