Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 15th Jan 2010 23:06 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "The Ubuntu development community announced today the availability of Ubuntu 10.04 alpha 2, a new prerelease of the next major version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution. This alpha is the first Ubuntu release to completely omit HAL, a Linux hardware abstraction layer that is being deprecated in favor of DeviceKit."
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Poor HAL
by robojerk on Fri 15th Jan 2010 23:24 UTC
robojerk
Member since:
2006-01-10

"Dave - I'm losing my mind, Dave - Please stop, Dave"

Reply Score: 11

RE: Poor HAL
by v_bobok on Sat 16th Jan 2010 07:08 UTC in reply to "Poor HAL"
v_bobok Member since:
2008-08-01

Very nice catch, sir!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Poor HAL
by OSGuy on Sat 16th Jan 2010 08:05 UTC in reply to "Poor HAL"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

nice one ;)

Edited 2010-01-16 08:06 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Poor HAL
by Boldie on Sat 16th Jan 2010 10:08 UTC in reply to "Poor HAL"
Boldie Member since:
2007-03-26

Nice! I still love that you could (can?) use Hal as a trigger word for Opera voice navigation.

Say "Hal go back" and Opera would go back one page in history.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Poor HAL
by renhoek on Sat 16th Jan 2010 12:16 UTC in reply to "Poor HAL"
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

Dave Bowman: Eject the usb disk, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.

Reply Score: 5

And Device-kit have been "deprecated" too
by Elv13 on Sat 16th Jan 2010 01:31 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

in favor of udisk

An useless and api breaker name change

Reply Score: 1

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

It's just the 'disk' component of DeviceKit that's been renamed to udisk, not the rest.

Reply Score: 2

Deprecation
by darknexus on Sat 16th Jan 2010 01:33 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Hmm. While I'm of the mind that hal needed to go as it just wasn't efficient, I can't help but feel that subsystems are deprecated and replaced far too often when it comes to the Linux desktop. It seems we no sooner get one subsystem that works reasonably well when the wheel is re-invented yet again. Is it any wonder that most commercial software developers don't target it?

Reply Score: 12

RE: Deprecation
by kaiwai on Sat 16th Jan 2010 03:05 UTC in reply to "Deprecation"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm. While I'm of the mind that hal needed to go as it just wasn't efficient, I can't help but feel that subsystems are deprecated and replaced far too often when it comes to the Linux desktop. It seems we no sooner get one subsystem that works reasonably well when the wheel is re-invented yet again. Is it any wonder that most commercial software developers don't target it?


The only reaosn why it happened was because libudev was originally GPL which caused a major licensing issue and HAL was introduced due to limitations that have now since have been overcome. Now that it has been sorted out I doubt we'll see changes anytime soon.

Quite honestly I remember when HAL was first introduced and it was awful experience I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Buggy hardware handling, issues with ripping CD' and so on. I am happy that HAL has finally been removed and there is a native solution that works out of the box for once. It is also good for other GNOME platforms as well - the duplication of HAL on OpenSolaris was pointless given that there was already technology in place that could handle everything that HAL did. Hopefully there will be an all round purge of HAL and it is relegated to the dustbin of really bad ideas.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Deprecation
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 16:45 UTC in reply to "Deprecation"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

we no sooner get one subsystem that works reasonably well when the wheel is re-invented yet again.


That's called learning from your mistakes, and trying to do things 'better'.

HAL had problems, but they weren't *really* noticed until people started to use it for lots of things it wasn't originally designed to handle, aka. 'feature creep' (and using XML for the config files didn't help any).

The people behind the *kits and u* packages are the same ones that were behind HAL, they aren't inventing a new wheel (where 'wheel' here refers to the general idea/function of the software), just refining the old one (different API because the old one was, in hindsight, broken, and making it more modular, breaking the old monolithic package into smaller more flexible pieces). HAL was simply trying to do too much.

Is it any wonder that most commercial software developers don't target it?


Most software apps wouldn't need to interact directly with HAL. They'd use DE hooks, or an xplatform lib, rather than talk to HAL directly. I don't think thats really significant.

They don't target Linux because it doesn't have much of any market share. Over the years, Windows has had various warts and ugliness that coders targeting it had to deal with, but that didn't stop them, they went to all that trouble anyway because of Windows's market share.

It always boils down to just the size of the market...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Deprecation
by strcpy on Sat 16th Jan 2010 18:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Deprecation"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


That's called learning from your mistakes, and trying to do things 'better'.


Alternatively, it can be also called NIH, lack of planning, and cowboy coding.

What was it? XXX: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Deprecation
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deprecation"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

Alternatively, it can be also called ...


It can be called a lot of things. Opinions are plentiful, because everybody has one...

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Deprecation
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Sun 17th Jan 2010 00:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deprecation"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, it can't. Something can be NIH, but if it is, then its not the same thing as learning from your mistakes. You can't learn from mistakes you don't understand.

