[Server-devel] 9.1 Proposal: Printing support

Yama Ploskonka yama at netoso.com
Tue Oct 21 09:33:23 EDT 2008

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.


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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