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Technical Blog of Richard Hughes - hal and hal-info

Richard Hughes
Date: 2006-11-07 00:47
Subject: hal and hal-info
Security: Public
A few minutes ago I committed a change to hal to move all the information FDI scripts to hal-info.

hal-info is just a small hal package that provides the hardware data and quirks. These quirks are currently things like what mice support reporting battery status, what music players are supported and what cameras are detected. This could also include a list of display adaptors that need resuming or a list of broken batteries that might explode.

Why split the data from the daemon tarball? Well, policy and probing information is still in the daemon package where it belongs. Hal is released every few months with updated dependencies and lots of snazzy new features. Users love this, stable distributions hate it, and don't update HAL, missing the newest hardware quirk updates. This means that new hardware often won't work out of the box until the next version of the distro is released.

So, for example, stable distro 'x' ships HAL 0.5.9 with no intention of updating it other than for security fixes. Stable distro 'x' does however update from hal-info-20061107 to hal-info-{date} as there are no new features, minimal risk of breaking, and lots of chance that more stuff that didn't work now will.
Note: the hal-info version does not match the hal version - by design. Expect more frequent releases of hal-info than hal.

What does this mean:
  • for an end user: Not much - all the fdi files are installed in the same places as they used to be. hal-info updates might be a little more frequent, and more new hardware might just work.
  • for a distro packager: hal should depend on hal-info, of any version. Existing patches to the fdi files in fdi/information should be moved to the hal-info product.
  • for the release architect: updating hal-info shouldn't break anything that already works or add new dependencies.
  • for the developer: hal-info should be checked out in the same level directory as hal if you intend to use ./run-hald.sh
Comments welcome.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-07 01:27 (UTC)
Subject: Awesome!
This is great news. I was just chatting with people just the other day and we were saying this needed to be done, glad you were already on it!

- Gabriel Burt
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-07 02:02 (UTC)
Subject: Nitpick
Nice to see this happen.

How do you feel about updating the description file in .git on the master repo so gitweb doesn't report this being an unnamed repository?

http://gitweb.freedesktop.org/?p=hal-info.git;a=summary
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2006-11-08 19:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Agree!
--Leonardo Fontenelle
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