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To: gentoo-desktop@g.o
From: Lindsay Haisley <fmouse-gentoo@...>
Subject: Re: What "just works" and what doesn't?
Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 10:55:04 -0500
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:
Re: What "just works" and what doesn't?
-- Paul de Vrieze
References:
What "just works" and what doesn't?
-- Donnie Berkholz
Re: What "just works" and what doesn't?
-- Gábor Farkas
Re: What "just works" and what doesn't?
-- Lindsay Haisley
Re: What "just works" and what doesn't?
-- Paul de Vrieze
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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