please excuse my reply, but I think you're not right, and

On Mon, 25 May 2009 15:48:16 -0400, Jerry <> wrote:
> Seriously, one of the major problems I face when trying to get an
> associate or friend to try a non Windows solution is printing. Windows
> users are use to just sticking a CD in the box, installing the driver
> and whatever other programs the distributor has assembled for them, and
> then printing.

Atleast in Germany, they let a "computer literate friend"
do this, because they are not able to, not willing to, or
just too lazy. :-)

> *nix systems have never been really 'printer' friendly.

Explicite NO. This is wrong.

So, what's correct?

Correct is that (1) FreeBSD is extremely printer-friendly
to printers that conform to existing standards. Other than
the "Windows" PC that needs drivers specific to the many
different "Windows" versions that exist, FreeBSD doesn't
need any drivers in best case, which is a PS capable printer.
No poppin' in of CDs and "Yes, yes, yes, yes, reboot". In
many other cases, tools like apsfilter or CUPS can handle
the printer without much interaction.

Furthermore correct is that (2) most printers (or devices
that the manufacturer calls that way) are not FreeBSD-friendly.
This is of course intended, because the manufacturer doesn't
want you to use anything except "Windows", because that's
everything that exists, and MICROS~1 invented the PC, the
mouse, the Internet and the universe anyway. :-) If the
menufacturers would stick to existing standards and USE them,
there wouldn't be so much problems.

In any case, please recognize that I don't disagree with
you that printing on FreeBSD can cause trouble in the
installation phase, but once you got things working, you
don't need to do anything else, and it won't fail. On
"Windows" systems, a "Service pack" can make the printer
stop working (I've seen this once - for real).

> If we are ever going to increase the market share, [...]

FreeBSD doesn't have oh joy oh market share, because it isn't
a corporation that speculates at the stock exchange. :-)

No, honestly: I appreciate every means that increases the
usage share (i. e. how many users use the system, not how
the buying of a product has influence on the percentage of
the whole market, measured in money). And you're right,
making printing more easy is one of the goals here. But
this is not in FreeBSD's hand (or in the hands of the
developers of FreeBSD, or of apsfilter, or of CUPS). It's
the printer makers who "invent" new stuff day by day,
only supplying drivers for the most recent "Windows".

> [...] improving the whole
> printer 'experience' needs to be given some serious consideration.

Tell the printer makers not to be that stupid, and things
will change - for them (sell more printers), and for
FreeBSD (attract more users).

When going to buy a printer, I primarily consider the
compatibility OF THE PRINTER towards the OS I use, not
vice versa. I always decided to use office-class printers,
even at home, because they just work.

> Personally, I cannot see a child or even many adults, going through the
> convoluted steps you have described needed to get a simple printer to
> work.

It isn't a "simple printer". The steps needed to get it
running indicate this. If it would be a "simple printer",
using PS, apsfilter or CUPS would completely do the job.

And the thing even doesn't look like a printer, more like
a cross-over between a toaster and a suitcase. :-)

> There has to be a better way. Then again, that is just my 2ยข on
> the matter.

Yes, the better way would be the manufacturers using the
existing standards. It even IS that simple. Or they could
release their specifications so volunteers would quickly
write a printer driver for their product.

In my opinion, FreeBSD does it better than "Windows": It
comes with printer drivers (or they can be installed without
a CD just by "pkg_add -r apsfilter" or "pkg_add -r cups")
and loads the proper driver automatically. This should be
mentioned. Just my 0,02 Euro. :-)

>From Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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