[sane-devel] VueScan and SANE

Maurice Hilarius maurice@harddata.com
Mon, 31 Dec 2001 14:43:40 -0700

Where you wrote:

>    8. Re: an [off-topic?] question: Acer ScanWit 2720S (Steve Underwood)
>From: Max Ushakov <ushakov@mccme.ru>
>Subject: [sane-devel] an [off-topic?] question: Acer ScanWit 2720S
>I am going to buy an Acer ScanWit 2720S film scanner and so I
>have some strange questions. Please do not get angry if this is
>a severe off-topic here.
>First, I know that there is currently no SANE backend for
>ScanWit. Does anybody do any work to build one?
>Does anybody know of some software to support this scanner? I
>already know of Vuescan, but that's not Open Source :-)
>And last, a stupid question. If I buy such a scanner, make it
>work with Vuescan, and do a full dump of SCSI dialog during
>scan, or multiple scans -- will it help me or somebody to make
>at least some open source support for ScanWit? Or this is too
>hard, or this is ``reverse engineering'' and so unlawful, or

Before you get too much in love with the idea of VueScan:

I too thought this might be a quick and easy solution to a problem I had 
with scanners.

To make a long story short, I tried VueScan, and it failed miserably with 
my Microtek X12USL scanner.
I was finally able to get this scanner working to a fairly good degree with 

During my attempts to make this work I contacted the author, (and 
apparently the owner of the VueScan company), as his literature claimed 
that this scanner was supported. I quickly found out that he had, in fact, 
never tried this scanner, and he was less than helpful, and, quite frankly, 
very rude.

As for the Open Source side, I think he needs to learn a bit about software 
and Open Source, as he seemed quite hostile about that, even though he 
takes liberally from SANE for his product.
In looking at what he provides I believe that he is likely breaking the GPL 

We tried a number of things he requested to gather information for him.
At one point we had SANE and this scanner working together quite well, and 
I was trying to provide him with feedback to debug his product.  He asked 
us to gather a number of logs, try various things, and report these back to 
After w while it was obvious that he was only paying lip service, and 
actually had no real intention of attempting to provide any support..

Here are a few of his more choice comments excerpted from our exchanges by 

"Unfortunately, I just can't spend time on this.  I know that most
scsi scanners work fine on Linux.  I also know that the X12USL
works fine on Windows (this is what I test on).

There are a lot of different scsi drivers and scsi cards on Linux,
and there are just too many different combinations of versions
of things for me to be able to help with this.  I'm quite sure that
there's some combination of scsi card, scsi driver and Linux
version that will work fine with VueScan 7.2.9 and the

Ed Hamrick"

"> Whatever - 'xsane' works even if I had to hack it up a bit.

The "even if I had to hack it up a bit" comment probably
will give a clue as to what the problem is.  I use the
same sanei_scsi_open routine that SANE uses, and if
the default version that comes with SANE didn't work
on your system, that's the problem.

Ed Hamrick"

">  Perhaps you could tell me of a case where you saw it working, and with 
 >  interface hardware?

I don't know what scanners work with Linux, since very few people use
the Linux version of VueScan (only about 50 people a day download it).
However, I haven't gotten a bug report about a scanner not working on
Linux in at least a month.

Ed Hamrick"

Take it how you will, but I can not recommend this product, or it's 
so-called support to anyone..
And his blatant admission that he is using SANE code in his product really 
seals it for me, at least:
"I use the same sanei_scsi_open routine that SANE uses"

Happy GNU Year!

With our best regards,

Maurice W. Hilarius       Telephone: 01-780-456-9771
Hard Data Ltd.               FAX:       01-780-456-9772
11060 - 166 Avenue        mailto:maurice@harddata.com
Edmonton, AB, Canada      http://www.harddata.com/
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