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Printing with lprng; no CUPS! :-)

This is on Etch with "Desktop Environment" de-selected on install (no
Gnome or KDE :-).  Perhaps my mistake was in installing xserver-xorg
before printer configuration.  Surely then, it would notice there'd be
no web browser it could be configured with?  Or can you confure CUPS
with w3m?  :-P

It's amazing how difficult this has become via the packaging system.
It's also amazing how easy it is to fix it by hand:

  - aptitude -R install foomatic-filters-ppds[*]

  - Look for your printer model (or something close) in:


    where you'll find them split up by manufacturer name.

In my case, it was Epson/Epson-Stylus_Photo_870-Stp870p.upp.ppd.gz,
and that I:

  - dumped into a new directory, /usr/local/ppd, and gunzipped it.

  - Drop that into /etc/printcap:

        lp0|To Your Left: \
            :lp=/dev/lp0: \
            :force_localhost: \
            :if=/usr/bin/foomatic-rip: \
            :ppd=/usr/local/ppd/Epson-Stylus_Photo_870-Stp870p.upp.ppd: \
            :sd=/var/spool/lpd/lp: \

and it just works!  Why have we made this so difficult?  Why bother
with something as clunky as foomatic-configure when apparently all it
does is edit that one line specifying the ppd file (and in the case of
lprng, badly)?

Just getting foomatic-gui on the box drags in cupsys and removes
lprng!  Why?  linuxprinting.org says the thing works with pretty much
any spooler, so why's it so difficult to get the packaging tools to
allow it?

How about a feature request for the next version of apt*:




so I can tell it I do not, under any circumstances, want blah, or if
there's a potential alternative, go with my preference if I specify

And finally:

aptitude -R install foomatic-filters-ppds

The following packages are unused and will be REMOVED:
  bsh cpp cpp-4.1 dbus discover1 discover1-data gcj-4.1-base gij gij-4.1
  hicolor-icon-theme libatk1.0-data libdiscover1 libft-perl libgcj-bc libgcj-common
  libgcj7-0 libgcj7-awt libgcj7-jar libglade2-0 libglib2.0-data libgtk2.0-bin
  libjaxp1.3-java libjline-java libjpeg-progs libpaper-utils libttf2 libxalan2-java
  libxerces2-java libxprintapputil1 libxprintutil1 libxt-java libxxf86misc1 mdetect
  myspell-en-us openoffice.org-java-common psfontmgr sgml-base x-ttcidfont-conf
  xfonts-base xfonts-utils xli xml-core xprint-utils xresprobe xscreensaver xutils

Oh, great!  :-P  xfonts-base?!?  xscreensaver?!?  discover1,
discover1-data?!?  mdetect?!?  Where is the connection between a deb
full of printer data, and base X Window fonts?  Now I have a whole
list of things I need to check into before I dare reboot this thing.

Considering all the confusion and myriad pleas from people trying to
get CUPS working on their systems, should we really be going down this
road?  CUPS has made a mess of printer configuration.

[*] "aptitude search foomatic" shows this.  I've no idea whether
    they're necessary now that I have the one ppd file I needed:

i A foomatic-db             - linuxprinting.org printer support - database
i   foomatic-db-engine      - linuxprinting.org printer support - programs
i   foomatic-db-gutenprint  - linuxprinting.org printer support - database fo
i A foomatic-filters        - linuxprinting.org printer support - filters
i   foomatic-filters-ppds   - linuxprinting.org printer support - prebuilt PP

Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
(*)    http://www.spots.ab.ca/~keeling          Linux Counter #80292
- -    http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc1855.html    Please, don't Cc: me.

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