Gentoo Archives: gentoo-desktop

From: Lindsay Haisley <fmouse-gentoo@×××.com>
To: gentoo-desktop@l.g.o
Subject: Re: [gentoo-desktop] What "just works" and what doesn't?
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 2004 15:55:08
Message-Id: 20041006155504.GA14029@fmp.com
In Reply to: Re: [gentoo-desktop] What "just works" and what doesn't? by Paul de Vrieze
Thus spake Paul de Vrieze on Wed, Oct 06, 2004 at 03:32:50AM CDT
> On Wednesday 06 October 2004 09:40, Lindsay Haisley wrote: > > Thus spake Gábor Farkas on Wed, Oct 06, 2004 at 02:23:59AM CDT > > > Printers are an Issue in Linux, and it's not just Gentoo. Eric Raymond > > sent a flame letter to the CUPS people a while back detailing his > > horror story of setting up a CUPS printer. His story was chillingly > > similar to my own experience. It was a nightmare! Maybe the Gentoo > > devs could pick up the ball and make CUPS a little easier to use. > > The main problem with cups is the lack of "default" supported printers. > One needs foomatic or gimp-print-cups to add more printers. Foomatic > however does not by default provide all printers it knows about to cups > (Just a matter of generating ppd files and putting them > in /usr/share/cups/model).
The problem that Eric pointed out, which was what I found out too, is that the documentation and the UI are written by and for geeks, basically for geeks who are already experts on Linux printing. This is something that could certainly be addressed independently of the CUPS project. Once I had CUPS and foomatic on my system, and sweated and puzzled for a while with the config files, using CUPS was pretty simple and it 'just worked'. The Gentoo online docs for getting printing going are excellent, but didn't go the last mile, although it's been a while and that may have changed. Read <http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html> if you haven't already seen it. <soapbox> To say the least, Eric is no wilting violet when it comes to Linux software, but he pointed to something that's should be of concern to all of us. The open source equivalent of proprietary software's "tech support" that doesn't support is the FOSS project dev group that doesn't understand the needs of the non-dev community. Look at the docs on such an otherwise very useful project and you'll find a changelog, an API description, a FAQ with questions the average user would _never_ think to ask, prolly a prominent discussion of the license. I've run into plenty of projects which describe themselves in terms such as "project x is an upgrade to project y, and incorporates the evorgutated framus object framework from project z". Duh? </soapbox> <strokes> I've gotta add here the the Gentoo dev community has done an excellent job of bridging this gap in general. The best of Gentoo documentation consists of very explicit step-by-step HOWTOs (such as the Gentoo install stuff) which, if one follows them slavishly, get the job done. At the same time, they don't try to gloss over tech details or talk down to those of us who may be fairly knowledgable but don't have time to do a research project in order to get something configured that ought to be simple. </strokes> -- Lindsay Haisley | "Everything works | PGP public key FMP Computer Services | if you let it" | available at 512-259-1190 | (Travis W. Redfish) | <http://www.fmp.com/pubkeys> http://www.fmp.com | ("The Roadie") | -- gentoo-desktop@g.o mailing list

Replies

Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-desktop] What "just works" and what doesn't? Paul de Vrieze <pauldv@g.o>