A Standalone Utility to Capture Data Object Resources at an IPDS Printer
Original Publication Date: 2000-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19
Resource capture by an IPDS print device has traditionally been done by marking resources for capture off-line, then performing capture while printing. Disadvantages to this approach are that downloading resources to be captured or synchronization to ensure that captured resources can be activated can cause a data underrun at the printer mechanism. A data underrun can result in abrupt halts in printing (clutching) or in the generation of extraneous blank sheets. Off-line capture removes the potential for print time delays. A standalone tool could be given a list of resources. If a resource is identified by Object Identifiers (OIDs), the resource can be activated. If a synchronization with the printer indicates successful activation, no further effort is required. If activation is not successful, or the resource is specified only by name, a filename matching the resource name must be found in the print environment search path. Any required unique identifier or time stamp will be extracted and used to activate the resource after downloading it. If the full list of resources is too much to maintain in printer memory at once, this is known before print (or even production) starts and printer capacity can be upgraded. A resident resource list can be compiled and used to generate reports on the state of captured resources at the printer. The captured resources can reasonably be expected to remain in capture memory at the printer if the only capture mechanism used is the off-line tool, and a print server such as IBM Infoprint Manager can ensure that all print hosts, such as IBM Print Services Facility (PSF), are inactive when the capture tool is executing. The state of captured resources would therefore be static during invocations of PSF. The tool could optionally leave any or all of the resources activated. This absolutely ensures that the resources remain in storage on an IPDS compliant printer. The activation status of a resource would be indicated in the resident resource list generated by the off-line tool as the absence or presence of a reserved Host Assigned IDentifier (HAID). PSF can load the resident resource list when invoked. The counter for the HAID pool would begin after the highest HAID in the resident resource list. Those resources marked as activated can be used immediately (and not deactivated at job end), and those resources not marked as activated can be activated without synchronization by requesting that a Negative Acknowledgement (NACK) be generated if the printer cannot activate the resource. Activations require global identifiers in the case of fonts and data object resources and additionally require time stamps for fonts. This information will be available in the resident resource list, a file which the print server can ensure is on a local hard disk. In the current state-of-the art, each activation requires that the resource file be cracked open, which can result in delays if the file is on a network mounted filesystem. The invention bypasses this by using the tool generated resource list. If the NACK is received the PSF session quits as the printer is in a state contrary to the wishes of the administrator. When an out-of-resources condition occurs at the printer, the resident resource list must be updated to indicate that no resources are activated. An out-of-storage condition should not affect which resources are considered resident as capture storage is properly implemented as a separate storage pool from dynamic storage for downloaded resources. The advantages of an off-line tool to capture resources are: the administrator can be certain that a list of resources are captured; synchronization with the printer can be avoided at print time; accessing remotely accessed resource files can be avoided at print time; downloading of resources can be avoided at print time. These configuration management and performance enhancement are particularly valuable for production runs of print jobs containing double byte fonts and color image resources.