Following STR #3930, CUPS 1.6.x on non-Mac operating systems will be always used together with the cups-filters package.
As the cups-filters package is designed to always do PDF-based printing (input data PDF, if not, ...topdf filter -> pdftopdf -> pdftoraster/rasterto..., pdfto..., ... -> printer), it would be awkward to have a bannertops filter for banners and test pages in this workflow. Therefore Lars Uebernickel has contributed a bannertopdf filter to cups-filters which is supposed to be used when cups-filters is used.
To make higher-quality and more customizable test pages and banners the new bannertopdf does not take bitmap images any more for getting graphics into the test page and the banners but instead, it takes PDF templates. This allows freely scalable vector graphics which can easily be created with any program with "Export to PDF" functionality.
Unfortunately this makes the following files incompatible with the ones which come with CUPS:
So to install cups-filters together with CUPS one would need to remove these files (and /usr/lib/cups/filter/bannertops) from CUPS to avoid conflicts and misbehavior of bannertopdf.
As Mac OS X also does not use bannertops AFAIK I suggest that bannertops and listed files get either removed from CUPS or optional via an option for ./configure. Otherwise all Linux distributions will have to do the awkward step of removing the mentioned files from CUPS.
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I do not want you to change the format of the said files, but instead, I want you to add an option to ./configure with which one can build and install CUPS without bannertops and without the listed files.
So distributions which use cups-filters can use this ./configure option.
The bannertops filter no longer exists in CUPS 1.6. Only the standard banner files are installed so that both OS X and Linux/others can enjoy a common set of banner files. And quite frankly the whole point of having those bitmap files is to test raster image printing!