[sane-devel] SANE2, what do we want ?

Olaf Meeuwissen olaf.meeuwissen at avasys.jp
Wed Apr 2 00:23:29 UTC 2008

Julien BLACHE <jb at jblache.org> writes:

> Johannes Meixner <jsmeix at suse.de> wrote:
>> For example the epkowa driver from IScan is free software.
> No, epkowa is not free software. A large part of the scanners it
> supports actually rely on proprietary, binary-only protocol
> interpreters shipped as Linux/i386 shared libraries.

The epkowa backend is free-as-in-freedom software.  It is licensed
under the terms of the GPL and carries an exception that allows for
the use of non-free extensions.

Of the 181 models (by market name) supported by the backend 35 require
such a non-free extension.

# Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of the recents models
# requires one.

> If you don't need to use such a scanner, then you don't need to bother
> with epkowa, as your scanner is pretty much for sure supported by
> either epson, epson2 or snapscan.

Not claiming that the epkowa backend does a perfect job either, but
at least the epson backend does not support a number of all-in-ones.
Moreover, and in case you missed this, the epson backend is _not_
maintained anymore.

BTW, many thanks for packaging the epkowa backend in libsane-extras
for Debian ;-) but can you tell me why libsane has to depend on it?
What breaks in libsane if I yank libsane-extras?
# We're about to start providing Image Scan! for Linux .debs and this
# is a bit of a show-stopper conflict ...

Hope this helps,
Olaf Meeuwissen                   FLOSS Engineer -- AVASYS Corporation
FSF Associate Member #1962           sign up at http://member.fsf.org/

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