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Old 02-09-2010, 09:47 AM
Willie Wong
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 02:16:15AM -0600, Dale wrote:
> Simpler than that, just add -hal to xorg stuff in package.use and then
> run emerge -uvDNa world. It will rebuild a couple things, maybe even
> just xorg, then everything is back to the old way. This allows hal to
> be their for other things where it does work but it disables it where it
> doesn't work.
>
Don't you also need to find yourself a working xorg.conf? I seem to be
under the impression that the OP has a recently built new system.

"Xorg -configure" usually gives a working configuration file. Unless
you have nonstandard input devices or if you need to tweak the
settings for graphics and display.

The good thing is: you only need to set it up once and forget about
it. The bad thing is: you only set it up once and forget about it, so
the next time you install a new system you have to read the man page
again.

Cheers,

W
--
Willie W. Wong wwong@math.princeton.edu
Data aequatione quotcunque fluentes quantitae involvente fluxiones invenire
et vice versa ~~~ I. Newton
 
Old 02-09-2010, 10:11 AM
Dale
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

chrome://messenger/locale/messengercompose/composeMsgs.properties:

On Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 02:16:15AM -0600, Dale wrote:


Simpler than that, just add -hal to xorg stuff in package.use and then
run emerge -uvDNa world. It will rebuild a couple things, maybe even
just xorg, then everything is back to the old way. This allows hal to
be their for other things where it does work but it disables it where it
doesn't work.



Don't you also need to find yourself a working xorg.conf? I seem to be
under the impression that the OP has a recently built new system.

"Xorg -configure" usually gives a working configuration file. Unless
you have nonstandard input devices or if you need to tweak the
settings for graphics and display.

The good thing is: you only need to set it up once and forget about
it. The bad thing is: you only set it up once and forget about it, so
the next time you install a new system you have to read the man page
again.

Cheers,

W



Most likely he will need to generate a xorg.conf. There is a example
one available as well. I'm hoping the Gentoo install docs still tell
how to generate a xorg.conf tho. Surely they didn't remove that. I
doubt he was installing Gentoo without reading the docs.


Maybe the OP will post back what is going on shortly.

I also got to start looking at last names instead of just first names.
We have one more Alan on the list.


Dale

:-) :-)
 
Old 02-09-2010, 11:37 AM
Alan Mackenzie
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

Hi, Iain,

On Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 09:09:14AM +0930, Iain Buchanan wrote:
> On Mon, 2010-02-08 at 22:20 +0000, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
> [snip to the crux:]
> > Can this new-style fragmented XML configuration do anything that a
> > good old-fashioned, human-readable and compact xorg.conf can't? If
> > so, what? What am I missing here?

> presumably you're missing the previous conversation on this topic:
> http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.user/225223/focus=225223

Yes, indeed. I've read up about half of it now. Have I understood
correctly, that if I carry on with this HAL, I need to use a heavyweight
window manager (such as Gnome) to be able to configure things with?

I "use" Gnome at the moment with an old Debian system, but that "use" is
basically confined to starting Firefox and sometimes xpdf, and
occasionally gimp, and switching between windows. So I'm looking to use
a less bloated WM now. I haven't decided which, yet, either xfce or
ratpoison, or maybe something in between. Sometime I'd like to try
xmonad, because Haskell is such a sweet language.

> > Please, somebody, tell me all this HAL stuff is straightforwardly
> > explained in an easily accessible Gentoo document, so that I can hang
> > my head in shame and apologise for the noise! ;-)

> isn't it just done for you?

I don't know. It (i.e. startx) didn't work at all until I emerged xterm.
Now it starts with 3 working xterms with focus-follows-mouse. I suppose
that counts as "working".

> $ slocate 10-input-policy.fdi
> /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi

> iain@orpheus ~ $ equery belongs /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi
> * Searching for /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi ...
> sys-apps/hal-0.5.14-r2 (/usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi)

> so why are you copying these files by hand?

Because the fine manual "The X Server Configuration HOWTO" encouraged me
to do so: "Just find a few that suit your needs most closely and copy
them ...."; "Just copy the ones you need, and edit them once they're
placed in the proper /etc location.".

