It’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to announce that today I released my first open source project titled Print Manager under the MIT License. This is a stripped down version of an application that I’ve been working on for work. My thanks go out to RMU for letting me release this project.
Print Manager is an OS X client application developed to assist end users in the installation of print drivers and enterprise networked printers. Both the print drivers and the printer listing are managed by an administrator and provided to the application via two (or more) plists that reside on a company web server.
At RMU, we use Pharos for our print job accounting. Manually adding a Pharos print queue on a Mac is basically more painful than being dragged across a sidewalk covered in cheese graters. That was the inspiration for this project. Both faculty and students are able to print to printers via Pharos Popup. The Help Desk can assist faculty and staff, but trying to instruct students on how to download and install print drivers and then instruct them on how to manually add Pharos queues is a chore and a half. This application relieves most of the pain and provides both faculty and students an easy way to install campus printers onto their machines. Previous versions required application updates each time a new driver or printer was added, but this dynamic server-hosted plist-based solution ensures that both the drivers and the listing of printers are always up-to-date. Version releases will be for bug fixes only.
Our version of Print Manager at RMU is titled RMU WiFi Print for Mac and looks like this:
Print Manager includes the following additional features:
- Sparkle updating (using either the old signing method or by checking the Apple Developer ID code signature)
- Network availability checking before attempting to download and install anything
- Verification of downloaded print drivers via md5 checksums, and prompts to attempt redownloads of packages that fail verification
- Retina display support
- OS X version compatibility of 10.6.8-10.8
More information is available over on my GitHub. Feedback and comments are welcome, but bugs should be filed on GitHub.