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Date:      Sat, 12 Dec 2009 17:31:59 +0100
From:      Polytropon <>
To:        Paul Schmehl <>
Cc:, Glen Barber <>, mpd <>
Subject:   Re: upgraded to 8, no mouse is broken
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <> <> <> <>

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On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 15:04:22 -0600, Paul Schmehl <> wrote:
> --On Friday, December 11, 2009 07:59:00 -0600 Glen Barber 
> <> wrote:
> >
> > I suppose this falls under the "works for me" category - I haven't
> > ever used HAL on FreeBSD.
> >
> I have, and I would say that it's not quite ready for primetime.  So I'm back 
> to manual configuration and happy about it.

Paul, you're mentioning an important choice the developer
of an OS or the distributor of a specific software compilation
has to make:

(a) No configuration (equals user configuration)
This choice makes sure that the user can set all parameters
to fit his particular needs. He isn't hindered to do so.

(b) Pre-configuration
With this choice, the one who set the defaults has a very
high responsibility. In most cases, a certain target group
is assumed, and so the parameters are defined. This may
lead to the problem that the result doesn't fit in other

(c) Auto-configuration
This often works, but involves a certain overhead that
does the automatic detection. Furthermore, not everything
gets detected correctly, or detected at all. The result
can be an only partially configured system, even being
unusable. This is the case especially with hardware that
is not up to date, or just too new. Hardware that doesn't
conform to existing and assumed standards leads to the
same results.

In the past, X was defaulting to (a), giving you the choice
of (c) by command, and you could modify its result in case
of errors. I would say this was the case with XFree86 and
early (when e. g. I could run my screen by xorg.conf
at 1400x1050, now I need xrandr in .xinitrc to do so because
X only allows 1152x864). Overall speed is another topic, of

The FreeBSD OS, on the other hand, follows approach (a) and
aids the user with (b) - the defaults are intendedly and
wisely chosen, so they usually don't cause problems, because
they don't assume something stupid, like "The user will want
to have a web server included, and enabled by default." :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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