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Re: package system broken by aptitude removing cupsys -- correction

"Mumia W.." <paduille.4061.mumia.w+nospam@earthlink.net> writes:

> On 09/04/2007 01:35 PM, Steve Newcomb wrote:
> > I did an experiment that makes a liar out of me: I installed
> > lenny and BEFORE DOING ANYTHING ELSE I removed cupsys.  Bafflingly,
> > it worked fine.
> >
> How did cupsys get installed? I doubt that it was installed by
> default, because I have Etch and no cupsys; however, I didn't install
> Gnome or KDE either.
> But in Etch, cupsys isn't dependent upon Gnome or KDE.

All I did was to use the latest daily build of netinst.  I did not
characterize the installation as being for a print server, just as a
desktop machine.  I suspect that that's how cupsys sneaks into the
installation, because some of the gnome desktop stuff requires it.

> > So I reviewed what I had done the last time, and, yes, I had installed
> > a few other packages before attempting to remove cupsys.  They were:
> > emacs, cvs, ssh-server, and, very interestingly, python-2.5.
> > I think if you install lenny from netinst, then install python-2.5
> > and
> > *then* attempt to remove cupsys, the problem will be reproduced.
> > So maybe it's a problem with the python-2.5 package, after all.
> > Steve
> >
> Perhaps you installed hplip which depends upon cupsys. Printconf will
> also bring in cupsys.

hplip was installed, but I didn't ask for it.  I think Cupsys depends on

> See if you can get a print driver that doesn't depend upon cupsysys. I'm
> lucky that my printer manufacturer provides a driver that only
> requires lprng 8-)

lprng lets me set up my own filters.  The only filters I need are
easy: pnm2ppa and a little something that prepends some postscript
that tells my HP 4050 JetDirect to be in duplex mode.  

One of the simple tasks that I have never succeeded in getting Cupsys to
do, even after many hours of fiddling, was to describe the same
printer hardware in two ways, one simplex and one duplex.

In my experience, trying to use Cupsys is like trying to use a
battleship -- a battleship that doesn't work reliably -- as a commuter
vehicle.  Nothing about it is intuitive, it's incredibly opaque and
complex, and it's far too time-consuming to get it to work.  The fact
that Cupsys is evidently the default printing system for Debian is, in
my opinion, poisonous to Debian's acceptability as a desktop,
particularly in the face of Apple OS X's well-deserved and
fast-growing popularity.  The ambitiousness of Cupsys could have been
beneficially tempered with a greater respect for the fact that "less
is more".  Personally, I regret that I have wasted so many precious
hours on it, and I do not expect to make any further attempt.  Ever.

> When I browse within aptitude, I don't see a conflict between
> python2.4 and python2.5, but I'm using Etch, and the conflict may be
> simply undocumented.

Right.  This is a conflict that doesn't reveal itself until it's
got you well and truly wedged.

> Sorry, I'm not willing to mess up my system to test your problem :-)

Good thought.  I don't recommend it!

> Try the experiment you described: install Lenny from netinst, install
> python2.5, then remove cupsys. If the problem recurs, then you might
> have found a bug.

I already did exactly that, except that I also installed cvs, emacs,
and ssh-server, too, and I don't believe that those packages are
implicated.  Therefore, I think I've found the bug already.  And I
have a workaround: just remove cupsys first of all, *before*
installing python-2.5.

-- Steve

Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant
Coolheads Consulting

Co-editor, Topic Maps International Standard (ISO/IEC 13250)
Co-editor, draft Topic Maps -- Reference Model (ISO/IEC 13250-5)


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