Actually I hadn't got around to copying them. I was fuming at the
vagueness of the instructions, and the vagueness of everything else to do
with HAL. I've a lot of sympathy with David Bowman. ;-)

So, is there any documentation in Gentoo for configuring HAL?

> --
> Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>

--
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).
 
Old 02-09-2010, 11:43 AM
"Zeerak Waseem"
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On Tue, 09 Feb 2010 11:27:32 +0100, Neil Bothwick <neil@digimed.co.uk>
wrote:



On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 21:17:08 -0500, Walter Dnes wrote:


My solution to simplify Gentoo...

waltdnes@d531 ~ $ cat /etc/portage/package.mask
sys-libs/pam
sys-apps/dbus
sys-apps/hal


That's as much crippling as simplifying. You can do without pam and hal
by setting appropriate USE flags (I run pam-free here by
doing just that) but D-Bus provides a standard way for applications to
communicate with one another and removing it can stop your desktop
working as it should.




Really? I removed dbus from my system altogether and everything seems to
be communicating fine. And according to this
(http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-810848-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-0.html)
a system should be able to communicate without dbus.


And an easy way to be pam, dbus, and hal free is just setting the right
USE flags. I'd say it's easier than to make a package.mask file, if you
haven't created one.


--
Zeerak
 
Old 02-09-2010, 12:33 PM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On Tue, 09 Feb 2010 13:43:12 +0100, Zeerak Waseem wrote:

> > That's as much crippling as simplifying. You can do without pam and
> > hal by setting appropriate USE flags (I run pam-free here by
> > doing just that) but D-Bus provides a standard way for applications to
> > communicate with one another and removing it can stop your desktop
> > working as it should.

> Really? I removed dbus from my system altogether and everything seems
> to be communicating fine. And according to this
> (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-810848-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-0.html)
> a system should be able to communicate without dbus.

I've not read the whole thread, but this quote jumped out.

"DBUS is just the chosen successor to DCOP and CORBA; all platforms have
inter-process messaging (e.g, Distributed Objects in OSX/*STEP)."

It is a messaging layer and nothing to do with HAL, although HAL may use
it to communicate, for example to let the desktop know that a USB device
has been connected or disconnected.

While HAL is an ugly mess that should never be exposed to users, D-Bus
just gets on with its job, maybe because it is not exposed to users.


--
Neil Bothwick

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin
 
Old 02-09-2010, 01:08 PM
Mike Edenfield
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On 2/8/2010 5:20 PM, Alan Mackenzie wrote:


. Am I the only person that finds this semantic gibberish? Is there
any explanation somewhere of what a "policy" aka "device rule" is? What
is the semantic significance of a "device rule"? What does it mean, to
"rule a device", or what sort of restrictions are being placed on this
device?



Given that one might desire a "basic working keyboard/mouse
combination", what is the chain of reasoning that ends up selecting the
file called "10-input-policy.fdi" from all the other ones?



This file is an inpenetrable stanza of uncommented XML. Are its verbs
documented somewhere? What do "<match ...>" and"<append ....>" mean,
for example?


The way HAL works, in a nutshell, is to scan your system for
every known piece of hardware it can find, and stores the
information in a tree-like database of key/value pairs.
Software can then query this database for information about
whatever hardware you have. The information includes things
like the bus location of the hardware, the manufacturer
information, state information, and a lists of known
capabilities like "keyboard", "mouse", "disk", etc.


Device Rules are simply ways for the user to change values
in the database after a device has been detected. The XML
files work in two steps:


1. <match> an existing node in the database,
2. <append> or <merge new values into those nodes.

For example, the hplip printer/scanner drivers include a set
of HAL rules that match HP devices by their PCI device
information, then append "scanner" to their list of
capabilities. Other software can then scan the HAL database
for "all scanners" and find them. The synaptics touchpad
driver (if you build it +hal) includes a set of HAL rules
that overrides the standard 'mouse' rules to make your
touchpad more useful.


That bit about you having to do anything to make a "basic
working" setup function, though, is wrong. On Gentoo, at
least, everything you need for a working keyboard and mouse
in X should be installed properly for you by default. You'd
only need to mess with the rules if something didn't work.
But, see below.



