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Date:      Tue, 5 May 2020 05:47:29 -0400
From:      Jerry <jerry@seibercom.net>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: Brother HL-L2340D printer and lpd?
Message-ID:  <20200505054729.00000035@seibercom.net>
In-Reply-To: <20200505095657.b436931b.freebsd@edvax.de>
References:  <20200503171259.GA48627@admin.sibptus.ru> <20200503192444.2d700440.freebsd@edvax.de> <ec10816a-15d1-e947-e032-9ad024c044d6@pinyon.org> <20200503185521.GB52059@admin.sibptus.ru> <20200504085053.9bcf8d9d.freebsd@edvax.de> <9992c5ca-fdac-7a62-b0e4-d33afaeb042d@panix.com> <20200505095657.b436931b.freebsd@edvax.de>

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On Tue, 5 May 2020 09:56:57 +0200, Polytropon commented:
>On Mon, 4 May 2020 15:10:58 -0400, Kurt Hackenberg wrote:
>> On 2020-05-04 02:50, Polytropon wrote:
>>  =20
>> > However, it's really scary that a printer like the one mentioned
>> > here does not seem to understand ASCII text, even though it
>> > supports PCL standard (as shown on the specification page). =20
>>=20
>>=20
>> PCL was originally ASCII with proprietary escape sequences mixed in,
>> but that spec page says that printer understands PCL 6, which
>> apparently is a stack-based graphics language like PostScript,
>> except binary. It's supposed to include backward compatibility with
>> PCL 5, but doesn't always. So possibly what that printer understands
>> has nothing to do with ASCII.
>>=20
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_Command_Language
>>=20
>> I don't like it either, but there is heavy pressure to hold down the=20
>> cost of printers. =20
>
>Thank you, that is an important note! PCL backward compatibility
>might be the reason why the printer accepts PCL intended for a
>Laserjet 4 (I don't know, maybe PCL 3?), but doesn't actually
>print anything. So the printer filter will have to explicitely
>output PCL 6. That could be achieved using a different output
>device for gs, or using CUPS in combination with the PPD file
>provided by Brother. This of course brings you all the "joy"
>of using CUPS... ;-)
>
>Maybe this thread can also help:
>
>https://lists.freebsd.org/pipermail/freebsd-questions/2017-July/277994.html

Poly, I know you are going to disagree with me here vehemently, but the
problems expressed by the OP are one of the reasons I so detest
'printing' under FreeBSD. This is 2020, not 1820. There is absolutely
no reason that a user should have to go through all this effort
required to print, or FAX, or Scan or Copy a document.

I have used Brother printers for years and generally like them far
better than HP or other manufacturers, but that is a personal
preference. In cases where 'Brother' does supply a PPD, I,
unfortunately, have to use 'cups' to utilize that file. If there is no
readily available PPD via Brother for a particular printer, I extract
it from the 'printer driver' cd supplied by Brother for the device or
download the driver from Brother and extract the PPD from it.
Obviously, that requires a Windows machine. If you don't happen to have
on handy, I am sure you must know a friend or two who does and is
willing to help you out.

In any case, this will only assist you with printing. All of the other
functions that are readily available on a Windows machine are usually
cloaked away from FreeBSD operators. Brother does supply some utilities
for Linux and Debian, but not FreeBSD. I had a telephone conversation
several years ago with a Brother technician. I asked him directly why
they did not support FreeBSD more aggressively. He stated that he used
Linux on his home machine. He went on to say that FreeBSD does not
adhere to common standards. I assume he meant 'Linux' standards. He
claimed that writing drivers for FreeBSD were not cost-effective since
they would require constant maintenance and that the market share for
FreeBSD did not justify the cost. He also claimed that ripping the PPD
from a Windows driver was probably the best idea if Brother did not
supply a PPD for the product. He also stated that Brother did supply
PPD's for their better model printers. Of course, that doesn't help
with the other functions.

I know you are going to tell me that there are programs available that
will allow faxing or scanning, but they are way more trouble than I am
willing to put up with. Plus, they are usually separate programs that
typically do not work well together. I have not seen any that would
enable me to do a copy and attach it to email or convert to another
format easily, if at all. The bottom line is 'time is money,' and I am
not at all interested in writing a 'conf'  or XML file to perform a
function that I can already do on a Windows machine without any of the
aggravation. Now with the advent of 'cloud printing,' I can see things
only getting more perverse.

In my opinion, the FOSS community has never put any real effort into
creating an environment where 'printing' and the olla podrida of other
functions that a modern printer can perform, are not considered of any
real importance. I find it troublesome that the concept of "It should
just work" has never entered the lexicon of so many users.

--=20
Jerry

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