[lsb-discuss] Thinking about future LSB features

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at suse.de
Wed Feb 18 03:00:40 PST 2009


On Feb 16 10:04 Olaf Meeuwissen wrote (shortened):
> "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?
>> 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.

I appreciate this very very much!

> After scanners, I guess the next
> thing to add would be API to use faxes ;-)

And after faxes the next thing to add are end-user pluggable
mass storage devices - in particular for whatever an end-user
can insert into all those various kind of "slots" in those
all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/USB-stick/card-reader devices.
(I mean this really seriously.)

In the end what the end-user wants is not several different
interfaces for each component of his all-in-one device
(one for printing, one for scanning, one for faxing, ...)
and not several different all-in-one interfaces from each
different manufacturer (like hp-toolbox for HP devices)
but one single interface to use all all-in-one devices.

This does not mean that there must be one monolithic
bloatware all-in-one interface which implements all-in-one.
If there were well defined stable APIs how to use each
component of an all-in-one device, there could be one
top-level end-user GUI frontend which uses various "plugins"
for each component of an all-in-one device.

The interesting result is that the same applies also for
stand-alone printer scanner fax USB-stick card-reader devices
because in the end the end-user wants one single interface
to use all his end-user devices.

> 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.

I am neither a udev expert nor a hal expert but as far
as I understand it at the moment, the root cause of the pain
with the current udev/hal/whatever-device-management
is a broken design of udev/hal.

This causes that every distribution does it different in general
and additionally different for each particular version of a
particular product (e.g. SLES10/SLED10 versus SLES11/SLED11).

If you like horror stories, have a look at

Therefore - at least from my point of view - we all urgently need
a reasonable (not an oversophisticated bloatware mess) and stable
and reliable working standard regarding device management.

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX Products GmbH, Maxfeldstrasse 5, 90409 Nuernberg, Germany
AG Nuernberg, HRB 16746, GF: Markus Rex

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