Comment about usability

I’m really trying. Honest. I’d love to be able to use a distro full-time.

I needed to setup an IP printer (HP8150) at work so I could print from openSUSE 11.0.

Fairly straightforward…or so I thought. I could ping the address no problem. Used Yast GUI to add printer, IP address, and defaulted to the high-lighted driver on the screen (there were 8 listed!). Won’t work. Started selecting drivers one at a time. Finally found one, printed test page. Defaults to A4 paper and 300dpi. So, I changed to default to Letter and 600dpi. Now test page still tries to print using A4 (even though config shows Letter) and only prints the header and graphic (at 600dpi)…no text. So, back to 300dpi, and “adjust” to pressing the Select button to override A4 every time.

This is just an example. I work in IT, so it is only a minor nuisance for me…but for a “pedestrian” user, having to pick from 8 different drivers with cryptic names would be the first horror. After that, it would be downhill.

Distro advocates MUST understand that this is a small example of what will kill the experience for normal users. Even if they buy a pre-configured system…they’ll still have to manage the printers/scanners/cameras etc. Now, I understand that the norm is locally connected (USB) printers, but I think that more and more network-connected printers will be in use as time goes by.

It’s a fun challenge for me…but not for John Q. and his minions.

I know, I know, do it at the command line…

You’re quite right. I too think it would be a huge turn off for the normal folk who are used to something that “just works”. Money makes things “just work” and that’s a reality. I don’t have an answer.

I have a network attached laser printer at home, and it also has a half dozen or so driver choices on setup, most of which do not work for my needs. I have set it up so many times it is like second nature. So, like Swerda I can empathize with your problem. The printer drivers definitely need simplification. You do realize that much of Linux development work is volunteer, and we’re looking for volunteers all the time :slight_smile:

Fair comment, not sure what DE your using (not KDE 4?) and I’m
assuming the printer is setup for the default Letter.

But I do have a suggestion to run ‘sudo hp-setup’ (yes it is the CLI)
rather than YaST.

Cheers Malcolm °¿° (Linux Counter #276890)
openSUSE 11.0 x86 Kernel
up 1 day 22:55, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.01, 0.08
GPU GeForce 6600 TE/6200 TE - Driver Version: 173.14.12

> I don’t have an answer.

which is okay…since he had a comment, not a question.
speech is free…
once on the soapbox…

see caveat:
DenverD (Linux Counter 282315) via NNTP, Thunderbird, KDE
3.5.7, SUSE Linux 10.3, #1 SMP i686 athlon

which is where i’m moving this, as it wasn’t a question :wink:


It’s a fun challenge for me…but not for John Q. and his minions.

My name is Jon you insensitive clod!:smiley:
All kidding aside I agree with you about ease of use issues, at least to a point. The point being how many “John Q’s” setup a home network with networked printers? :wink: