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The X.Org Plans For Moving Away From HAL

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  • The X.Org Plans For Moving Away From HAL

    Phoronix: The X.Org Plans For Moving Away From HAL

    To address the questions that have been coming up frequently regarding the X.Org Server and the plans to stop using HAL, Sun's Alan Coopersmith has created a new Wiki page called XorgHAL. On this Wiki page, Alan explains how this hardware abstraction layer for Linux and other operating systems is currently in use for finding input devices, being notified of input device hot-plugging, mapping system input devices, and setting input device options. X.Org has been using HAL since X Server 1.4 and it continues to be used in the most recent X Server 1.7 series, but the migration away from HAL will likely be completed in time for X Server 1.8...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=Nzc2Mw

  • #2
    devicekit

    did the X guys consider using devicekit? what's the issue there?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by garytr24 View Post
      did the X guys consider using devicekit? what's the issue there?
      There is no DeviceKit support for input devices, which is why the DeviceKit developers flat out told X.Org not to bother (and that was before they decided to stop DeviceKit as well, moving again to udisks/upower/etc.)

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      • #4
        Er… what!? Has DeviceKit been abandoned already?

        All this is plain crazy imho - I don't see why HAL was such a bad piece of software to begin with. It's an established quasi-standard that managed to settle, and it was even available on non-Linux (at least on FreeBSD, to my knowledge) systems. Now everyone's going back to reinvent the wheel to make bootup a tenth of a second faster. Am I the only one thinking that's kinda stupid?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by alanc View Post
          There is no DeviceKit support for input devices, which is why the DeviceKit developers flat out told X.Org not to bother (and that was before they decided to stop DeviceKit as well, moving again to udisks/upower/etc.)
          What? DeviceKit was dumped already? You've got to be frakin kidding me :|

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          • #6
            At the very, very least, put the input handling code into a library, put the device files into something non-X-specific, and make it reasonable for other projects to reuse the data instead of making yet another X-only abstraction that has nothing X-specific about it. :/

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            • #7
              What do you mean by "dumped"?
              Afaik it's just being renamed to udisks:
              http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...er/000567.html

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              • #8
                Originally posted by colo View Post
                Erů what!? Has DeviceKit been abandoned already?
                See the threads on devkit-devel this week, such as this post - they renamed the projects, including all the functions, libraries, binaries, dbus addresses and other interfaces,
                so all software using DeviceKit will have to be updated to the new names.

                Am I the only one thinking that's kinda stupid?
                No, you're not.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by colo View Post
                  Erů what!? Has DeviceKit been abandoned already?

                  All this is plain crazy imho - I don't see why HAL was such a bad piece of software to begin with. It's an established quasi-standard that managed to settle, and it was even available on non-Linux (at least on FreeBSD, to my knowledge) systems. Now everyone's going back to reinvent the wheel to make bootup a tenth of a second faster. Am I the only one thinking that's kinda stupid?

                  Doesn't it make you wish there was a "Reach out and bitchslap someone" button in mailing lists?

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                  • #10
                    I'm wondering about this: Ubuntu 10.04 is about to adopt X Server 1.7 and completely drop HAL, but since HAL will be completely dropped only in 1.8, what is Ubuntu gonna do about that?

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                    • #11
                      That's excellent news! More stuff that no one needs is getting removed at last. I hope the maxcpu support will be raised to 256 millions CPUs soon to nicely complement the loss of HAL/DeviceKit.

                      (I won't bother linking to the comic, bridgman, everyone knows it by now )

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by garytr24 View Post
                        did the X guys consider using devicekit? what's the issue there?
                        I guess the most obvious issue is (to me at least) the configuration of (input-)devices. For example my keyboard usually defaults to an us-layout when I'm using the evdev-driver, so to change this I had to edit some ugly xml-ish Hal-configfile because it would ignore the settings in my Xorg.conf. If everything is done by X itself all config-files will finally be in one place again.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by colo View Post
                          All this is plain crazy imho - I don't see why HAL was such a bad piece of software to begin with. It's an established quasi-standard that managed to settle, and it was even available on non-Linux (at least on FreeBSD, to my knowledge) systems. Now everyone's going back to reinvent the wheel to make bootup a tenth of a second faster. Am I the only one thinking that's kinda stupid?
                          I think you should at least use Google before wondering why HAL is being replaced.
                          If you search "DeviceKit" you get:
                          http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Features/DeviceKit
                          which in turn brings you to:
                          http://lists.freedesktop.org/archive...ay/011560.html

                          I think the second link is quite informative.

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                          • #14
                            Well, I always hated HAL for causing me nightmares (as a Linux veterant who lived fine before it). But I somehow understand why it was good for "Linux On The Desktop". I was making things "plug n' play".

                            Udev is great, but lack some kind of dinamic policy and understandable syntax for less advanced users. I want to state it, FDI are ugly and override many settings like network, xorg.conf and modprobe.d (less frequent). So it caused me a lot of trouble, mainly with: synaptic, touchscreen, multiple keyboard, trackwheel, mouse acceleration, custom screen resolution, dbus lockup, various deadlock, making devices unusable until reboot after unplugging them, kernel panic (when my DVC-150b is plugged) and probably some other minor problem. It is why I removed it before it was dropped. It was a pain and I uderstand why a bunch of real code linux devs would want to drop it. It was annoying and buggy.

                            But now, how is everything going to work? We are going to go back to duplicated, highly OS specific code in every applications? I think it is worst, because now we have no choice. We can't just drop things and go manually as there will be no unified framwork anymore. It is going to be software by software with minimal automated D-Bus communication...

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by elanthis View Post
                              At the very, very least, put the input handling code into a library, put the device files into something non-X-specific, and make it reasonable for other projects to reuse the data instead of making yet another X-only abstraction that has nothing X-specific about it. :/
                              We tried to do that originally, but in the end nobody even pretended to care, so we're just doing our own thing again. Oh well.

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