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Old 05-27-2008, 07:57 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

Per the suggestion of Jérémy Bobbio when he closed Bug
# 481514 against installation-reports, I am posting
this item to the debian-devel mailing list.

The Debian installer needs some improvement when it
comes to mouse configuration. Currently, if the user
requests a "standard system" and a "desktop
environment" in the Debian installer, the X Window
System will be installed in such a way that it drives
the mouse directly, rather than going through gpm; and
gpm is not installed. I recommend that gpm be
installed whenever a mouse is detected on the system;
and if the X server is also installed, it should
always be configured to get mouse events from the gpm
daemon rather than drive the mouse directly.

This will allow the use of the mouse both in a virtual
console and in X. Not only that, but "hot swapping"
the mouse will be far less disruptive for X users.
When the X server drives a standard PS/2 mouse
directly, if the user unplugs the mouse and plugs in
another one while the system is running, he must stop
and restart the X server, losing all of his X
applications in the process, in order to regain the
use of the mouse. But when using gpm, all he must do
is stop and re-start the gpm daemon to make the mouse
work again. The X server is unaffected and the X
applications are unaffected.

With this recommendation, you should also move gpm to
CD-ROM number 1.






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Old 05-27-2008, 09:15 PM
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

On Tue, May 27, 2008 at 12:57:11PM -0700, Stephen Powell wrote:
> Per the suggestion of J?r?my Bobbio when he closed Bug
> # 481514 against installation-reports, I am posting
> this item to the debian-devel mailing list.
>
> The Debian installer needs some improvement when it
> comes to mouse configuration. Currently, if the user
> requests a "standard system" and a "desktop
> environment" in the Debian installer, the X Window
> System will be installed in such a way that it drives
> the mouse directly, rather than going through gpm; and
> gpm is not installed. I recommend that gpm be
> installed whenever a mouse is detected on the system;
> and if the X server is also installed, it should
> always be configured to get mouse events from the gpm
> daemon rather than drive the mouse directly.
>
> This will allow the use of the mouse both in a virtual
> console and in X. Not only that, but "hot swapping"
> the mouse will be far less disruptive for X users.
> When the X server drives a standard PS/2 mouse
> directly, if the user unplugs the mouse and plugs in
> another one while the system is running, he must stop
> and restart the X server, losing all of his X
> applications in the process, in order to regain the
> use of the mouse. But when using gpm, all he must do
> is stop and re-start the gpm daemon to make the mouse
> work again. The X server is unaffected and the X
> applications are unaffected.
>
> With this recommendation, you should also move gpm to
> CD-ROM number 1.

With current kernels, if you use /dev/input/mice, the port can be shared
by gpm and X at the same time, and all mice you connect (no matter what)
show up in that device. Of course PS/2 mice can not be connected while
the system is on, since the hardware simply is not designed for that (I
believe it can actually be damaged by trying although I have no seen it
happen.). On a few systems it seems to work if you plug in a ps/2 mouse
on the fly, but on the vast majority it does not work until you reset
the system. USB mice of course are hot plug and hence much simpler.

I like gpm, and use it, but I no longer point X at it like I used to
now that the kernel allows mouse sharing at all times (as long as you
don't try to use the obsolete /dev/psaux device to access the mouse).

gpm would also be on the first CD already, if lots of people used it.
Apparently they do not.

--
Len Sorensen


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Old 05-27-2008, 10:07 PM
Joey Hess
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

Lennart Sorensen wrote:
> With current kernels, if you use /dev/input/mice, the port can be shared
> by gpm and X at the same time, and all mice you connect (no matter what)
> show up in that device. Of course PS/2 mice can not be connected while
> the system is on, since the hardware simply is not designed for that (I
> believe it can actually be damaged by trying although I have no seen it
> happen.). On a few systems it seems to work if you plug in a ps/2 mouse
> on the fly, but on the vast majority it does not work until you reset
> the system. USB mice of course are hot plug and hence much simpler.
>
> I like gpm, and use it, but I no longer point X at it like I used to
> now that the kernel allows mouse sharing at all times (as long as you
> don't try to use the obsolete /dev/psaux device to access the mouse).
>
> gpm would also be on the first CD already, if lots of people used it.
> Apparently they do not.

gpm also leads to a number of complications for some users, as seen in the
BTS.

--
see shy jo
 
Old 05-28-2008, 04:49 AM
Christian Perrier
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

Quoting Stephen Powell (zlinuxman@yahoo.com):

> This will allow the use of the mouse both in a virtual
> console and in X. Not only that, but "hot swapping"

Not to mention the various remarks that have been made, I would like
to enhance that ppl who use the Linux console on a regular basis
(which is usually what motivates activating a mouse on it) are
perfectly able to know that gpm is the package to install if one wants
support for the mouse in the console.

So, do we really want to install/configure GPM for any user of the
system, knowing that a very large part of users will never use
it....and those who might need it are perfectly able to figure out how
to do "aptitude install gpm"*?

In short, I don't think that having gpm by default is worth it.
 
Old 05-28-2008, 02:01 PM
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

On Wed, May 28, 2008 at 06:49:17AM +0200, Christian Perrier wrote:
> Not to mention the various remarks that have been made, I would like
> to enhance that ppl who use the Linux console on a regular basis
> (which is usually what motivates activating a mouse on it) are
> perfectly able to know that gpm is the package to install if one wants
> support for the mouse in the console.
>
> So, do we really want to install/configure GPM for any user of the
> system, knowing that a very large part of users will never use
> it....and those who might need it are perfectly able to figure out how
> to do "aptitude install gpm"??
>
> In short, I don't think that having gpm by default is worth it.

