[sane-devel] Epson dx4400 support for asus wl500g router

Alesh Slovak alesh.slovak at avasys.jp
Mon Mar 15 01:19:50 UTC 2010


Predrag Punosevac wrote:

> What did you mean when you said that "epkowa backend itself is open 
> source"? Did you mean compiles on Linux?
The epkowa backend is a fork of the epson backend and it is licensed under the 
GPL + SANE exception just like any other SANE backend. It does also happen to 
compile on Linux. The frontend and the binary plugins are, of course, another story.

My statement that "The epkowa backend ... can be compiled for your ARM system" 
is misleading. What I really meant was since the source code is available, it 
should be possible to compile for ARM with some work. However, we have never 
tried it ourselves.

> Epkowa fails miserably to compile on any Unix-es to my knowledge.
> When I say Unix, I mean Solaris, HP-Unix, BSDs, AIX, Irix. The only
> very limited success is the work of FreeBSD developer Luigi Rizzo who 
> was able to port some very old version of Epkowa to FreeBSD. The 
> compilation even of that source code fails miserably on my platform 
> (OpenBSD)? And I am not talking here ARM, sparc, or God forbid mips64
> architecture. I am talking about i386 crap. 
As a developer, I am interested in supporting operating systems other than 
Linux. We try to keep portability in mind, but only actively compile on Linux, 
so incompatibilities are bound to creep in. You are welcome to send us logs or 
even better, patches. However, I cannot guarantee that any patches we receive 
will be integrated.

One thing to keep in mind is that the frontend requires a binary blob that is 
provided only for Linux systems. On non-Linux systems you will only be able to 
compile the epkowa backend. You can disable the compilation of the frontend 
with: ./configure --disable-frontend

> Does Epson corporation have a genuine interest in making Epkowa truly
> open source or it is only PR stunt? I though Epson was in business of 
> selling hardware not operating systems. That would be a truly sorry 
> state of affairs as Epson in the past was a leader in producing good
> hardware which worked on Unix. I have three scanners manufactured by 
> Epson sitting this very moment next to me and happily working under 
> OpenBSD including one connected to a SUN (sparc) Blade 1000.
Again, the epkowa backend is a fork of the epson backend and is licensed under 
the GPL + SANE exception.

> On the top of that there is the problem that most newer Epson scanners
> require also proprietary binary plug-in which of course is platform 
> dependent unlike firmware. For all practical purposes that fact makes
> most newer generation Epson scanners practically non-usable.
I'm afraid there is not much I can do about this. Officially registering your 
complaint at our support site [1] may be one small step towards convincing Epson 
to change this practice. To be fair, scanners that require a binary plugin are 
in the minority by far.

> I do not want to sound like a troll. I am offering you a genuine help
> to compile and debug Epkowa on OpenBSD (which would probably go long
> way towards real portability i.e. being able to compile on all Unix-es).
> In the light of new trend (mips64 based laptops) that could be of 
> benefit to the corporation. 
If you are interested in getting the epkowa backend compiling on OpenBSD, you 
are free to hack on the source code and send us patches.

> Can you tell me the name of the person in 
> the corporation whom should I contact about this. 
I'm afraid that the best I can do here is to once again point you to our support 
site [1].

> P.S. For starters could you tell me the exact version of GCC (or any 
> other compiler that you guys are using) compiler used by Avasys
> Corporation to produce Linux binaries. Can you produce those binaries
> with older version of GCC? In particular most post 3.xxx version of GCC
> are useless on non-wintel hardware. 
Epkowa and the Image Scan! for Linux frontend have been compiled on versions of 
GCC since 2.9. These days we compile binaries on Debian 4 (GCC 4.1.1), Ubuntu 
8.10 (GCC 4.3.1), Fedora 5 (GCC 4.1.0) and Fedora 10 (4.3.2). We are also 
constantly compiling on Debian testing. The oldest version of GCC that we've 
compiled with lately is 3.2.2 on Red Hat 9 and that only required a few small 
fixes to get working.

[1] https://avasys.jp/eng/contact/inquiry/inq_form4_en.php

Alesh Slovak                    Linux Team -- AVASYS Corporation
alesh.slovak at avasys.jp          http://avasys.jp

More information about the sane-devel mailing list