[sane-devel] SANE protocol over USB as new USB scanner device class?

Paul Wise pabs3 at bonedaddy.net
Mon Dec 29 00:00:57 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-12-28 at 15:28 -0800, David Poole <dpoole at marvell.com> wrote:
> http://www.usb.org/developers/defined_class/#BaseClass06h
> www.usb.org/developers/devclass_docs/usb_still_img10.pdf

> When we were developing our scanners, we looked into the USB still
> imaging device. The spec is huge and, IIRC, parts of it require paying
> for (PIMA15740? ISO15740? I can't remember).


> We decided to come up with our own because it was faster, easier,
> there was no real standard anyway, and we could test both ends
> in-house.  With our own protocol, we could do our own testing and not
> worry about testing interoperability with 'N' different stacks.

Makes sense I guess.

> I'm not saying creating our own protocol was a perfect solution. It
> was the best solution we had at the time. But we did try to make it
> easy to reverse engineer.

Sounds like you would be the kind of manufacturer to publish protocol
specs, do you plan to do that, or have you done so?

I imagine you'd get some kudos for that, just like Intel, AMD/ATI, VIA
have in the graphics card space for releasing their documentation.

I'd suggest hosting the specs on the SANE website (like x.org does for
GPU docs) and announcements on LWN & Slashdot at least.

This precedent and pressure from HP/Canon etc might then be used to get
other scanner OEMs to do similar and or employ developers to work on the
SANE project, adding drivers before their scanners are released.

Finally, the protocol specs could be distilled into sets of similar
protocols and each set could be standardised into one specific protocol.
Then the scanner OEMs could pick one of the standardised protocol for
each scanner, depending on the complexity they need for that specific


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