[Desktop_printing] PAPI for CUPS: Volunteers needed!

Michael Sweet mike at easysw.com
Wed Jun 28 13:26:34 PDT 2006


Giuseppe Ghibò wrote:
> ...
> The problem is that drivers developers seems satisfied or
> tolerate of this situation (which for and end user and distros is
> often a source of pain).

I think most commercial developers are pragmatic about their
products.  I've worked with vendors with varying degrees of
open-ness, but in the end it just boils down to one question:
how can I (as a business owner) provide a driver for my customers?

In some cases, we have to ship drivers with "magic bits" in
them so that a printer will work.  It isn't the optimal solution,
but it is *a* solution, and one that will hopefully demonstrate
the popularity of a platform or solution to the vendor so that
future products *can* use the optimal solution.

I have *never* run into a vendor that would not allow us to
redistribute printer/driver files with our product.  We call
them up or email them, talk for a little bit (I need X and Y,
then we can support your product), and then we get the files
and permission to redistribute.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: YOU NEED TO TALK
TO THE VENDORS.  Griping about how vendor A doesn't allow you
to redistribute the files off their web site is no solution.
Talk to the vendor and explain what you would like to do in a
polite, professional way, and keep the proselytizing to a
bare minimum.  Vendors are in business to make money.  Show
them how they can make more money and you'll open more doors
than by showing them the "One True Way".

 > ...
> So here there is actually the following problems:
> 
> - from vendor point of view, share their firmware so that it could
> be redistributed freely (which doesn't mean only allowing this for end 
> users
> to do the free downloading themselves).

I don't see this as a problem, as I've never found a vendor that
wasn't willing to allow this...

> - from driver point of view, how should be the firmware license
> (or the firmware itself) so that it could be BUNDLED with the driver in 
> a way compatible with the driver/distro open license.

The Linux kernel already includes "non-free" but freely distributable
firmware files for a variety of devices.  When I load FC5 on my
laptop, it includes the firmware file I need for my Wifi card.
Some of my USB toys also have firmware files for them...

> - start a list of firmware according to which OSS drivers supports them, 
> which need to have an
> license in way that they could be bundled with the driver itself.

I believe there are already dozens of examples of this in Linux
itself, so perhaps that is the first place you can look.

-- 
______________________________________________________________________
Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Document Software          http://www.easysw.com




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