The current lpt driver is the port of the original lpt driver to the ppbus(4) system.
One purpose of this port was to allow parallel port sharing with other parallel devices. Secondly, inb()/outb() calls have been replaced by ppbus function calls. lpt is now arch-independent thanks to the ppbus interface. See ppbus(4) for more info about the ppbus system.
The parallel port bus is allocated by lpt when the printer device is opened and released only when the transfer is completed: either when the device is closed or when the entire buffer is sent in interrupt driven mode.
The driver can be configured to be either interrupt-driven, or to poll the printer. Ports that are configured to be interrupt-driven can be switched to polled mode by using the lptcontrol(8) command.
Depending on your hardware, extended capabilities may be configured with the lptcontrol(8) command. With an ECP/ISA port, you can take advantage of FIFO and DMA.
In order to retrieve printer info from /dev/lpt0, just apply the cat command to the device. If the printer supports IEEE1284 nibble mode and has data to send to the host, you will get it.