[Server-devel] 9.1 Proposal: Printing support

Jeff jeff at wildcoast.com
Tue Oct 21 10:05:36 EDT 2008

Because it is "defective by design" does not mean that it is a  
feature and not a flaw.

I manage 5 school-labs in deepest, darkest, rural Africa; and  
printing has never been much of a support issue.

Sure there are issues with CUPS. Especially with printers going  
offline when they run out of paper and needing to be manually  
re-"started" in a web browser... but we've managed to get around that  
and train the teachers (in about 5 minutes flat). They also change  
their toner cartridges with ease, and can justify the expense for  
printer toner as easily as for photocopier... And most of them have a  
budget for that.

I am immensely frustrated with the pandering to the lowest common  
denominator which I view as a cultural disease on the server-devel list.

I don't wish to address each and every issue - but I disagree  
completely that printing is an issue, and that VSAT is not the way to  
get on the internet or cannot be upscaled.

Please stop imagining that lowest-spec, cheapest hardware and  
crippleware is the answer - or that 3'rd World countries will never  
progress towards a reasonable standard. That attitude is patronizing  
and demeaning. And wrong.


On 21 Oct 2008, at 3:33 PM, Yama Ploskonka wrote:

> When I am asked about whether the XO handles printing, I present that
> the fact it does not is a feature, not a bug.
> And people understand.
> It is not out of the ordinary that the life of school printers will be
> the life of the first set of ink cartridges or toner, there being no
> budget to refill them once they are gone.  Of course people could  
> pay a
> few cents a copy for the toner fund, but then that would require  
> endless
> structure, trust it will not be misused, etc...
> It is true that, for too many teachers, what is not on paper actually
> does not exist, thus limiting the "usefulness" of the XO in their  
> minds
> to an almost nil value unless it can print.
> Getting things printed is not the way to solve this, just as VSAT  
> is not
> the way to get internet - neither can be scaled up, neither is
> sustainable.  As Martin wisely indicates and I agree wholeheartedly,
> this is more a social problem than one of software.
> Ultimately having the Write documents to be printed be uploaded to a
> specific folder in the XS, and that be the queue for printing  
> should be
> rather simple (the "print" function on the XO would do that, and the
> destination folder is pre-defined and is a static destination or  
> else is
> picked up from a specific set of data when the XO connects to the XS).
> But that does not solve the problem that, outside rich countries,  
> there
> simply be no printer or resources to follow through.
> Yama
> Martin Langhoff wrote:
>>  Paper, ink and printer time are
>> extremely valuable.
>> So far we have not built anything yet to share handle limited
>> resources across users yet -- and doing it across something so lumpy
>> as printing resources it going to be an interesting exercise in
>> building social software.
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Jeff Brown

Cell: 074-101 5170 / Fax: 086-532 3508

Masimanyane Mussel Rehabilitation and
Masande Nursery ~ Nutritional Projects
C O F F E E B A Y ~ W I L D C O A S T


Website: www.wildcoast.com
Blog: www.wildcoast.com/jeff

8< --
Do not believe in miracles -- rely on them.

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