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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
Instead of starting with declaring
1) what the problem is
2) how their new software will solve it
They go and explain how it going to be great since they use dbus and gobject?
Sounds like one of the many cases where the needs of architecture takes over the needs of users.
Please take a deep breath before posting.
Posted May 23, 2012 5:45 UTC (Wed) by martinfick (subscriber, #4455)
This message isn't just aimed at you (so forgive me if it feels too strong of a response to your post). I just felt upset reading the many replies above which had somewhat angry tones and yours was the last one in the series. It has become more and more common here to direct such anger or contempt towards free software creators. These are people who are hopefully just sharing with you and others. As long as they are just sharing freely without trying to extort you in some way, or maliciously convince you to use their malware it feels wrong to attack them (even if their code or designs are flawed). I know that I would feel upset reading the reception that these authors are getting here if I were them, and I don't think they were even asking for a reception.
Posted May 23, 2012 7:35 UTC (Wed) by nhippi (subscriber, #34640)
Creating a competitor for a existing system disrupts Linux ecosystem while the transition is going on, and fragments Linux further if it fails to be clearly superior than the historic alternative. Yes sometimes that has to happen, but it is not a decision to be taken lightly.
I think people take too easily the route of having fun of creating their project from scratch using their favourite technologies (like gobject and d-bus) than to joining the existing project and working with their preferred methods to make existing project work better for everyone.
I guess it is a bit of fame issue as well. Nobody will get famous plumbing an existing free software project, while someone who creates a new project will be known as the author of the new project...
Let me bow to the unsung heroes of free software development: plumbers of existing projects.
Posted May 23, 2012 9:07 UTC (Wed) by dgm (subscriber, #49227)
It's absolutely right -even critical- to create alternatives to existing projects. It ensures there's no single point of failure at any level, and that we don't get stuck too long because of evolutionary dead-ends.
The _problem_ starts when bigger projects (desktops and distros) push an immature alternative, sometimes for shady reasons. Sometimes is because of someone's agenda, but often is just a combination of stupidity and stubborness (we are all humans after all).
So, I salute and thank the developers for the effort they are putting into this, but distros and desktops better stay clear from it, at least until they can demonstrate that it brings something valuable to the table _and_ can take over the functions of whatever is being replaced.
Posted May 23, 2012 11:09 UTC (Wed) by intgr (subscriber, #39733)
Look at the announcement of systemd for example: http://0pointer.de/blog/projects/systemd.html -- when reading it, I immediately recognized a few of my pet peeves listed and understood the value of the project.
> If you don't like their ideas or software don't use them
It's not as simple as that. The author of this project is also a Fedora developer. I think that users have the right to complain when they see a distro going in a direction that they don't like.
Posted May 23, 2012 12:44 UTC (Wed) by kmike (guest, #5260)
> It's not as simple as that. The author of this project is also a Fedora developer. I think that users have the right to complain when they see a distro going in a direction that they don't like.
Exactly. I wouldn't be surprised to see printerd as the default in Fedora 19.
Architecture astronauts take over
Posted May 23, 2012 7:19 UTC (Wed) by alexl (subscriber, #19068)
Just because the announcement doesn't fulfill your wet dream about how a perfect project announcement should look, please don't assume that the people involved are complete idiots who have no idea about the problem they are trying to solve. It just makes you look bad. Smart people don't think others are stupid.
Posted May 23, 2012 12:07 UTC (Wed) by nye (guest, #51576)
(Your personal attack on the other hand I found offensive and obnoxious)
Posted May 23, 2012 13:31 UTC (Wed) by alexl (subscriber, #19068)
"Architecture astronauts take over"
"going to be great since they use dbus and gobject"
"the needs of architecture takes over the needs of users"
It might not be all that easy to understand what printerd is for from the announcement, but that doesn't mean you should jump to the wrong conclusions and flame the people doing the work about those.
Tim has been working on Linux printing for the last decade. To claim that he has no knowledge about the needs of users, or that he just does this so he can use dbus or gobject is ridiculous. He is one of the few people who actually work to make printing work in Linux, and what does he get for it? Flames by people who do not even understand the problem (although the lack of understanding is partly the fault of the announcement).
Posted May 23, 2012 14:49 UTC (Wed) by spaetz (subscriber, #32870)
Posted May 23, 2012 15:01 UTC (Wed) by alexl (subscriber, #19068)
printerd is more like a session print spooler. It lets you enumerate printers, submit jobs to them, etc. If the printer was a network (ipp) printer that supports pdf, or a cloud service like Google Cloud Print then everything will run without any instance of CUPS.
However, if you're printing to a local printer, or a printer attached to a print server (on linux) then printerd will hand the pdf over to CUPS, running locally or on the server.
Tim has a nicer explanation in an earlier blog entry:
Posted May 23, 2012 16:56 UTC (Wed) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
CUPS already has support for being a print spooler. It already allows you to "enumerate printers, submit jobs to them, etc." What is printerd going to provide that CUPS does not?
Please keep in mind that another layer of software is another layer of bugs that we will all have to debug. Even the best programmers sometimes make mistakes. If there's no value add from the additional abstraction, then I would prefer to keep things simple.
I would love to see something take over from cups, but only if it provides the same features that cups provides. I'm not really interested in running the printer daemon version of "duelling banjos."
Posted May 23, 2012 18:42 UTC (Wed) by alexl (subscriber, #19068)
However, if you're not using a local printer, but rather some network printer or cloud service then having to have a local system-wide print spooler is completely unnecessary, and printd would just forward the job to the spooler on the remote server, working completely in the user session.
Running in the session has some advantages besides just needing less code. It also allows the spooler to do things like authenticate to the cloud service in a normal way, as its part of the user desktop session, rather than some system service.
Anyway, Tim knows this stuff better, and he posted a new blog entry: http://cyberelk.net/tim/2012/05/23/some-benefits-of-print...
Posted May 23, 2012 22:41 UTC (Wed) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
My printer is a USB printer. It requires a printer driver to work. A driver which, incidentally has not been updated or fixed in years, and is not officially supported by the distro. Luckily I know enough about the plumbing to know how I can get this thing to work. (Should "work" be in quotes?)
At work, there is an IPP printer which I mostly use. The time I spent setting it up in CUPS was about 5 minutes, including printing test pages and all that.
> Running in the session has some advantages besides just needing less code.
> It also allows the spooler to do things like authenticate to the cloud
> service in a normal way, as its part of the user desktop session, rather
> than some system service.
Again, I just don't care. I've never used a multi-seat Linux machine (and I've had 5 jobs where I used Linux, including one where we used it in the cloud.) I also don't see what fundamentally prevents CUPS from doing the same thing-- i.e., accepting or rejecting jobs based on the user id that submitted them.
So far, printerd has not proposed to solve any of the problems I have ever had. Of course, I'm just one user-- perhaps others will have different needs.
Posted May 23, 2012 23:02 UTC (Wed) by jjs (guest, #10315)
So other than adding another layer between the application and CUPS, what does printerd do?
Posted May 24, 2012 7:05 UTC (Thu) by jku (guest, #42379)
It's true that the announcement should have come with a link to http://cyberelk.net/tim/2012/05/23/some-benefits-of-print... but lets not make that omission a larger issue than it is.
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