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Old 04-18-2012, 07:14 AM
Martin Pitt
Default The future of third-party driver installation

Hello Desktop fans,

We have had Jockey for quite a while now to perform the installation
of proprietary (e. g. NVidia), alternative (e. g. fglrx vs.
fglrx-updates), third-party (e. g. from openprinting.org) drivers.

However, I feel that this needs some refreshing:

* The code base of Jockey is quite complex, it was meant for a lot
more stuff than we are actually using it for. We also came up with
simpler ways of mapping hardware to packages, mostly with
additional tags in the apt package lists. We also have a more
upstream friendly API in PackageKit/aptdaemon now to do this kind
of thing.

We can simplify the jockey code base and backend logic a lot (up
to the extend of completely dropping it) by making full use of
above new technologies and dropping the extra features we don't
use. The exception is the openprinting.org detection, but that
could go into system-config-printer or python-cups directly.

* We install some drivers (like Broadcom wifi) straight from Ubiquity
now, which certainly makes sense for devices where there is no free
alternative. For the others (e. g. NVidia) we pop up a notification
and offer to install them. I'd like to walk through the current UI
and discuss how this could be made more steamlined and less
confusing (e. g. for NVidia it can potentially offer 6 different
drivers for you!)

* We might consider merging the jockey UI functionality, which is
mostly a shallow GUI around "install that package" now) into
software-center, control-center, or something similar to the codec
installer. I'd again appreciate if someone from the design team
could participate in that (hello Matthew!).



Martin Pitt | http://www.piware.de
Ubuntu Developer (www.ubuntu.com) | Debian Developer (www.debian.org)
ubuntu-desktop mailing list

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