input driver maintainance changes

Peter Hutterer peter.hutterer at
Mon Sep 19 19:46:57 PDT 2011

We've retired a few input drivers a while ago. The ones we still have left
are in a variety of different states. The big 4 are maintained and expected
to work (evdev, synaptics, mouse, keyboard) with the development version of
X. Joystick is maintained, and Sascha is usually able to get the driver
updated quickly.

For other drivers, the situation isn't as clear-cut:
- acecad: officially maintained, but Guiseppe's last commit was Feb 2008.
  I don't have a device. I contacted Guiseppe Dec 2010 regarding
  maintainership, afaict I didn't get a reply.
- aiptek is unmaintained again as of Dec 2010. There is at least one user
- elographics is maintained, but Marc hasn't committed to the driver yet.
  I know that elographics-1.3.0 crashed on UnInit with server 1.10 until I
  fixed it about a month after the release.
  I'm currently in a private conversation with a user to get this driver to
- fpit. unmaintained and untested.
- hyperpen. unmaintained and untested
- microtouch. unmaintained and untested
- mutouch. unmaintained and untested
- penmount. unmaintained and mostly untested though we have reports of user
  sightings every so often. Jani volunteered to test the driver in April but
  that never made it into MAINTAINERS.
- void. maintained and pointless.

I've actually tested (and fixed) all of these to work on server 1.10, though
the testing was limited to module loading. Several, despite released,
crashed the server on startup or shutdown. Now, I could continue to spend
time on fixing drivers that I cannot test but that time could be spent on
something more useful.

Next week, all the above except the big 4 and joystick will be switched to
maintained-on-demand. This simply means:
- those in will be removed from
- a warning will be added to warn that this driver likely will
  not build and is untested.
- their status in MAINTAINERS will be changed to unmaintained

Alternative course-of-actions is: You sign up as maintainer, test against
recent X server versions and ensure the fixes go into a driver release
within a reasonable time of the X server release. Basically, your driver is
expected to work with the X server from git.

If you want me to fix the driver, I need you to: 
- tell me why the kernel driver isn't good enough (why writing a kernel
  driver isn't the better solution), and
- send me a device so that I can actually test the fixes

I'll still accept patches for any of the above drivers regardless of
maintainership if someone actually runs them. You just can't expect that
they will build or work against any specific X server version and driver
releases will be even more random than now.

Of course, if you sign up for maintainer, I'm happy to help you with any
input-related questions.


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