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Re: Need for a printconf package

(oh well, let's CC -gtk-gnome and see whether I'll get flamed for it)

On Tue, Jun 22, 2004 at 10:34:36PM +0200, Daniel Déchelotte wrote:
> I think Debian needs a package that does for printing what etherconf
> does for setting up the network. However, unlike with network, the
> problem with printing is choice: what spooling system (lpr, lprng, cups,
> rlpr, tlpr, maybe others), 

You would not want to let users choose their spooling system. Debian
(or the DE, see below) should choose an appropriate one it supports.

> what filters (apsfilter, foomatic-filters, magicfilters, gimpprint,
> some brand-specific packages, you name it), 

Same here I guess.

> and depending on these choices: how to select the printer's make and
> model, default papersize, print resolution, and so on and so forth.

There is some work on HALificating CUPS being done by the GNOME squad. I
think somebody suggested moving this to freedesktop.org, which looks
very reasonable.

> Just like etherconf, printconf would "only" handle 90 % of the cases,
> imposing Debian's prefered spooler and filters because in 90 % of the
> cases, they don't matter. Thus, printconf would depend on, say, cups and
> foomatic-*, and use libprinterconf0 to detect parallel, USB and network
> printers. printconf would also provide a debconf frontend to
> foomatic-configure (à la foomatic-gui) and mention the weird
> http://localhost:631/ (CUPS configuration).
> My concern is: as of today (and AFAIK), when one installs a new Debian
> system, one has to know about funny acronyms such as lprng or cups in
> order to have a simple printer working. 

Sure, it sucks right now. 

> Can we rely on Gnome/KDE to let newbies do that ? 

Dunno about KDE, but I think the GNOME people will eventually do the
right thing. These days, they are miles ahead of Debian in terms of
usability, so trying to do it ourselves might be a waste of time,
especially if the printer integration will be done one level below the
desktop-environment, so that GNOME and KDE would only have to provide
their GUI-frontend.

If somebody wants to cook up some Debconf magic to ease the pain for
Sarge, that would be nice of course, but I doubt we should advertise it
as "the printer handling to rule them all".

> Is it the right place to discuss such an issue?

Dunno really. debian-desktop might be it, but I don't know who reads


Michael Banck
Debian Developer

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