Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Newer is not necessarily better

I'm still getting acclimated to the changes in Gnome 3. So far, some things that initially irritated me ended up being easy to get used to. Others, still bug me on a daily basis. I still want to take more time to collect my thoughts on the matter, but one thing really stood out today: Gnome System Settings has some rather drastic feature regressions compared to the system-config-* applications that Fedora used to ship.

Let me start at the beginning: I have an HP OfficeJet 4500 printer on my network. When I first reformatted my machine and set up printing, I had no troubles getting the System Settings -> Printers panel to find my printer on the network and print pages for me. Everything seemed peachy. Today, I needed to scan something but neither Simple Scan nor the GIMP would recognize the scanner on the printer. This struck me as really odd, since I remember everything just working when I set it up in Fedora 14. Long story short, the System Settings application always chooses the wrong driver when you add a network printer, landing on the dnssd drive and not having any options for you to switch which driver is used. The driver you actually want is the hplip driver that is already installed with Fedora.

The simplest solution to the problem turned out to be launching system-config-printer (the Printing application in Applications menu). It's a much more featureful and easier to use configuration application. I quickly had the driver switched and everything is working great, but what a waste of my evening trying to solve this.

Next time I need to change something, I think I'll start with the appropriate system-config application and go from there.