Yesterday, I decided that I'm going to switch my printer to my new server. That doesn't sound too difficult, but the problems are in the detail. As this was a new machine, I started to consider which printing system to use. And, I wanted a printing system that allows me to integrate my fax into it. The result was bad:
  • berkley lpr: Ok, that was a nice time. But this one is just too inflexible for the current time. Any option requires a new printer. Lpr, it was nice that we meet, but your time is gone.
  • lprNG: not too alive anymore
  • cups: This promises to be what in German is called "eierlegende Wollmilchsau". However, it fails ugly. It needs to be able to connect to localhost. Running in a vserver seems not to work, as it should connect to the ip-address of your localhost, and not 127.0.0.1. The good question is of course: Why does it need ip-networking at all, and can't just use some socket for conversation? (Via that, it's even secure to reuse user ids for authentication - never trust a ident server for root or so.) Also, the way of configuring network printing is just scarry - or should I call it overengineered? I don't doubt that it's possible to do whatever setup I like, but it's the effort for even easy things is not too different from something difficult. And the general bloat is not much better. I am interessted in setting up a printer, not in getting a second webserver on my machine.

    I expected cups to be able to integrate my fax in it. However, as far as I understood, options can only select between predefined values, so that the only choice is to send the fax number as job title. That is ugly.

The result is sad: Printing didn't really improve. Still the most easy printer configuration was the one I had with slackware years ago when I installed Linux first.