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Bug#460228: tasksel: please remove hplip from the desktop task

On Sat, Jan 12, 2008 at 02:54:46AM +0100, Josselin Mouette wrote:
> On ven, 2008-01-11 at 11:59 -0800, Steve Langasek wrote:
> > Er, hplip is *primarily* useful on desktops.  The printers that benefit most
> > from this daemon are the multifunction ones; wandering between your print
> > server and your desktop to scan documents doesn't sound like a very good
> > workflow to me.

> When talking about multifunction printers, I primarily think about those
> big networked copiers you find in corporate environments. Are desktop
> multifunction printers that widespread? (This is a real question, I
> haven’t bought a printer in years and have small interest in them.)

I went shopping for a new printer for my dad over Christmas, and it was
surprising how few HP printers available for purchase *aren't* multifunction
devices of some sort.  I think there was only one printer on the shelf at
Best Buy that was *just* a printer; all the others included some combination
of copying, scanning, faxing, or photo printing direct from digital camera

My own printer is an HP PSC 750, where "PSC" == "print/scan/copy"; I think
it's been about four years now since we bought this.

> > As for the driver, I see nothing in there that's about "administering"
> > remote printers.  It's the ghostscript driver for HP printers, which is
> > certainly a reasonable thing to have as part of the desktop by default along
> > with drivers for other printer vendors.

> Sure; the driver has its place in the desktop task and no one is denying
> it.

Ok; that wasn't how I'd read your message.

> > > They are relevant for users who own some models of HP printers, and
> > > having the package installed for everyone is really too much. You see a
> > > fax icon in your menu and think “cool, I can send a fax”.
> > 
> > In what menu?  I haven't seen any such fax icons appearing in my desktop
> > menus.

> They have been recently moved to hplip-gui (which is recommended by
> hplip, and this sounds reasonable).

> > Why is having it installed by default "too much" (aside from the apparent UI
> > bugs, which I haven't seen)?

> Just look at a default etch installation. Two big HP icons, even when
> you don’t have a pinch of HP hardware. And of course, they start
> applications that you have no idea what they can do.

Sorry, but I've done a default etch installation and have never seen these.
Where do they show up in the menu?

> Menu space isn’t cheap. If there are too many icons in the menus, they
> become unusable.

I agree with that point, I just think that pulling the ghostscript or cups
drivers from the desktop would be the wrong way to fix this.

> > Which tool are you referring to?  I don't see any GUI configuration tools
> > included in hplip; AFAICS the primary modality is to use it by way of the
> > CUPS backend and use the standard CUPS configuration tools.

> I’m talking about gnome-cups-manager (the GNOME tool) and hp-toolbox
> (the HP one).

Ah, there it is.  Well, as I say I never noticed it before, though that
doesn't mean the menu item should stay by default.

> > > Other operating systems don’t install HP tools if you don’t have a HP
> > > printer, and that’s the way to go.

> > Which OSes are you referring to?  E.g., Ubuntu installs it by default.

> I’m referring to Windows and MacOS X. OK, Windows not a reference when
> it comes to menu clarity, but it does not install Epson tools when you
> have a HP printer.

Right, it doesn't install any of these tools because they're all provided
independently by the vendors.  Whether or not Windows is a reference for
menu clarity, it is definitely *not* a reference for system integration.

> > It
> > (and Debian) also installs all video drivers by default, so that you don't
> > have to be in a position to install new packages to use your desktop if you
> > change out your video card.  Why wouldn't we want the same to apply to
> > printers?

> This issue is not about the drivers. Installing all drivers is
> definitely a good thing. The problem about hardware-specific tools, that
> make you wonder “WTF is that?” when trying to start them.

> Currently 915resolution is only installed when you have an Intel video
> card.

Not anymore, 915resolution is now obsolete. ;)

> In fact, looking at discover-data, it *already* installs hplip when a HP
> printer is detected! Why in the world do we need to install it in the
> desktop task as well?

Well, first of all, I understand that discover-data doesn't actually do any
of this extra package installation yet.  Second, where the drivers and
backends are concerned, the point to installing it by default in the desktop
task is to let Debian work out-of-the-box as a desktop in scenarios where
installing extra packages is inconvenient.  Clearly Debian is a /better/
proposition where bandwidth is readily available (or you have a full CD set
on hand), but I think for things like hardware enablement we should strive
to work out-of-the-box without any need to grab additional packages the
first time the printer is plugged in.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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