Given most people don't use the console ever, installing a service that
is only for console use by default is simply wrong. The less services
need to be enabled by default the better.

And installing gpm later if needed still allows it to get along with X
so there is no problem, contrary to the original post. There was in the
past, but the kernel has improved since then.

--
Len Sorensen


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Old 05-28-2008, 10:16 PM
Ben Finney
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

lsorense@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Lennart Sorensen) writes:

> Given most people don't use the console ever

Where is your data for this assertion?

> installing a service that is only for console use by default is
> simply wrong. The less services need to be enabled by default the
> better.

This argument would also see the removal of 'login', since that's not
needed by your putative majority of people who don't log in over
text-only interfaces.

This argument fails for the same reason: just because *few* people use
it is not sufficient reason to drop it from the install. If you don't
want 'gpm' installed, you need a different argument.

--
"The shortest distance between two points is under |
` construction." -- Noelie Alito |
_o__) |
Ben Finney


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Old 05-29-2008, 05:43 AM
Christian Perrier
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

Quoting Ben Finney (bignose+hates-spam@benfinney.id.au):
> lsorense@csclub.uwaterloo.ca (Lennart Sorensen) writes:
>
> > Given most people don't use the console ever
>
> Where is your data for this assertion?

Probably too wide generalization by Lennart.

My own assertion was that people who use the console *on an enough
regular basis* (ie to do real work) are clever enough to figure out
that using the mouse in the console needs installing gpm.

I think that this assertion is true. Of course, I have nothing to
prove it except common sense (I was about to joke and say that the
people mentioned above are Joey Schulze....:-))

> > installing a service that is only for console use by default is
> > simply wrong. The less services need to be enabled by default the
> > better.
>
> This argument would also see the removal of 'login', since that's not
> needed by your putative majority of people who don't log in over
> text-only interfaces.

...which would mean dropping the possibility of having a basic login
in virtual consoles. Of course, noone will ever think that.

The point I bringed in that discussion is that virtual consoles are
essentially a fallback for the vast majority of users. And one could
assume that a mouse is not strictly needed for a fallback.

>
> This argument fails for the same reason: just because *few* people use
> it is not sufficient reason to drop it from the install. If you don't
> want 'gpm' installed, you need a different argument.

What we want to bring is that having only few people needing it makes
a good reason to not install it by default (and have it ask questions
to users, indeed).
 
Old 05-29-2008, 05:54 AM
Yves-Alexis Perez
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

On jeu, 2008-05-29 at 08:16 +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> This argument would also see the removal of 'login', since that's not
> needed by your putative majority of people who don't log in over
> text-only interfaces.

Do you _really_ think gpm is as important as login?
--
Yves-Alexis
 
Old 05-29-2008, 02:35 PM
Stephen Powell
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

> With current kernels, if you use /dev/input/mice,
the
> port can be shared
> by gpm and X at the same time, and all mice you
connect
> (no matter what)
> show up in that device.

Thanks for the update on mouse sharing in newer
kernels. I didn't realize that this support had been
added. That does take away part of my supporting
argument for configuring X to use gpm.

> Of course PS/2 mice can not be connected while
> the system is on, since the hardware simply is not
> designed for that ...

I realize that PS/2 mice were not intended to be hot
swapped, but "stuff happens". Sometimes the connector
is loose and falls out, sometimes a mischievous
co-worker unplugs it as a practical joke, sometimes
the mouse fails, sometimes someone trips over the
cord, sometimes the dog chews on it, sometimes an
inquisitive toddler unplugs it, etc. Being able to
recover from these things without requiring a reboot
(or at least restarting the X server) is a nice
feature, one that gpm provides.

> gpm also leads to a number of complications for some
> users, as seen in the BTS.

Well, as Scotty of Star Trek fame says, "The more they
overtink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the
drain." (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock) But
then again, you could make that argument for the new
kernel support for mouse sharing too. Yes, adding
another layer of software also adds another thing that
can go wrong. The key is to make the benefits greater
than the cost. I can only say that I have used gpm on
several different machines under several different
releases of Linux, and I have never had a bit of
trouble with it. In some cases I seem to remember it
allowing the mouse to work when X couldn't drive it
directly (the "fups2" protocol came to the rescue).
And it has saved my hindquarters when the mouse got
unplugged somehow.

> Given most people don't use the console ever,
> installing a service that
> is only for console use by default is simply wrong.

I'm not sure how one would know that most people don't
use the console. I, for one, use it a lot. But even
it it's true, I don't see why a device driver for a
device that is present on the system shouldn't be
installed. Should you not install serial port support
because most people don't use the serial port? It
won't HARM people who DON'T use the console, will it?
We're talking about basic hardware support here,
something that many applications can use -- not an
application. Please reconsider.






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Old 05-29-2008, 03:18 PM
Ron Johnson
 
Default Mouse configuration during installation needs improvement

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On 05/29/08 09:35, Stephen Powell wrote:
[snip]
>
>> Given most people don't use the console ever,
>> installing a service that
>> is only for console use by default is simply wrong.
>
> I'm not sure how one would know that most people don't
> use the console. I, for one, use it a lot. But even

Amen. This is Debian, not Ubuntu.

- --
Ron Johnson, Jr.
Jefferson LA USA

"I must acknowledge, once and for all, that the purpose of
diplomacy is to prolong a crisis.", Mr. Spock
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