BJC Printer setup after installing cups-1.1.18

Bill's LFS Login lfsbill at
Tue Jul 1 08:00:34 PDT 2003

On Mon, 30 Jun 2003, Craig Colton wrote:

> On Sunday 29 June 2003 08:01 pm, you wrote:
> > On Sun, 29 Jun 2003, Craig Colton wrote:
> > > > Its a *HINT* for gods sake! you dont HAVE to read it! its not part of
> > > ><snip>

> > > > Declan has written a useful document <snip>

> > > Totally, totally misses the point. Good packages or bad, _support_ is
> > > what is supposed to be happening here.<snip>

> > Good poont here.

> > > At the slightest mention of a cups issue, Declan is on top of it sending
> > > people to his hint - which has nothing to do with cups.<snip>

> > Yes Declan does do that. I presume it's in the spirit of trying to help
> > someone get started.<snip>

> > Please folks (not just Craig), let's all keep it civil. None of this
> > stuff s/b an emotional issue (other than the emotions we feel when we
> > are frustrated by time, complexity, failure...). Let's *all* of us *not*
> > take it out on others.
> >
> > > Regards,
> > > Craig
> >
> > TIA.
> >
> > --
> > Bill Maltby
> > lfsbill at

> Bill, your opinion here is quite important - and most trusted. I see that you
> have read the hint so of course you can speak to it with some knowledge.

I thank you for the compliment - my ego's a little bruised being out of
work for the longest time in my life. But ...

First, my opinion is inconsequential. To me, what is important is the
friendly and (mis)informative sharing of knowledge and ideas. It is
these interactions, IMO, that spark new/best ideas/solutions and
increase the general level of knowledge to the community.

Second, just in case something is mis-remembered, I have not taken a pos-
ition about CUPS. I made a decision to use lprng/lprngtools because it
allowed me to use the latest/greatest standard ghostscript and avoid ins-
tallation of the other esgs* stuff. The fact that is well documented,
flexible and maintained also was a consideration (other packages, includ-
ing CUPS also meet this criteria). Since I am "decoratively impaired" and
have no concerns for the issues like "photo quality", one spooler/printer
that handles all the net/conv/spool/dispatch issues, is as good as a-
nother that does the same, to me.

A *minor* consideration (because I have dealt effectively with complexity
for more years than I care to admit) was the problems reported on the
list. Remember that it was not just Declan that had experienced some
issues. IIRC, I was seeing the occasional cry for help beginning over a
year ago. The first of these was sparked (I haven't re-checked the
archives, so this may not be gospel) by needing a different gs pkg/ver
than what the BLFS book provided at that time. There have been other
issues also.

> Have you done the same with cups? In other words, work through this difficult
> install process:

No I haven't. But because I selected a different package for, mostly,
different reasons, and because I present no opinion about CUPS, I haven't
had the impetous to investigate it (yet - see below).

>   Install CUPS:
> =================================================
> ./configure
> make
> make install
> Install Gimp-Print:
> ==================================================
> If you have the Gimp:
> ./configure --with-cups
> make
> make install
> If you don't have the Gimp:
> ./configure --with-cups --without-gimp
> make
> make install
> Install ESPGS:
> ===================================================
> ./configure --with-gimp-print  --with-drivers=  --without-omni
> make
> make install

Right here is the most important reason I went with another package. With
my interests being in other areas, ATM, I could avoid a couple of
additional packages.

> Now start the Cups deamon with:
> /usr/sbin/cupsd
> Then direct a browser to:
> http://localhost:631
> You should now be able to configure and test your printer.
> ===============================================================

Looks straight-forward enough.

> To see if cups is indeed the piece of shit that others have claimed?
> Please be fair.

?? As above, I've not expressed an opinion on CUPS, have none (yet). But
"be fair"? Y'all know how easy it is to get me on my soap-box (read that
as long-winded and excessively wordy). So I'll do a little of that at the
end. If there is something to be fair about, I always try to be fair.

> Trust me, I have no desire to spend my time defending cups (I'm kind of sick
> of it), or throwing stones. This list is supposed to be entertainment and
> education for me.

And for all of us, I hope.

> I see that you have joined this thread, but I doubt if you have followed
> every single printing and cups post, as I have,

Wrong! I am fully subscribed to all but lfs-chat and read *everything*
but alfs (for now).

> only to see posters directed away
> from a package that has worked consistently for me and others. This in favor
> of something that I feel is inferior. If a support question about "the
> minority report", or general printing comes up, of course Declan should
> address it. If the only support Declan can give on cups is to use something
> else because he can't get it to work then I think he should defer.

Generally I can agree. But, opinions do matter - even wrong ones. See
below. Here I will just say that none of us are (should be) without
emotions that can (hopefully only occasionally) spill over into these
lists. That can lead to occasional aggravations. It's the price of
creativity and interaction.

> Oh, and that joke you made about _me_ scripting something (anything)
> heh,heh..........quite funny : )

Just covering my arse there ;)

> Regards,
> Craig

Eventually I will get around to playing with CUPS just because I like to
research/investigate/learn new things and I like to validate what's in
the (B)LFS books. When I find something that I think can use some
improvement I send some suggestions along. But I have *very* high toler-
ance here - we are all working on this stuff for free so I try not to ap-
ply only any strongly-held criteria like I would if I was getting paid
for a service.

Regarding (in)correct opinions, there is a way to look at them that
serves me well. Whether or not an opinion is correct or not is often
irrelevant in all but one sense. That one sense is the lost time that an
incorrect opinion may cause others. In fairness to to others that we may
so affect, we owe it to the community to make our best effort to be sure
they are accurate, unbiased and complete. If we don't know for sure, but
are "theorizing" or guessing, we need to say so.

