[lsb-discuss] Thinking about future LSB features

Olaf Meeuwissen olaf.meeuwissen at avasys.jp
Sun Feb 15 17:04:09 PST 2009

"Wichmann, Mats D" <mats.d.wichmann at intel.com> writes:

> So just to start that particular ball rolling, let's ask
> again what are the pain points that LSB 4.0 doesn't address?
> We do have some saved issues that didn't get addressed,
> and some subset of those will likely be on the list for
> the next version of LSB, but rather than trot those out
> here I'd like to do a one-time query "fresh".
> What would make LSB more useful to you?

Addition of SANE APIs and a way for third party packages to integrate
easily with the distribution's device configuration policies.

LSB 4.0 has done a great job for printer support and, as Till has
already pointed out, scanners need to be done next in order to get
multi-functional device support.  After scanners, I guess the next
thing to add would be API to use faxes ;-)

I maintain a third package scanner driver[1] and have volunteered to
work on the SANE API addition (and have only gotten very little done
as of yet :-(, see [2]).

Probably the main problem I encounter with scanner support is getting
devices configured correctly on the various distributions, especially
USB scanners.  Unlike printers, there is no scanner USB device class.
This means we need to maintain a database of vendor/product IDs that
correspond to scanners.  Currently, distributions mostly use udev and
hal for their device management, but just about every distribution
seems to be using its own device configuration.

This is not a problem for devices that are supported out-of-the-box by
the distributions, but it is a royal pain in the neck for third party
packages that want to add devices that were not even on sale when the
distribution was released.  I try to cope with an unholy post-install
script that tries to pry out the distribution's policy from files in
several locations (because everyone puts them somewhere else) and use
that as a template to generate my own add-on file.  This is a burden
to maintain as distributions all have their own ideas about what's
best for their users.  On top of that, the distributions themselves
change their minds time and again.

 [1] http://www.avasys.jp/lx-bin2/linux_e/scan/DL1.do
 [2] https://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/SANE40

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen, LPIC-2           FLOSS Engineer -- AVASYS Corporation
FSF Associate Member #1962               Help support software freedom

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