[sugar] [Server-devel] 9.1 Proposal: Printing support

Walter Bender walter.bender
Wed Oct 22 08:36:17 EDT 2008

Personally, I am on Yama's side on this one, if only for environmental
reasons. (Although it would be great if someone could design a
solar-powered printer where the toner was simply locally ground-up
charcoal.) But a technical solution whereby some enterprising
Bolivia--the next Marcelo Claure--can set up their own Kinko's-like
service would be perhaps a nice compromise. Marvin Minsky once said:
"Some day paper will be a luxury item for the rich." But in the
meantime, let's enable local entrepreneurship.


On Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 2:33 PM, Yama Ploskonka <yama at netoso.com> wrote:
> hey Jeff, seems I got the bad end of that broadside...
> I am developing things for Bolivia, and I am known as someone who makes
> virtue out of lack of resources.
> That is why I (you're entitled to your opinion) see the lack of printing
> as a good thing - discourages the use of very, very limited resources.
> I also see the lack of access to MS Windows as positive - it sure means
> less access to the biggest amount of available educational software,
> ready to use for a few cents as pirateware, but all the issues of
> viruses and moral weight of knowingly stealing.
> Likewise I am not worried about horrible connectivity in my area - that
> just means we have to be even better at building up our local community,
> since we have less access to the international one.  It does upset me,
> sure, but it's something to turn into an advantage...
> Oh yes, I wish it were different, that we had enough resources to do
> things differently, and I am quite encouraged, even if you and I differ
> on this one point, that we do agree on the need for a very solid server
> with lotsa goodies in it, making a deployment less dependent of the
> internet.
> Interesting your take on ideological reasons for / against printing
> support.  I myself see printing is currently a need of the richer
> partners, since  in Bolivia there very seldom is a budget for printing
> supplies or any kind of maintenance, but I might be limiting the project
> to my own tunnel-vision.
> Yama
> Jeff wrote:
>> 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.
>> -Jeff
>> 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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>>> http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/server-devel
>> --
>> 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 <http://www.wildcoast.com>
>> Blog: www.wildcoast.com/jeff <http://www.wildcoast.com/jeff>
>> 8< --
>> Do not believe in miracles -- rely on them.
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Walter Bender
Sugar Labs

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