Where opinions hold *great* value, IMO, is in the interactions they can
spark. Good interactions that result in better, more accurate knowledge
often result from stated incorrect opinions (is there such a thing?). The
*only* bad thing (other than what I mentioned above) from them, IMO, is
the apparently emotional reactions to those opinions. Sometimes these are
understandable, other times not. I *welcome* all opinions as long as they
do not unfairly denigrate the efforts of others who seem to be making
honest attempts, do their "homework" (mitigated by the environment or
background they are in/from) and show due respect for others.

I always keep in mind that their situation/experience may be different
than mine and they may have much to offer that I may learn.

Let's all work towards cooling the emotions a little bit here. Here is my
take on all this stuff.

First, being about 50% Irish and having a (now deeply buried) vile temper
and being prone to "venting", I viewed Declan's rantings against CUPS as
an expression of his frustrations about something that should be so
simple (from his view) being so daunting to him. Lack of research? Maybe.
BLFS not yet complete/accurate? Possibly. Failure to use due care? Could
be. But regardless of that, I feel we should remember that there are
humans at the other end of those wires connecting all of us. So a little
tolerance to the occasional rantings/misinformation of others that may be
suffering frustrations like we have all experienced (I think), seems to be
in order. Was he wrong to denigrate CUPS so consistently when it caused
him problems? I would say yes, assuming that his knowledge was incomplete
and CUPS does indeed work as advertised (I presume it really does).

Further, if he were to ask my opinion about the PMR, I would agree that
the condemnations of CUPS in there lessens the value of the document.
I think he should have tempered his remarks about CUPS (et al) because
he must have realized at some point that users with needs unlike his own
had been (obviously) successfully using CUPS (and other packages) for a
long time. A little rant/vent was fine, but it wnet on long enough that
it eventually reflected poorly on his efforts to use his simpler solution
to help others up the ol' steep learning curve. Of course, that *may* not
have been his goal, so my judgement there may be flawed.

On the positive side, the end result of what began as an extreme
frustration for him has resulted in a document that introduces newcomers
to some underpinnings of printing in an *IX environment. It doesn't
intend to be network/multi-user/spooling aware, but he has the introduced
some of the basics that all the packages must handle. When the cruft
is cleaned out of it and it is augmented with a little explanatory text
and references are added that help those that have these extended needs,
I feel it will provide a good service to folks that think of printing as
just a "black box" type of operation. May save them some headaches.

Someone (you) asked something along the lines of "how could a user not
know to enable the printer in the kernel if they want to print".
Certainly this must have been a rhetorical question. Any time on the
support lists and you see folks that don't know "man", aren't able to
follow even the CnP stuff in the book,... it should be *obvious*, IMO,
that some will forget to enable printer support in the kernel. This has
been brought as a result of the thread. Other examples are depmod,
modules.conf, *repeated* also/oss and eth0 questions that *all* are
addressed in "man", FAQ, various searches and linux-*/Documentation.

Lastly, his rantings/opinions resulted in increased education (albeit it
was a tortuous road with some unjustified opinions offered) for those
with less experience in these areas. Knowledgeable people chimed in and
offered offsetting facts/views/opinions. All good for the community.

Now, in all fairness, I have to comment about your posts. I really only
have one criticism, and that is calling the PMR a "piece of shit". That
maybe factual, but is more properly viewed only as an opinion. So you got
sucked into doing exactly what you criticized Declan for doing -
condemning another package based on your own opinions and views and
experience. But, it is totally understandable how you got drawn into
doing this. Because I presume you also have emotions and when you saw
what you percieved as a major disservice to the community, you saw red
and had to speak up. 'Nuff said - we're all human.

Now, generally speaking. The remoteness provided by the virtual commu-
nity tends to make us see each other in rather monolithic terms, like a
harsh black and white photograph. We have less opportunity to develop the
tolerance for each other's foibles, outbursts and flaws because we don't
have that daily interaction, struggle for common goals and immediacy of
the smile, wisecrack, "Oh Shit!" and "Attaboy". So it is easier, and
natural, to be less tolerant, less careful with our words, less
understanding of the other person's immediate feelings. We lack the
emotional sense of "humanness", "just like me" or community. We need to
keep these factors in mind when viewing and responding to posts from

That's why even on my worst day, I hope I never use terms like "RTFM",
FUD", etc. They are, IMO, relics of a day when the computing world was
totally the realm of highly-educated, overpaid self-important egotistical
elitists who (thank God, I *think*) got all this technology started and
eventually cheap enough for all of us to benefit. It was common for these
folks to view folks outside their immediate community as "impaired".

*But*, those sorts of phrases now serve no purpose other than to drive a
wedge further between us and possibly support inadequate egos (the good
sort of ego). I would rather see *all* of us, somehow, move out of the
shadows of this "black and whiteness" that this sort of environment tends
to create and find a way to keep our humanity in mind when we see and
reply to posts. It is harder work than just letting fly with whatever
barb we have in our arsenal of "weapons", but I think it is well worth
the extra effort. To me, this means avoiding pejorative terms, using a few
extra keystrokes to help avoid accidental offense (intentional is ok? ;)
and tempering our behaviour so that we show the same tolerance and
consideration to others that we desire from them.

Ok, I want you two to shake hands and let's have no more of this silly
bickering (Mom, ca 19XX - you thought I was going to give away my age?).

Now all this may sound high-minded. But I don't alwyas live up to my own
ideals. I don't "walk on water", but niether do I "pass water in emer-
gencies". I just consistently try to "do what's right". I do not *expect*
all others to adhere to my standards.

My *opinion*, correct or not.


Bill Maltby
lfsbill at
Unsubscribe: send email to listar at
and put 'unsubscribe blfs-support' in the subject header of the message

More information about the blfs-support mailing list