[Openicc] GoSoC 2011: CPD and target printing

Michael Sweet msweet at apple.com
Thu May 12 20:15:36 PDT 2011

On May 12, 2011, at 1:44 PM, Chris Murphy wrote:
> ...
> That's not how profiling applications have worked, historically. They came with pre-built targets, and the apps have functioned on a legacy of opt-in color management so an app to print the target wasn't needed.

A couple things:

1. Opt-in color management has never existed on Mac OS X, and Windows and Linux have implicitly used sRGB with no common/well-defined opt-in *or* opt-out mechanism.

2. Canned targets have always been of limited usefulness when profiling, particularly for printers that go beyond the basic 1-level-per-color CMYK ink set.

> With the advent of opt out color management, Apple very ridiculously failed to provide either an application for printing these targets reliably, and also to provide key developers with a reliable, documented, or publicly available means of opting out for the purpose of printing targets and printing prematched images. Both of these were necessary from the beginning once an opt-out system was implemented.

You'll get no argument from me that the current system for printing targets or doing app-based color management is broken. However, I also don't buy that app-based color management is the right long-term solution - it is just a band-aide until we can fix things properly.

> My primary suggestion is that we don't need more UI in print dialogs, things should just work. The use case isn't there so long as there is a utility and API that are reliable and freely available. But Apple has provided neither. Instead there is a private SPI that has largely been denied to exist until very recently, still is private, undocumented, and not locatable on the dev web site, and one which doesn't actually ensure ColorSync's transforms are disabled. And on top of it, Apple deferred to Adobe to create the utility for printing profile targets. I find that quite inappropriate to kick the can of responsibility down the road to some 3rd party who has no control over the SPI on which the utility depends.

I wouldn't quite characterize it that way, however we certainly have failed to deliver on a target printing application. I keep pushing for it (or a simple API) internally...

> So regardless of verbal intentions, the actions to me demonstrate something between disinterest and hostility toward ICC based workflows that require custom profile generation and usage without ColorSync.

Please don't confuse inaction with hostility or disinterest towards the workflows - everyone involved in printing and color management at Apple wants ICC-based workflows to "Just Work", but there is a lot of (very passionate, at times) disagreement over how to get there. :)

Michael Sweet, Senior Printing System Engineer, PWG Chair

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