GnomeScan instead of Xsane

Registered by Simone Tolotti

GnomeScan should substitute Xsane in the next release.
Xsane is not integrated in the Gnome desktop and personally I find it too difficult to use for a beginner.
GnomeScan is easy to use and fully integrated.

Blueprint information

Martin Pitt
Ken VanDine
Needs approval
Ken VanDine
Series goal:
Milestone target:
Completed by
Martin Pitt

Related branches


Work items:
update package to latest: DONE
write MIR:
change seeds, update ubuntu-meta:
advertise for testing:

pitti, 2009-06-12:
 - please integrate remaining important bits from BoF notes from whiteboard and clean whiteboard
 - release note shouldn't talk about "we need to" (can be fixed later, though)
 - user stories should point out cases which aren't currently working in Jaunty. Both of which can be done with xsane as well (please also fix itemization moin syntax, needs to be " * foo")
 - assumptions is kind of obvious, perhaps just drop it?
 - If you use gimp to acquire an image from a scanner, it currently calls Xsane. How will gimp work with gnomescan?

2009-06-16 kenvandine:
 - I updated the spec and added a user story that should make it clear that you can scan with gnomescan from inside the gimp.
 - There is no new functionality added, it is just easier to use. What do you recommend for user stories?

2009-06-17 pitti: added work item; approved

2009-08-26 pitti: So I tested the current gnomescan in Karmic.

1. I open gnome-scan. After some 5 seconds it finds my Canon scanner (looks a bit confusing before, since there's no progress bar that it's searching for them).
2. I select the scanner. This makes the "Preview" tab available.
3. The first tab (shown by default) asks me for the output file. This is logically the wrong way around, I want to scan and preview first, and save the file as last step. But *shrug*, I set an output file.
4. Hmm, no jpeg available? Come on.
5. I switch to the preview tab. It's not quite clear what to do here, there is an "Update" button next to it and a "read" button at the bottom. In my first attempt I selected the latter, but that was wrong.
6. I click on "update", and get the preview.
7. Now I want to select the area which actually has paper. That doesn't seem possible in any way? That means that I have to edit all the pictures in gimp again, which is quite contrary to the idea of making scanning _easier_.
8. I can't change the image parameters (color, resolution) in the preview tab, where I would actually get some visual feedback.
9. There is no way to adjust brightness, contrast, and gamma of the picture. This is image specific, and the defaults of at least my scanner (and some others I've seen) are bad especially for black/white text documents.
10. I discover that the first tab actually has a "format" combobox which has the standard paper formats and also "manual", but there is no way to actually change the manual dimensions. Since I'm scanning receipts for my expenses, still useless.
11. I give up and just want to save the full A4 picture now. I click on "read".
12. Scanner is grinding. For some reason, the scanning process takes longer than in xscan, but not much.
13. Now it takes 100% CPU for about one minute (!!!) to say "processing page". X-scan does nothing like that, and this slows down scanning a lot.
14. I get two buttons, "Stop" and "Forward". Hmm? "Forward" is the default, so I press enter, just to see that it now scans the page and reprocesses it all over again. Seems the "forward" button is totally useless?
15. Another two minutes later (*tapping feet*) I'm wiser and press "Stop" instead.
16. I open gimp to clip the picture and fix its contrast.

So in summary, this is a big, big, usability, performance, and functionality regression compared to XSane. XSane is fast, has sensible and useful features (color adjustment, also automatically, scanning multiple pages easily with automatic file names), has a sensible workflow (first, scan preview, then edit parameters with instant visual feedback, then finally scan the page), and does not require the user to run GIMP (which is too complex for most scanning tasks). A big -1 from me.

Did anyone else test this and has a better experience?

2009-08-27, pitti: Discussed with Ken, dropped for Karmic.


Work Items