[sane-devel] Re: ISCAN 1.10.0 and Mandrakelinux Cooker

Johannes Meixner jsmeix@suse.de
Thu, 19 Aug 2004 16:29:49 +0200 (CEST)


sorry if some of you receive it duplicated, I don't know
who is subscribed on sane-devel@lists.alioth.debian.org

On Aug 19 16:06 Julien BLACHE wrote (shortened):
> From my previous mails with Olaf, ISTR that Epson doesn't own the IP
> on the proprietary bits, or something similar.
> In other words, this will never be free...

No problem.
I do not care about some particular devices for which there
cannot be a free driver.
But I do care about those devices for which there could be
a free driver but it does not exist yet.

As far as I know it is a similar reason why HP cannot make
a free driver for some of their printers - because there
is something inside the printer (as far as I know it was
a proprietary USB interface protocol) for which HP is
not allowed to make a free driver or something like this.

For example some scanners need a firmware download which is
a similar problem:
To avoid license problems we cannot have the firmware as RPM
so that our setup tool (YaST) would know where to find it
and set up /etc/sane.d/<backend>.conf accordingly.
It is too much effort for us to find out how to get it from the
Windows driver CD for each individual model (it may be buried
in some awkward self-extracting-whatever-archive).
Of course if the scanner manufacturers would send it in
binary-only format to us and give us the permit to package
it into an RPM and redistribute it any way we like, then ...
(oops - sorry - I am dreaming).

> Anyway, it'd be nice to have a version of the epkowa backend
> distributed without the binary libs, with the proper #ifdef's in
> place, so it could at least be packaged and distributed :)

According to Olaf (if I understand him correctly) the iscan
frontend is the real problem. This would no longer work without
the proprietary libs.

Perhaps the proprietary libs could be replaced by free dummy
libs which provide the same function calls so that the frontend
has something to call but the dummy functions result only an error
code which is defined in the frontend so that the frontend doesn't
crash but show an error message to the user.

Kind regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX AG, Maxfeldstrasse 5                 Mail: jsmeix@suse.de
90409 Nuernberg, Germany                    WWW: http://www.suse.de/