Well I just finished a healthy 2-hour session with Google Reader and have a few things to comment on, but at the moment, I just wanted to make a quick post.

I’ve been using Linux for five years. I’m in the process of planning to move a lot of my servers and development systems to the openSolaris operating system. Overall, I’m a pretty technical person. While I admit to occasionally using Webmin, I’m perfectly comfortable editing the Apache config files by hand. That being said, with all of the recent emphasis on Linux as a desktop machine (for end users!) there are some things that I expect to “just work”. When I upgraded for openSuSE 10.2, and now 10.3RC1, I expected some good desktop technology - granted, openSuSE isn’t the choice for a “just works” end-user desktop.

One word. Printing. Despite how I’ve tried, I still can’t get my Linux boxen to print well. Printing a webpage from Firefox requires endless tweaking of borders, margins, and other nasty stuff. If I happen to be in a new location and print something, I grab a pen, as I know that the headers and footer/last few lines of text on my web page will be cut off, unless I’ve tweaked the margins for the specific printer.

Why is this the case? Of all the things that people want Linux to do, this seems like a simple one. The printable area of an 8 1/2x11” piece of paper is relatively standard. The actual printable margins for a given printer are well known. So why is it the my HP LaserJet or my roommate’s Brother 5500DN is such a mystery to Linux?


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