TWAIN

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For other uses, see Twain (disambiguation).
TWAIN
TWAIN logo.png
Original author(s) TWAIN Working Group
Developer(s) TWAIN Working Group
Initial release February 1992
Stable release 2.3 / 21 November 2013; 8 months ago (2013-11-21)
Operating system Linux, OS X, Microsoft Windows
Platform x86, x86-64, PowerPC
Type Application programming interface
License LGPL (Data Source Manager only)
Website www.twain.org
Standard(s) TWAIN

TWAIN is an applications programming interface (API) and communications protocol that regulates communication between software and digital imaging devices, such as image scanners and digital cameras.

TWAIN is not a hardware-level protocol; it requires a driver called Data Source for each device.[1]

TWAIN 2.3 was released on November 21, 2013. The TWAIN 2.3 Specification improves clarity and removes ambiguity, making it easier for developers to write world class TWAIN applications and drivers. This version concludes a process of documentation changes that began with TWAIN 2.0. TWAIN.H is unified, with one header file supporting Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, bringing full support for TWAIN 2.x to Mac OS X for the first time. Printer functionality is greatly expanded. Additional tests for the TWAIN Self-Certification system, and a note that TWAIN Self-Certification applications can now be registered on the TWAIN Working Group website (http://www.twain.org).

History[edit]

The design of TWAIN began in January 1991. The TWAIN group originally launched in 1992 by several members of the imaging industry, with the intention of standardizing communication between image handling software and hardware.[2] Review of the original TWAIN Developer’s Toolkit occurred from April, 1991 through January, 1992.[3]

The word TWAIN is not officially an acronym, but it is a backronym. The official website notes that "the word TWAIN is from Kipling's The Ballad of East and West — '...and never the twain shall meet...' — reflecting the difficulty, at the time, of connecting scanners and personal computers. It was up-cased to TWAIN to make it more distinctive. This led people to believe it was an acronym, and then to a contest to come up with an expansion. None was selected, but the entry Technology Without an Interesting Name continues to haunt the standard."[4]

Release history of the TWAIN API
Version Release date Changes
1.0 February 1992
  • Initial release
1.5 May 1993
  • Performance enhancements
1.6 5 February 1996
  • Page-length detection
  • Buffer transfer
1.7 19 August 1997
  • Production scanning features
1.8 22 October 1998
  • Production scanning features omitted from v1.7 of the TWAIN specification
1.9 20 January 2000
2.0 22 February 2008
2.1 8 July 2009
  • Support for Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
  • Support for automatic color detection
2.2 16 February 2012
  • Implemented self-certification and new mandatory features
2.3 21 November 2013
  • Improved clarity and removed ambiguity.

Vision statement[edit]

The TWAIN Working Group is a not-for-profit organization which represents the imaging industry. TWAIN's purpose is to provide and foster a universal public standard which links applications and image acquisition devices. The ongoing mission of the organization is to continue to enhance the standard to accommodate future technologies.

Objectives[edit]

Objectives of the TWAIN Working Group and standard include:

  • Ensure image-handling software and hardware compatibility
  • Keep the specification current with the state of current software and hardware while maintaining backward compatibility
  • Provide multiple-platform support
  • Maintain and distribute a no-charge developer's toolkit
  • Ensure ease of implementation
  • Encourage widespread adoption
  • Open Source Data Source Manager
  • LGPL Open Source License
  • BSD Open Source Sample Application and Sample Data Source Application

Supported technologies[edit]

TWAIN provides support for:

TWAIN Working Group membership[edit]

Today the TWAIN standard, including the specification, data source manager and sample code, are maintained by the not-for-profit organization TWAIN Working Group.

Board and associate members of the TWAIN Working Group include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TWAIN". Eztwain.com. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 
  2. ^ What is the TWAIN Initiative?
  3. ^ TWAIN docs index
  4. ^ "The TWAIN Forum • View topic - What is TWAIN an acronym for?". Twainforum.org. Retrieved 2013-06-14. 

External links[edit]

This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November 2008 and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL, version 1.3 or later.