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What is the benefit of using a queue in a print spooler?

Using a queue in a print spooler allows multiple print jobs to be lined up and processed in an orderly manner.

A print spooler is a software program that manages the printing process. When a print command is given, the document to be printed is not sent directly to the printer. Instead, it is sent to the print spooler, which adds it to its queue of print jobs. This queue operates on a first-in, first-out (FIFO) basis, meaning that the first job to be added to the queue is the first one to be printed.

The use of a queue in a print spooler has several benefits. Firstly, it allows for multiple print jobs to be handled simultaneously. Without a queue, if a user tried to print a document while another document was already printing, the second print job would either fail or interrupt the first one. However, with a queue, the second print job is simply added to the end of the line and will be printed once the first job is finished.

Secondly, a queue allows for prioritisation of print jobs. For example, if a user needs a document printed urgently, they can move it to the front of the queue, so it is printed before any other jobs. This is particularly useful in a busy office environment, where multiple users may be sending print jobs to the same printer.

Thirdly, a queue provides a buffer between the user and the printer. If the printer runs out of paper or ink, or if there is a hardware failure, the print jobs in the queue are not lost. They remain in the queue until the printer is ready to print them. This saves users from having to resend their print jobs and ensures that no work is lost.

In conclusion, the use of a queue in a print spooler allows for efficient management of print jobs, enabling multiple jobs to be handled simultaneously, prioritisation of jobs, and buffering against printer errors or failures.

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