Can this new-style fragmented XML configuration do anything that a good
old-fashioned, human-readable and compact xorg.conf can't? If so, what?
What am I missing here?


HAL manages a *lot* more than just your X configuration.
It's intended to be a complete hardware management layer,
one that was able to keep pace with new hardware more
quickly than the kernel could. If you run the HAL database
dump utility "lshal" you'll see more information about your
hardware than you could ever possible care to know.



Please, somebody, tell me all this HAL stuff is straightforwardly
explained in an easily accessible Gentoo document, so that I can hang my
head in shame and apologise for the noise! ;-)


Oddly enough, the most complete explanation of HAL I've ever
found was on the Gentoo wiki and I think the page may be
lost. It was never really documented that well, though
there are a number of places you can find specific ways to
do specific things (like using a touchpad) with HAL.


The key point here, though, is that HAL is going away. Not
because it was hard to configure, though -- because the code
is an "unmaintainable mess" and because other software, like
udev, duplicated much of its purpose.


At this point, if it's not working for you out of the box,
turn it back off and revert to the old style configuration file.
 
Old 02-09-2010, 01:08 PM
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

Alan Mackenzie wrote:

>> Hi, Iain,
>>
>> On Tue, Feb 09, 2010 at 09:09:14AM +0930, Iain Buchanan wrote:
>> > On Mon, 2010-02-08 at 22:20 +0000, Alan Mackenzie wrote:
>> > [snip to the crux:]
>> > > Can this new-style fragmented XML configuration do anything that a
>> > > good old-fashioned, human-readable and compact xorg.conf can't? If
>> > > so, what? What am I missing here?
>>
>> > presumably you're missing the previous conversation on this topic:
>> > http://thread.gmane.org/gmane.linux.gentoo.user/225223/focus=225223
>>
>> Yes, indeed. I've read up about half of it now. Have I understood
>> correctly, that if I carry on with this HAL, I need to use a heavyweight
>> window manager (such as Gnome) to be able to configure things with?
>>
>> I "use" Gnome at the moment with an old Debian system, but that "use" is
>> basically confined to starting Firefox and sometimes xpdf, and
>> occasionally gimp, and switching between windows. So I'm looking to use
>> a less bloated WM now. I haven't decided which, yet, either xfce or
>> ratpoison, or maybe something in between. Sometime I'd like to try
>> xmonad, because Haskell is such a sweet language.
>>
>> > > Please, somebody, tell me all this HAL stuff is straightforwardly
>> > > explained in an easily accessible Gentoo document, so that I can hang
>> > > my head in shame and apologise for the noise! ;-)
>>
>> > isn't it just done for you?
>>
>> I don't know. It (i.e. startx) didn't work at all until I emerged xterm.
>> Now it starts with 3 working xterms with focus-follows-mouse. I suppose
>> that counts as "working".
>>

This is the failsafe. I thinks is twm.

>> > $ slocate 10-input-policy.fdi
>> > /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi
>>
>> > iain@orpheus ~ $ equery belongs /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi
>> > * Searching for /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi ...
>> > sys-apps/hal-0.5.14-r2 (/usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/10osvendor/10-input-policy.fdi)
>>
>> > so why are you copying these files by hand?
>>
>> Because the fine manual "The X Server Configuration HOWTO" encouraged me
>> to do so: "Just find a few that suit your needs most closely and copy
>> them ...."; "Just copy the ones you need, and edit them once they're
>> placed in the proper /etc location.".
>>
>> Actually I hadn't got around to copying them. I was fuming at the
>> vagueness of the instructions, and the vagueness of everything else to do
>> with HAL. I've a lot of sympathy with David Bowman. ;-)
>>
>> So, is there any documentation in Gentoo for configuring HAL?
>>
>> > --
>> > Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>
>>
>> --
>> Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).
>>
>>

You don't need a heavy wm to use hal with xorg. I use blackbox and my
hal works a treat, the only thing I have in my xorg is my video settings
because my monitor is a twat and has forgotten it's own mode lines (or
it won't tell my gcard).

Blackbox is super and lightweight.

The fdi files should be copied over to /etc and reconfigured, the ones
in /usr should remain.

If you have every configured xorg by hand before, the xml syntax in the
fdi files are quite easy to get to grips with, like key=lvalue and type
is the type of data the lvalue will point to, the part inbetween the
tags is the value.

