Author Topic: SANE is a possible cross platform solution to bring new life to old Scanners  (Read 2568 times)

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Software Santa

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SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) is a possible cross platform solution to bring new life to old Scanners!

Santa's note: "Easy" is a relative term here. This is not a Good Idea for Scanners that are still supported by your Operating System AND Scanner Manufacturers, Oh NO!

This may bring new life to scanners that still work: but have had official support for them dropped either by the Scanner Manufacturer OR by your Operating Systems Manufacturer. And you have to collect several different pieces - specific to your OS Version - and install them one by one. Like the SANE Drivers package and then a USB Interface Library and then a "Back end" package .... All in All: Installing this is a royal Pain in the Neck!

But it CAN do the Job of making your OLD Scanner GO Again! Hey, if you are made of Money go ahead and buy a NEW Scanner (and a New OS while you are at it)! Otherwise: you might be desperate enough to try to install this system enhancement for yourself.

(This useful tool brought back to life a perfectly good Canon "LIDE 20" scanner that is USB bus powered and uses LED Technology - hardware that should last more than 20 years! But Canon stopped supporting it with their "Drivers": JUST so Software Santa would be forced to buy a NEW Scanner from them! This project kept those CHEATERS from Winning - Software Santa will be scanning with that Scanner and SANE for decades! And Santa has learned an Important lesson: he will Never EVER Buy ANYTHING from Canon again!)

SANE - Introduction

  SANE stands for "Scanner Access Now Easy" and is an application programming interface (API) that provides standardized access to any raster image scanner hardware (flatbed scanner, hand-held scanner, video- and still-cameras, frame-grabbers, etc.).  The SANE API is public domain and its discussion and development is open to everybody.  The current source code is written for UNIX (including GNU/Linux) and is available under the GNU General Public License (the SANE API is available to proprietary applications and backends as well, however).  More details about the license can be found on our license page. Ports to MacOS X, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows are either already done or in progress.
 SANE is a universal scanner interface.  The value of such a universal interface is that it allows writing just one driver per image acquisition device rather than one driver for each device and application.  So, if you have three applications and four devices, traditionally you'd have had to write 12 different programs.  With SANE, this number is reduced to seven: the three applications plus the four drivers.  Of course, the savings get even bigger as more and more drivers and/or applications are added.
 Not only does SANE reduce development time and code duplication, it also raises the level at which applications can work.  As such, it will enable applications that were previously unheard of in the UNIX world.  While SANE is primarily targeted at a UNIX environment, the standard has been carefully designed to make it possible to implement the API on virtually any hardware or operating system.
 While SANE is an acronym for “Scanner Access Now Easy” the hope is of course that SANE is indeed sane in the sense that it will allow easy implementation of the API while accommodating all features required by today's scanner hardware and applications.  Specifically, SANE should be broad enough to accommodate devices such as scanners, digital still and video cameras, as well as virtual devices like image file filters.
 If you're familiar with TWAIN, you may wonder why there is a need for SANE.  Simply put, TWAIN does not separate the user-interface from the driver of a device.  This, unfortunately, makes it difficult, if not impossible, to provide network transparent access to image acquisition devices (which is useful if you have a LAN full of machines, but scanners connected to only one or two machines; it's obviously also useful for remote-controlled cameras and such).  It also means that any particular TWAIN driver is pretty much married to a particular GUI API (be it Win32 or the Mac API).  In contrast, SANE cleanly separates device controls from their representation in a user-interface. As a result, SANE has no difficulty supporting command-line driven interfaces or network-transparent scanning.  For these reasons, it is unlikely that there will ever be a SANE backend that can talk to a TWAIN driver.  The converse is no problem though: it is pretty straight forward to access SANE devices through a TWAIN source. In summary, if TWAIN had been just a little better designed, there would have been no reason for SANE to exist, but things being the way they are, TWAIN simply isn't SANE.
SANE - Supported Devices

Scanner Search Engine  The search engine knows if your scanner is supported and if yes, by which backend.  If it's not supported, it may at least point to documentation or test programs.  The search engine contains information from the latest stable SANE release, the development ("git") version of SANE and from external backends. The database is updated once per day.
 Lists of Devices  The lists of devices contain information not only about scanners and other devices but also about APIs (e.g. Video for Linux) and meta backends (e.g. dll). If you want to check if your scanner is supported, look at the lists that are ordered by manufacturer. If you are interested in the devices a backends supports, have a look at the lists ordered by backend.
 Current Stable SANE Version  These lists provide information about the devices that are supported by the latest stable release of SANE. If your device isn't mention in these lists or tagged as "unsupported", also have a look at the lists for the development version and the external backends below.
SANE Development (git) Version  These lists provide information about the devices that are supported by the unstable development version of SANE. The lists are updated automatically from git.
SANE External Backends  This list provides information about the devices that are supported by external backends, i.e. backends that are not yet included in the SANE package. They also contain the reason why these backends are not yet included. Go to the backend's homepage for download instructions and more information.
 Old SANE Versions  If you have an older release of SANE and want to check if your scanner is supported by that version, these lists are for you.
 Note: links in these archived lists may fail, but updated links might exist in the lists for later versions.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 03:28:52 AM by Software Santa »


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