Samsung printer drivers open up the system
Posted Jul 20, 2007 5:56 UTC (Fri) by gtaylor6
In reply to: Samsung printer drivers open up the system
Parent article: Samsung printer drivers open up the system
Because those are actual user requirements, and one can hardly market a product that only does just what the user asked for. Where would be the marketing in that? ;)
Seriously, these vendor driver kits stem from well-intentioned projects which invariably acquire a difficult mix of checklist and product differentation requirements derived from the corresponding Windows driver. The canonical example is an interactive user job submission dialog with the printer vendor logo and picture of the printer showing input and output trays, where the staples will go, etc. A lot of it is actually quite reasonable user experience stuff.
Unfortunately, the Linux printing infrastructure was designed without printer vendor input (arguably without user input either ;) so it provides a rather poor set of tools for implementing anything even remotely flexible, interactive, flashy, or branded. So the kits all include bizzare klunky pointy-clicky client apps, admin tools, etc; most of which have to do horrible broken things to "get around" the features of the platform.
So, it's a bit self-defeating -- the vendors aren't overly keen to distribute an essentially unbranded driver with no differentiating interface features, and the distributors won't touch the resulting non-free crazy broken driver+interface kits with a ten foot pole. In practice, then, the vendors are forced to play distributor, with predictably poor results.
I'm actually amazed that they still bother. Both Samsung and Lexmark (see other thread above) have been providing inarguably klunky binary Linux drivers for many devices for roughly a decade. Somehow they must be getting data that suggests these things are a success.
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