sane-backends 1.0.20, finally.

Almost two months after sane-backends-1.0.20 appeared upstream I finally managed to complete the first ebuild attempt.

It took me so long because

  • there were a few internal changes with the new version and I wanted to check if the ebuild is still OK
  • I made SANE_BACKENDS a USE_EXPAND variable now. So you can see which backends are available and enabled without reading the ebuild or the SANE homepage. Well, and it gets a lot harder to attempt building non-existant backends as some people tried in the past for understandable reasons.
  • I can’t complain about too much spare time and I hardly ever get to do anything that takes more than an hour or two, and I was new to the USE_EXPAND business.

Some frontends (including sane-frontends xscanimage) fail(ed) to compile with this version because a hardly ever needed flag named SANE_CAP_ALWAYS_SETTABLE which was not part of the official API (though in sane.h) has been removed. If you run into problems because of this please let the maintainer of the frontend know, it is not really sane-backends’ fault.

cdecl and cutils

For all of you who are using the “cdecl” program from dev-util/cutils now: From version 1.6-r2 on it will be installed as “cutils-cdecl” because dev-util/cdecl provides a program with the same name and more features. This problem was unnoticed for quite a while and finally reported in Bug #127076.


After some delay I have finally committed sane-backends-1.0.16 into portage. This version includes quite a few fixes which were added as patches to Gentoo’s sane-backends before, so I could drop those. Which is not included is the patch for Brother MFC scanners. The Gentoo patch for these scanners was taken from some rather smelly sourceforge project, but (after some work on it) it was reported to work well.

I currently don’t have much spare time and didn’t yet manage to adapt this patch to current sane-backends, so if you use this particular kind of scanner, you should better stick with the old version until I find time for it or someone else manages to do this.

Another issue: Since Diego’s patch to the sane-backends ebuild was applied, you can use $SANE_BACKENDS to pick which backends should be built. This seems to cause problems for a few users which I wasn’t able to reproduce or solve so far. Please, if you have a little spare time, try and see if you can find the reason for this trouble.

Offline (once again)

Looks like my development box (which is in another city) is powered off right now and the man who could push the button is going on holidays. Next week I will be absent, too, so I will manage to be even less active than usual during the next two weeks (at least). Well, it’s summer, so maybe that would be a good idea anyway.

Good timing

Tomorrow’s a holiday here and my development box is offline (most likely until next week). One means of procrastination less – looks like I have to clean the windows, then. Only rain can save me.

Finding out what life offline is like

Off for holidays – nearly four weeks without more than an internet cafe now and then (Philippines). Really recommendable when you’ve been watching a computer screen for more than a year without significant interruptions.

Please don’t break my packages while I am away (well, at least not more than they already are).

Hello World

I always wondered what makes people write blogs, and I haven’t found out yet. But if there’s something Gentoo specific, I just have to check.

I wish I had discovered Gentoo a few years earlier, when I had more time (as a single student) than today (as full-time employed with something you could call a life). Contributing to such a large project can be really rewarding, and considering the time I spent in MUDs and on IRC or reading newsgroups back then it really feels like wasted time.

Why just have fun when you can also do something useful and still have fun?