[lsb-discuss] Thinking about future LSB features

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


Hello,

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 ;-)

Yes.
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
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=438867#c44
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=438867#c48
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=438867#c55
and
https://bugzilla.novell.com/show_bug.cgi?id=469721#c9

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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