NIH is all about not learning the existing solution and implementing your own because you understand your own code more than anyone else's.


Learning from mistakes is all about understanding the benefits and limitations of existing software.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Deprecation
by darknexus on Sat 16th Jan 2010 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Deprecation"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's nice in theory, but realistically the hooks are often broken from version to version, one subsystem to another. Not that I can really expect much, if the kernel team won't bother to maintain stable APIs why should anyone else? You can replace subsystems to your heart's content as long as the APIs don't change. No one, however, seems to care about maintaining a stable API for desktop Linux. They just don't see it as important for some reason.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Deprecation
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deprecation"
Ed W. Cogburn Member since:
2009-07-24

if the kernel team won't bother to maintain stable APIs


I'm sure your aware some folks have a different take on that:

http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/stable_api_nonsense.html

Besides, what does this have to do with HAL? It is/was a userspace app...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Deprecation
by nt_jerkface on Sun 17th Jan 2010 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Deprecation"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26



I'm sure your aware some folks have a different take on that:

http://www.kroah.com/log/linux/stable_api_nonsense.html


How long ago did Greg write that? I guess he has been redeemed with Linux being a raging success on the desktop.

Telling hardware companies what they need has really worked out. Video card drivers in Linux are always of top quality and you can always expect them to keep working between updates. The kernel team's philosophy of "we'll fning break it if we feel like it" has worked wonders.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Deprecation
by abraxas on Tue 19th Jan 2010 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deprecation"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

It's nice in theory, but realistically the hooks are often broken from version to version, one subsystem to another. Not that I can really expect much, if the kernel team won't bother to maintain stable APIs why should anyone else? You can replace subsystems to your heart's content as long as the APIs don't change. No one, however, seems to care about maintaining a stable API for desktop Linux. They just don't see it as important for some reason.


That's bunk. The only reason for stable in-kernel APIs would be to allow outside coders easier maintenance for their patchsets. The Linux developers don't care about that. They want development in-tree. If you don't want to get your stuff into the tree then they don't care about you. Too bad. All kernel -> userpsace interfaces have been very stable. As for desktop APIs, they are also very stable. How long has GNOME 2 been around? 8 years. How long did KDE 3 stick around before KDE 4? 6 years.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Deprecation
by nt_jerkface on Sun 17th Jan 2010 06:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Deprecation"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


It always boils down to just the size of the market...


No it doesn't, it's just a factor in the decision to port.

If porting to Linux from OSX was as easy as setting a compiler flag then it would have nearly the same library.

However the situation is the exact opposite where the cost in porting to Linux well beyond what it should be for its size.

Linux is not a stable platform for commercial developers. It isn't even a single platform. It's a bunch of operating systems that share the same kernel and have software distributions designed around open source.

As I have pointed out before it's far easier to build your own Linux distro that contains your proprietary program than it is to support a single distro. The people that build the distros don't at all care about attracting commercial developers. They also don't care about being compatible with other distros.

6 months after the iphone was released it had better support from game developers than Linux even though it had a fraction of the market size. Market share is only part of the equation and doesn't matter much when the people behind an OS could care less about the market.

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Deprecation
by Kyuubu on Sun 17th Jan 2010 12:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Deprecation"
Kyuubu Member since:
2007-09-07

6 months after the iphone was released it had better support from game developers than Linux even though it had a fraction of the market size. Market share is only part of the equation and doesn't matter much when the people behind an OS could care less about the market.

While I may agree with some of the above, here I think you're mixing things up. The iPhone opened a new kind of market for very casual games, all bundled with hype. Of course it appealed many developers. It's not a part of the old gaming market, not yet at least, and on the beginning didn't play by the same rules (again, I feel hype played its role).
And i'd be curious to see some numbers about both (phones/linux) market sizes... We may be surprised.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Deprecation
by nt_jerkface on Sun 17th Jan 2010 22:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Deprecation"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

It's not a part of the old gaming market, not yet at least, and on the beginning didn't play by the same rules (again, I feel hype played its role).

The old gaming market is there as well. EA Games has ported Sims 3 and Madden to the iphone but they don't port anything to Linux. The secret of monkey island is another good example. It was ported to the PC, XBLA and iphone but not Linux.


And i'd be curious to see some numbers about both (phones/linux) market sizes... We may be surprised.


Based on Net Applications data the iphone/ipod touch has about half the market share of Linux.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?...

Game developers stay away from Linux and it isn't because of market share.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Deprecation
by StephenBeDoper on Sun 17th Jan 2010 22:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Deprecation"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Based on Net Applications data the iphone/ipod touch has about half the market share of Linux.
http://marketshare.hitslink.com/operating-system-market-share.aspx?...

Game developers stay away from Linux and it isn't because of market share.


A few other factors that might have played role:

1) Even the Windows gaming market is a pathetic shadow of what was 10 years ago - it's mainly just hand-me-down console ports (with the exception of Valve, Blizzard, and maybe-kinda-sorta id). Linux games have typically been ports of Windows games - with the big commercial titles, at least.

