[sane-devel] external backend license

Johannes Meixner jsmeix at suse.de
Tue Mar 15 16:02:07 UTC 2016


On Mar 15 07:40 m. allan noah wrote (excerpt):
> ... we have seen time and again that your users
> will be better served by an open backend.
> If you keep the code closed, you will be
> unable to support users on fringe platforms

I think one cannot overemphasize that point!

I would even say:

   If you keep the code closed, you will be unable
   to really support your users on any platform.

(here only for Linux because I only know about Linux):

The advantage of a free software driver for a manufacturer
is that he will receive comprehensive out-of-the-box
support for his devices

* in all Linux distributions that contain the SANE software

* on all hardware platforms for which those Linux distributions
   are available

* continuously also in new versions of that Linux distributions

without extra expenses for the manufacturer
because only a free software driver can be included
in the SANE upstream source code tarball that is used
by all Linux distributions to make the sane-backends
software packages that the Linux distributions
provide to their users.

In short:

With a free software driver you get out-of-the-box support
for basically all Linux users.

In contrast:

With a non-free software driver you are totally on your own
how you provide your non-free software to your users and how
you keep your non-free software working on all those various
Linux distributions over the time while arbitrary changes
are continuously happening in the whole Linux world.

In particular for openSUSE you may have a look at
"Third-Party Scanner Drivers" at

Kind Regards
Johannes Meixner
SUSE LINUX GmbH - GF: Felix Imendoerffer, Jane Smithard,
Graham Norton - HRB 21284 (AG Nuernberg)

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