The Gnome Scan project aim to provide scan features every where in the Gnome desktop like print is. The Gnome Scan project consist of a C/GObject library upon which are build a standalone app and plugins for various apps including The Gimp. The application and plugins are called flegita.
Why is this important ?
Scan has always been a lame in desktops. Each device is shipped with its own software often only for proprietary OSes. On free desktops, XSane provide a full-featured standalone app. XSane is the best scanner software for freedesktop. However, it's usable only for advanced users. Also, integration in other app is lame (e.g. OCR in Abiword).
Gnome Scan intend to fill this huge lake in Gnome by implementing a system that ease the addition of scan feature for developers and ease the use of scanner for users.
How goes Gnome Scan ?
Gnome Scan was started as a Google Summer of Code 2006 project lead by Étienne Bersac and mentored by Vincent Untz. After the success of the Summer of Code, the development continue until 0.4 branch. This branch is quite stable. But Gnome Scan suffer from a huge lake of dynamic handling of configurations. This is why Gnome Scan is now being redesigned and redevelopped. See specification draft for further details on new Gnome Scan design.