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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:02 am 
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I have a Brother MFC-5440cn which is a scanner/FAX/copier/printer and a very nice piece of hardware.

The problem is the software is an awful POS! When scanning into an imaging app like Photoshop, the user has no direct access to things like dots per inch, color bit depth or any of the usual settings found with any other brand of flatbed image scanner.

All those settings are available in a seperate configuration program wher they may be preset for the "custom" option in the user interface. Unfortunately, the "custom" option doesn't appear to work. There are four user settable presets for "custom", but selecting custom when scanning doesn't open anything where the user may chose one of the four.

The other options are Color, Greyscale and Lineart. Color gets a 24bit color image. Greyscale is 8bit grey and lineart is 1bit. After doing a preview, the user can adjust the scan size. The only other controls available are for brightness, contrast and RGB levels under "advanced".

What I'd like to try is writing a replacement for the usesless interface so that within one window there are these controls.

A droplist with Greyscale, Color, Black & White

Another droplist with the color bitdepths that becomes active when Color is selected.

A box to enter the dots per inch, possibly with a droplist that has several numbers already.

A droplist with various preset scan sizes plus another to select In, Cm or Pixels, with two numeric entry boxes to directly control the scan size.

And a preview pane with resizable and movable scan area selection.

(Pretty much a clone of the Scan Manager for the Visioneer 4400, which looks pretty much like what's with most other scanners, except Brothers'!)

The ONLY one of those available in the Brother software is the preview pane.

Ideally I'd like to do this with freeware programming tools. The Brother company is apparently determined to stay with their useless user interface and the guy who does VueScan said he hasn't given much thought to interfacing with TWAIN drivers instead of or in addition to the total replacement that VueScan does, and he couldn't get around to starting on it for several months to a year. (Or longer.)

I've done plenty of bitching about idiotically designed software, but it's all been beyond what I figured I could hope to do in any reasonable amount of time.

But the TWAIN scanner interface seems to be a small enough subset of things, fairly well seperate from the rest of Windows, that I think it's a project I can tackle. (I hope that TWAIN is TWAIN, and there's not TWAIN v2.5.0.3215 and 58 slightly different other versions.) ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:38 am 
Unfortunately, no. Under TWAIN, the driver for the scanner provides its own GUI that can't be changed unless the driver itself allows it to be changed (don't hold your breath). At this point, you have three choices:

  • 1. SANE explicitly allows exactly what you want. If you can find a SANE driver for your scanner, then you write your interface so that it appears to be another TWAIN scanner, and interfaces with the actual scanner through SANE.
  • 2. Reverse engineer the protocol the driver uses to talk to the scanner, and have your driver talk to the scanner directly.
  • 3. Forget all of this and just deal with the horrible UI.


Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.



edit: Since #1 might not be clear (as I'm a lousy writer), here's a diagram instead. Ph34r t3h 4sc11 4r7!!!!
Code:
                 +-------------+         +--------+       +---------+
Current setup:   | Application |  TWAIN  | TWAIN  |  H/W  | Scanner |
                 |             |-------->| Driver |------>|         |
                 +-------------+         +--------+       +---------+
                                             ^
                                             |
                                             V
                                          +-----+
                                          | GUI |
                                          +-----+



                 +-------------+         +--------+        +--------+       +---------+
New setup:       | Application |  TWAIN  | Custom |  SANE  | SANE   |  H/W  | Scanner |
                 |             |-------->| Driver |------->| Driver |------>|         |
                 +-------------+         +--------+        +--------+       +---------+
                                             ^
                                             |
                                             V
                                          +-----+
                                          | GUI |
                                          +-----+


Now. Clear as mud?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:31 pm 
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From the SANE site.

Quote:
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


The MFC-5440cn is a networkable device. It has a built in ethernet print/scan server, and a USB port.

The SANE page says there's a Windows port, but it's not on the download page. Currently listed is one Brother MFC in the planning stages, but it's a different model that has USB and parallel, no ethernet.

_________________
Fandemonium!
August 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2014

"I am a machine. I am a weapon of war. I am a destroyer of life in the service of life, the sword and shield of my human creators." Bolo Invincibilus, Mark XXIII, Model B (Experimental) 0075-NKE "Nike".


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:33 am 
bizzybody wrote:
From the SANE site.

Quote:
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


The MFC-5440cn is a networkable device. It has a built in ethernet print/scan server, and a USB port.

The SANE page says there's a Windows port, but it's not on the download page. Currently listed is one Brother MFC in the planning stages, but it's a different model that has USB and parallel, no ethernet.


Unfortunately, this means that you're going to have to go with option 2 or 3, unless someone who knows a lot more about scanners than I do has a better idea. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


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