my company is developing printer controllers for various manufacturers, mainly in AFP/IPDS environments.
These technologies lack functionality for setting up the printer before printing a job, e.g. setting up resolution, drop size, simplex/duplex ...
We are now investigating using JDF/XJDF technology to address most of these issue, and considering to become a Full Member of CIP4 organization.
Because it's a new development, we would like to start directly using the new XJDF specifications. But all our developments are using C++, and only a Java library exists for xJDF. Is there a plan for a C library ?
Second question : If we want to support JDF too, I saw that some conversion classes exists in JDFLibJ, but not in JFDLibC, am I right ?
And is it the good solution to implement XJDF, with a backward compatibility for JDF ?
If someone can advise on this new project, any help would be much appreciated.
we'll probably use a XML library to manage a simple custom format for our internal use (maybe inspired from XJDF).
Later, if JDF is required in spooler input, we will look for prepocessing.
Thanks for your help.
It is correct that the converters only exist in Java and quite probably will not be ported to C++. Your best bet is therefore some external service that preprocesses the XJDF / JDF into your desired format.
There is no current plan for a C++ XJDF library. One of the reasons, is that we hope that XJDF is simple enough to be used with any XML library (although a bit of ResourceSet support would be benificial).
We are currently working on an XJDF version of the Integrated Digital Printing (IDP) ICS, but this will still take some time as we are also working on a general ICS format for XJDF that simplifies implementation by being easier to read and understand.
in fact we are developing two applications : an IPDS controller, and a spooler (accepting AFP, PDF, PS, ...).
By using IPDS protocol between the two, we cannot transmit some printer setup from spooler to controller. So operators have to make setup sometimes in controller, sometimes in spooler, and sometimes in both, which could be very confusing.
To address this issue, we'd like to make all setup in spooler application, and find a way to transmit information to controller by an 'additional channel', which could be proprietary, but without any interoperability.
From what I know, JDF/XJDF can provide this functionality. And we could take advantage of existing libraries.
A second benefit could be to extend our spooler application with a new input file type (JDF) , something requested by some of our customers. (ps: XJDF seems to be not very adopted now, and not requested by customers). But XJDF, which seems to be much simpler, could be used internally between spooler and controller.
Hoping that my explanations are now clearer.
It is good to see that you are looking at XJDF (or JDF) for your project.
All new developments however were based on the Java library, that is why it is difficult to find C++ library now. I am not sure if there will be C++ developments for that purpose, Rainer Prosi would know best.
Can you clarify if you want to use XJDF on the Input side of your controller (like receiving jobs from an MIS system) or at the output side (sending to jobs to a DFE/printer that understands JDF?
How to talk to a DFE (digital front end) that understands (X)JDF is described in an ICS (interoperability) document. This ICS exists for JDF but not yet for XJDF. But it is work in progress and CIP4 would update the status at the next JDF conference in September in Boulder.
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