[sane-devel] Newbie questions
p.newalls at ntlworld.com
Tue Jul 24 19:20:02 UTC 2012
I have been through the process of writing a backend myself in the last
The things that I found particularly difficult were:
1. The sane build system, using automake. I'd never seen automake before and
found it totally baffling. To get your new backend to compile with all the
others requires a lot of edits to a lot of files.
2. Getting other users to test my backend. I tried distributing a patch for
the last official release of sane. This was generally a failure, maybe
because I'd never made a patch before, or because most potential users have
never compiled anything, never mind patching it first. Sane also requires a
number of setup actions as root, particularly to set permissions for usb
It was a long time before I got enough reports of sucessful users to feel
confident enough to propose adding my backend to sane git.
Having said that, I certainly learnt an awful lot in a short time! I'm not
really trying to put anyone off.
I think it would help beginner backend writers significantly to have one of
a. A special empty backend distributed with sane backends that beginners
could tinker with. It would already be included in the build system, so they
can concentrate on writing the actual code. Then, when it's all working,
they should rename it to a unique name before distribution.
b. A patch, that adds a new backend to the build system. You would have to
edit the patch to give this backend a unique name.
c. A script, that adds a new backend to the build system with an arbitrary
I think the best approach to distributing test versions is to distribute a
complete version of sane.
You still have to provide a lot of support to users on compiling and setting
----- Original Message -----
From: "m. allan noah" <kitno455 at gmail.com>
To: <clydes at theworld.com>
Cc: "Sane Developers" <sane-devel at lists.alioth.debian.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 1:57 AM
Subject: Re: [sane-devel] Newbie questions
>I suppose you have seen this:
> It might at give you some hints. For a proper starting point, you
> would want to take a look at an existing backend, and find one that
> suits your programming style.
> Also, please learn to cut and past text, instead of attaching images
> of text. This will allow it to show up in the mailing list archives
> and search engines...
> On Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 7:56 PM, <clydes at theworld.com> wrote:
>> Hello all,
>> Pardon me if I start out a little rough around the edges, but here goes.
>> I'd like to write a back end for the HP 4670 scanner which is currently
>> not supported.
>> Attached is the output from the find scanners command.
>> I am not a strong programmer, but rather and embedded hardware designer,
>> but know my way around C and am willing to give this a go. (I've written
>> thousands of lines of assembler for just about every micro and a ton of
>> FORTRAN putting myself through college. There, I just dated myself!)
>> If I am successful in this endeavour, I can finally kiss Windows good bye
>> once and for all. The only reason I boot it any more is to use the
>> My questions to the group are:
>> 1.) Anyone out there started this effort on this scanner?
>> 2.) I believe the scanner is high level, so I am wondering if there is a
>> back end template to start from
>> 3.) Is there material I need to read to smarten up (read-mes, tutorials,
>> web stuff, etc. on how these things work?
>> 4.) If anyone has friendly advice on how best to get started and tips on
>> etiquette here, I am all ears.
>> Boston Metro Area
>> sane-devel mailing list: sane-devel at lists.alioth.debian.org
>> Unsubscribe: Send mail with subject "unsubscribe your_password"
>> to sane-devel-request at lists.alioth.debian.org
> "The truth is an offense, but not a sin"
> sane-devel mailing list: sane-devel at lists.alioth.debian.org
> Unsubscribe: Send mail with subject "unsubscribe your_password"
> to sane-devel-request at lists.alioth.debian.org
More information about the sane-devel