<merge key="input.xkb.layout" type="string">gb</merge>

So this says insert into my xorg keyboards section the lvalue layout and
its value is "GB", easy, huh?
--
Regards,
Roundyz
 
Old 02-09-2010, 01:10 PM
Mark Knecht
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 5:33 AM, Neil Bothwick <neil@digimed.co.uk> wrote:
> On Tue, 09 Feb 2010 13:43:12 +0100, Zeerak Waseem wrote:
>
>> > That's as much crippling as simplifying. You can do without pam and
>> > hal by setting appropriate USE flags (I run pam-free here by
>> > doing just that) but D-Bus provides a standard way for applications to
>> > communicate with one another and removing it can stop your desktop
>> > working as it should.
>
>> Really? I removed dbus from my system altogether and everything seems
>> to be communicating fine. And according to this
>> (http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-810848-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-0.html)
>> a system should be able to communicate without dbus.
>
> I've not read the whole thread, but this quote jumped out.
>
> "DBUS is just the chosen successor to DCOP and CORBA; all platforms have
> *inter-process messaging (e.g, Distributed Objects in OSX/*STEP)."
>
> It is a messaging layer and nothing to do with HAL, although HAL may use
> it to communicate, for example to let the desktop know that a USB device
> has been connected or disconnected.
>
> While HAL is an ugly mess that should never be exposed to users, D-Bus
> just gets on with its job, maybe because it is not exposed to users.
>
>
> --
> Neil Bothwick

The forums seems to be down at the moment so I'll try to read the
thread later. The only thing I wanted to say what that for me it's
been somewhat backward. hald doesn't work for my video cards because
my hardware isn't well supported. However I still have it turned on. I
cannot suggest why it's on, but it is. I presume it helps with
mounting external drives and things but I cannot or have not proved
it.

On the other hand there's a _long_ history in the pro-audio area of
seeing problems with dbus messing up the operation of Jack audio and
many of us including me leave dbus turned off.

Go figure!

- Mark
 
Old 02-09-2010, 01:13 PM
Mike Edenfield
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

On 2/9/2010 3:16 AM, Dale wrote:

On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 21:17:08 -0500, Walter Dnes wrote:

My solution to simplify Gentoo...

waltdnes@d531 ~ $ cat /etc/portage/package.mask
sys-libs/pam
sys-apps/dbus
sys-apps/hal

You'll have to do a manual depclean (very carefully) and
revdep-rebuild, but it's worth the effort to purify your Gentoo system.




Simpler than that, just add -hal to xorg stuff in package.use and then
run emerge -uvDNa world.



I'm not saying your way won't work but I think mine is easier.


His way is also *way* more Luddite than yours. Note the
'pam' and 'dbus', two things basically standard (and very
stable) on modern Linux desktop systems.


--K
 
Old 02-09-2010, 09:58 PM
Dale
 
Default How the HAL are you supposed to use these files?

chrome://messenger/locale/messengercompose/composeMsgs.properties:

On 2/9/2010 3:16 AM, Dale wrote:

On Mon, 8 Feb 2010 21:17:08 -0500, Walter Dnes wrote:

My solution to simplify Gentoo...

waltdnes@d531 ~ $ cat /etc/portage/package.mask
sys-libs/pam
sys-apps/dbus
sys-apps/hal

You'll have to do a manual depclean (very carefully) and
revdep-rebuild, but it's worth the effort to purify your Gentoo system.




Simpler than that, just add -hal to xorg stuff in package.use and then
run emerge -uvDNa world.



I'm not saying your way won't work but I think mine is easier.


His way is also *way* more Luddite than yours. Note the 'pam' and
'dbus', two things basically standard (and very stable) on modern
Linux desktop systems.


--K



I don't agree with the term Luddite here. It's not being against new
things and new ways of doing things. He just doesn't need those things
for his hardware to work properly. Me, I don't need hal for my mouse
and keyboard to work. As a matter of fact, mine doesn't work WITH hal.
I have to remove hal to get mine to work.


So, hal may be progress to you but it is a step backward for me. It's
the opposite of progress.


Dale

:-) :-)
 

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