[rant] keeping policy in HAL

Alan Coopersmith Alan.Coopersmith at Sun.COM
Mon Dec 1 11:10:25 PST 2008

Xavier Bestel wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-12-01 at 16:58 +0100, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
>> Le Lun 1 décembre 2008 16:47, Alexander E. Patrakov a écrit :
>>> Apriori, there is no sensible default keyboard layout.
>> There could be if the hardware started advertising what actually
>> painted on its keys (and even then many people would want to override
>> it). Since it does not, you're right.
> I think it does. Some entries in the Microsoft support pages tend to say
> so, at least:
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/280725
> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/304614

The USB specs have layout as an optional field that most vendors don't
fill in since it would cost a few cents extra per keyboard to put in
dip switches or different PROMs for different layouts, instead of just
attaching different keytops.    Sun keyboards do, and I think Apple do,
since auto-detection was worth the few extra cents for our users, but
I don't know of any others that do.

(And because Sun keyboards do, on Solaris, we've always had X ask the
 kernel for the keyboard layout, from either the hardware or the user
 settings, and use that to set the X keyboard layout.   I've been
 working with our HAL team to have HAL do this as well as we're moving
 to Xorg 1.5, and it seems to be working for us, but it depends on the
 Solaris keyboard layout ioctls, so won't be generally useful, other
 than as proof that something better than "us"-for-everyone is possible.)

	-Alan Coopersmith-           alan.coopersmith at sun.com
	 Sun Microsystems, Inc. - X Window System Engineering

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