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Date:      Fri, 11 Dec 2009 17:06:01 -0700 (MST)
From:      Warren Block <>
To:        Carmel <>
Subject:   Re: 'X' vs. 'Mouse'
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <BLU0-SMTP2635402DE55FCB76A0BF1D938C0@phx.gbl>
References:  <BLU0-SMTP2635402DE55FCB76A0BF1D938C0@phx.gbl>

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On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, Carmel wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:48:36 -0700 (MST)
> Warren Block <> replied:
>> On Fri, 11 Dec 2009, Carmel wrote:
>> No, they were trying to upgrade a very old, static system (X11) to
>> support their users.  One thing that had been lacking was any support
>> for hotplugging input devices.  To implement that, they used HAL,
>> because basically it's the only thing available.
> Correct me if I am wrong; however, I believe I read that 'HAL' is dead.

"Maintenance mode", so more like a zombie, but yes.

> Further work on it is not going to happen. If that is correct, are we
> to expect another fiasco when its replacement comes online.

Possibly.  It depends on the level of integration and testing done 
before release.

>> The other side of that argument is that Microsoft has supported
>> hotplugging input devices for more than a decade.
> I have often wondered what the delay in developing hot-plugging in 
> non-win32 systems was. Worse, HAL requiring the creation of of XML 
> files sort of defeats the entire concept of 'plug & play'.

Normally, the user shouldn't have to create XML files.

The new hal-0.5.13_12 solves some serious problems I had with the 
earlier version.  Maybe problems other people had too, but there haven't 
been any posts about someone trying HAL again and seeing if it works 
better now.

>>> I question whether they actually tested this product prior to
>>> releasing it. I have been following a few forums besides this one
>>> and they all report the same problem. I realize that 'HAL' has
>>> something to do with this situation also. Perhaps if all the
>>> concerned parties would get their acts together this sort of fiasco
>>> would not continually happen.
>> You could go to the xorg mailing lists at and set them
>> straight.  They might cheerfully offer to refund your money.
> I think you are being overly glib regarding this problem. I stand by my
> original statement that the parties involved should have tested the
> final product more thoroughly.

I admit I was thinking of Monty Python on "how to rid the world of all 
known diseases".  Point being that "more testing" is easier to say than 

> As a side note, I officiate youth league sport's programs in my spare 
> time. I don't get paid either. Still, I would never do a crap job just 
> because I was not being financially compensated for my efforts.

Of course not: you do the best you can with what you've got.  As the 
xorg and FreeBSD developers did and continue to do.

>> You could also offer to help development or testing, either to the
>> FreeBSD developers or xorg.
> I have beta tested applications in the past. I was not aware that Xorg
> was releasing beta products aimed at FreeBSD. I was under the
> impression that offerings from Xorg were only ported to FreeBSD after
> they were released to Linux users.

There's always testing going on before the latest xorg is released on 
FreeBSD.  Sometimes requests for testing are announced on freebsd-x11. 
It's also possible to contact the developers directly and offer to test. 
That can be particularly helpful if you have hardware the developers 

-Warren Block * Rapid City, South Dakota USA

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