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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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 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 Parent Score: 6

RE: Deprecation
by Ed W. Cogburn on Sat 16th Jan 2010 16:45 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Deprecation
by strcpy on Sat 16th Jan 2010 18:55 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 Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Deprecation
by darknexus on Sat 16th Jan 2010 20:25 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Deprecation
by nt_jerkface on Sun 17th Jan 2010 06:06 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 Parent Score: 6