[rant] keeping policy in HAL

Corbin Simpson mostawesomedude at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 06:33:40 PST 2008

Daniel Stone wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 01, 2008 at 10:47:06AM +0500, Alexander E. Patrakov wrote:
>> Also, currently, for unconfigured Xorg, such newly-added keyboard gets 
>> the "us" layout. This is also a hard-coded policy, should we remove it? 
> Ignoring both the rhetoric and the fact that neither of the input
> maintainers are American (thanks for the assumption, but Peter's an
> Austrian living in Australia, and I'm an Australian who's spent the last
> couple of years living in Finland), this will be build-time configurable
> soon.
>> In fact, I would consider any default other than "completely unusable 
>> keyboard that doesn't produce any events" a policy. Reason: I want US 
>> developers eat their own dogfood.
> I was going to write something in reply to this, but then I realised I
> have better things to do.  Spare us the drama, please.

Disclaimer: I'm American. However, I think I'd prefer dog biscuits to 
dogfood. Have you ever eaten dog biscuits? They're delicious. Anyway...

Would a udev analogy be appropriate? udev is a userspace program that 
manages a very low-level policy for the kernel. It's responsible for 
setting sensible defaults, but can be fully customized in order to fit 
the needs of anybody who wants custom layouts.

Why userspace? Because policy shouldn't live in the kernel.

Why usable defaults? Because customization shouldn't be mandatory.

Why use dbus to talk to the rest of userspace? Because, like it or not, 
dbus is probably the best way to do so.

Now, the big difference between HAL and udev is that udev sets its 
defaults based on LSB. I don't know whether or not LSB has anything to 
say about keyboard layouts, or what the default keyboard layout should be.

~ C.

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