[sane-devel] Epson non-free backend

Martin Rehn martinrehn at inbox.com
Thu Aug 28 02:37:52 UTC 2008


This is a newbie question. I'm looking for some insight into why some of the 
Avasys/epkowa drivers for Epson rely on a proprietary and binary-only 
plug-in, while many others do not? Are there particular chipsets that have 
restrictions, preventing Epson from releasing free drivers? What exactly is 
the non-free portion of the driver doing; is that essentially the entire 
driver or just a small part? Is there any will on the part of Epson to free 
any of those drivers? Anyone else here who is working on free replacements? 
I'll pose the question in generic terms for now, though I realize that the 
answer would likely have to be broken down by model.

My question boils down to asking whether the Epsons with non-free drivers 
should be avoided or not, given that I would be fine with using a non-free 
driver for the moment, but would rather not be bound to it in the long run.  
I would be willing to do my part to reverse-engineer and replace the non-free 
part of the driver if that would be more or less straightforward. (I have not 
yet bought a scanner, but in my area it seems hard to get by any model that 
does what I want, and that also has open source drivers, at a reasonable 
price -- and that's true not only for the Epsons.)

/ Martin

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