2) Last I checked, Wine does a decent job of running most Windows games - which eliminates the need to port, at least from the perspective of commercial game developers. IIRC, that had a lot to do with Loki Games' demise (why buy the Linux port if you've already played the Windows version through Wine?).

3) Games for cellphones were already a big money maker years before the iPhone ever came into existence. And thanks to the way that carriers nickel-and-dime customers for things like ringtones, there's a large number of people who would balk at paying for software on a desktop computer - but who don't think twice about buying a cellphone app.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Deprecation
by nt_jerkface on Sun 17th Jan 2010 23:12 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Deprecation"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


1) Even the Windows gaming market is a pathetic shadow of what was 10 years ago - it's mainly just hand-me-down console ports (with the exception of Valve, Blizzard, and maybe-kinda-sorta id). Linux games have typically been ports of Windows games - with the big commercial titles, at least.


A lot of 3D pc games these days are console ports but there is a booming casual market for games like The Sims, Warcraft and Peggle. Peggle has been ported to just about everything except Linux.

If you look at proprietary games / market share ratio and compare to OSX it is clear that there is something very wrong with Linux. When a single developer supports Linux it becomes a headline.

Just look at the direct2drive Mac section:
http://www.direct2drive.com/buy-mac-download

Not as good as Windows of course but there are a lot of new games to play.

The lack of commercial developer support has more to do with Linux having too many incompatibility issues between distros and software management systems that are designed around open source applications.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Deprecation
by Zifre on Mon 18th Jan 2010 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Deprecation"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

The lack of commercial developer support has more to do with Linux having too many incompatibility issues between distros and software management systems that are designed around open source applications.

This is completely wrong. While Linux has a bigger market share than the iPhone, the average iPhone user is much more willing to pay money for some junk game than the average Linux user. Thus, the iPhone market is bigger.

Games on Linux basically never have to worry about incompatibilities if they do things correctly. All they have to do is statically link and use SDL and OpenGL. A game really shouldn't depend on much more than that. You are correct however that it is hard to develop a commercial desktop app using Gtk+ or Qt. But games shouldn't need to do that.

The fact that there are small indie games such as World of Goo that manage to release Linux ports with relative ease tells me that large companies like EA with 1000x the resources should have no problem with it. It is just a matter of market share. I would love to see more commercial software supporting Linux, but I really don't blame them at all when the market is so small.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by joekiser
by joekiser on Sat 16th Jan 2010 16:59 UTC
joekiser
Member since:
2005-06-30

Nice music selection in the screenshots.

Reply Score: 3

Linux vs Windows dev platform
by just-me on Mon 18th Jan 2010 02:17 UTC
just-me
Member since:
2009-09-09

Ed W. Cogburn mostly nailed it when he said that it is mostly about the market share.
Companies will endure a lot of API annoyances and subcomponent churn if the market is worth it.

Several remarks about Linux component changes seem to imply that Windows is not having it's own comparable changes. That is silly.
I've lost count of the number of database interfaces MS published. Sound system, video, messaging - they all changed over the last decade - sometimes several times.
Sure - old APIs tend to stay around - but there's plenty of *2 or *Ex versions. And that's just win32. Of course now it's often .Net (and don't think you can get rid of 1.1 just because 3.x is out). In between it was first DDE and then COM.

Technology advances. Demands change. People learn what they should have done differently. The platform adapts. It happens to both Windows and Linux. It would be crazy to keep HAL if a better replacement can be done.

If there is a viable market - companies will deal with the hurdles of targeting the platform.

And a typical program doesn't have to worry about OS internals about what hardware is un/mounted and when - that's what the OS is for. The program opens a file - it doesn't usually care about the details of that file being available there. Stuff like mouse movement, button clicks and other such hardware are dealt with by DE platform libs. Most of which don't change all the time. And the change that happens, happens on all platforms.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux vs Windows dev platform
by nt_jerkface on Mon 18th Jan 2010 05:43 UTC in reply to "Linux vs Windows dev platform"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Ed W. Cogburn mostly nailed it when he said that it is mostly about the market share.
Companies will endure a lot of API annoyances and subcomponent churn if the market is worth it.

So how do you build your market with an unstable platform?


Several remarks about Linux component changes seem to imply that Windows is not having it's own comparable changes. That is silly.
I've lost count of the number of database interfaces MS published

Cue talk about Windows breaking interfaces between decades while trying to ignore the fact that Linux does it annually.

Going by history you can build a sound app in Windows and expect it to work for the life of the OS.

With Ubuntu you can't even expect it to work for a year.

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing while expecting different results and that seems to describe the state of the Linux desktop. People 10 years ago were saying that broken APIs were no big deal and that Linux would gain share anyways. It didn't gain share, it's still at 1%.

Reply Score: 1