AW: [Desktop_printing] Role of CUPS and error handling

Robert L Krawitz rlk at alum.mit.edu
Wed Mar 29 05:38:05 PST 2006


   Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 11:09:54 +0200 (CEST)
   From: Johannes Meixner <jsmeix at suse.de>

   On Mar 27 10:09 Michael Sweet wrote (shortened):
   > The main issue is that, out of the box, SuSE's web interface can't
   > work because there is no lppasswd set.

   Out of the box the cupsd must meet our general security policy.  We
   have a perfect dilemma: You demand your defaults and we demand our
   general security policy but both contradict each other.

>From the standpoint of doing technical support for Gutenprint, I find
that this raft of distribution-specific printer administration
mechanisms causes no end of grief.  I suspect that this is a headache
for any companies that want to distribute their own printer drivers,
also.

The usual scenario is "I'm trying to set up Gutenprint using tool xxxx
and it doesn't work quite right".  We don't have the resources to try
to debug all of the vendor tools (and yes, it's not uncommon that
those tools at least contribute to the problem -- see my comment the
other day about seeing multiple identical PPD files, when they should
have been distinguished by language).  At the same time, I don't think
that most distribution vendors want to do tech support for prerelease
versions of Gutenprint, or for the Epson Kowa drivers, or what have
you.

The upshot is that it's the end user who gets whipsawed here, unable
to get support from anybody, because it's an integration problem that
crosses organizational boundaries.  That's not good for any of us.

Let me say that I have more than just a little sympathy for SUSE
maintaining its security policy.  Security's difficult enough without
trying to accommodate every quirk of every service.  However, I don't
think it's helpful for vendors to say "CUPS as configured out of the
box doesn't meet our security needs, so we're just going to wash our
hands of the problem and write our own custom interface".

There's a variety of possible solutions here, everything from vendors
(and KDE and GNOME, for that matter) agreeing to standardize on a
common interface to CUPS to the distribution vendors appointing
liaisons to each project that will handle tech support issues related
to their distributions.  But the current situation needs to be fixed.
The summit is an ideal place to start working on that.

-- 
Robert Krawitz                                     <rlk at alum.mit.edu>

Tall Clubs International  --  http://www.tall.org/ or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail lpf at uunet.uu.net
Project lead for Gutenprint   --    http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton



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