[nSLUG] New User Advise

robert ashley at chebucto.ca
Tue May 10 14:49:01 ADT 2005


On Tue, 2005-10-05 at 13:38 -0300, Bill Davidson wrote:
> Hi:
> 
> On Tue, 2005-10-05 at 10:57 -0300, robert wrote:
> > But I'm sure you did't mean that I oughtn't expect to have a running
> > printer for a year or two. 
> > 
> > That said, what would you do in my shoes?
> 
> I think it was pretty clear that he thinks you should use your distro's
> package management tools to install pre-compiled versions of the
> software you need to print.  That is, "apt-get install hplip" etc.  You
> mentioned earlier that you are running Debian sarge, and he rightly
> points out that all the packages you need, including hplip, are
> available as part of that distribution.

Thanks Bill for weighing in. What you're prescribing here is what I
THOUGHT I was doing. Oh well, still adrift in the jargonic/semantic sea.
Live and learn. The setup steps I followed from HP were really
straightforward and uncomplicated, 1-2-3. The complications arose after
something unexpected pushed me off these easy steps! Things just didn't
go as planned. I've kept a careful record of everything I've done. 

> That said, while I think his advice is sound, I don't agree with his
> statement that running "make" and "configure" is just for developers.
> Not so long ago compiling from source was considered the normal way of
> installing software on Unix and Unix-like systems, and there is nothing
> particularly difficult about it.  Of course, it helps to be a bit
> familiar with "make" and autoconf and your compiler, but that's not
> strictly necessary.  It *is* important to pay attention.  For example,
> when "./configure" failed it would have said so on the screen and
> directed you to config.log to find out why.  There also would have been
> a little more info indicating that a required package or library was not
> present.

Well, I thought I was paying attention. Evidently not where I should. I
did find several failure/error messages within the config.log itself,
but it was not appended with a warning that ./config had failed. And I
did in fact discover via the config.log that cups-devel support was not
present. You'll see in a follow-up message that that issue was resolved,
although the printer still doesn't work yet. 

> It certainly makes sense to use your package manager to install binary
> packages that you need, but someday you just might want or need a
> package that even Debian doesn't have a binary for, and you will want to
> compile it.  So having some familiarity with compiling packages from
> source is a Good Thing.

So I'm learning! If I can get this printer issue resolved, I'll then
scurry back to square-one, get back to learning these fundamentals you
refer to. I know, it sounds like putting the cart before the horse, but
then necessity is the Mother of...what? muddling through? Actually, I'm
pleased with all I'm learning by way of this printer problem. No angst
here.

I should say, too, that I haven't painted myself into a desperate
corner. I've still got my Mac running. But I'd like to pull the plug on
it, demote it, and promote the Debian box to El Numero Uno.

I'm almost there, I think. Appreciate your criticism. It's
constructive. 

Bob







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