Home > Linux > Project Utopia on Perspective Project Utopia on Perspective Eugenia Loli 2004-04-07 Linux 16 Comments Ximian’s Robert Love explains by example how Project Utopia will benefit the Linux desktop. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 16 Comments 2004-04-07 8:10 pm Hopefully more distributions will jump on the train and devote more resources to this. This is definitely one big area where “desktop Linux” is lacking (that and 3rd party software installation, but that’s for another place and time). I like their attitude that they don’t want to make it as good as other well known OS’s, but better. 2004-04-07 8:45 pm Currently the handling of hotplug devices for networking is not good in Linux. If Sally plugs in her pcmcia Ethernet card, a window with a list of available Ethernet configurations should pop up, along with a choice to make a new configuration. People usually have multiple networking configuration needs. The same should go for wireless pcmcia cards. Suppose that Sally uses her built in Ethernet card at work and a wireless card at another location. When she plugs in the wirless card, she should be given a choice of configurations because she may be using different wep keys for different locations. In addition, the network configuration for the internal card might have to be disabled, and the routing tables will need to be changed to route by default through the new card. All of this needs to be taken into account. It’s not as trivial as it seems. My point here is that an external networking card should not automatically pick the right configuration — it should ask the user which configuration to use because usually each location has a different networking setup. This could be done with the current technology using DCOP and hotplug but nobody has done it right imho. 2004-04-07 8:49 pm Honestly this has been so long in the coming. I can’t wait till the day that such tasks can be handled so seemlessly on linux. 2004-04-07 9:17 pm Is that all? 2004-04-07 10:12 pm The day this comes to Linux (or any other OS for that matter) will be the day I’ll shave my head completely bald. Utopia. Indeed, Utopia… But, you must agree, this sounds good , doesn’t it? 2004-04-07 10:18 pm I’m currently running all the Project Utopia stuff (udev/hal/gvm) on Debian Unstable, it is all very tasty. Shame i haven’t enough hardware to teat all it could do but mounting cds etc works well for me. Thanks to all the devs, please keep up the great work. 2004-04-07 10:40 pm How does this affect the kernel? Do all the required drivers have to be compiled as modules beforehand, or does this compile the required modules on the fly? 2004-04-08 1:08 am Even the aclaimed Windows XP doesn’t do this well. It would be nice to have hot pluggable devices GUI recognised with simple actions that could be taken as to what to do with them. Then prehaps if a device has been configured on a computer and then at a later time re-inserted, then the OS just recognises the device as one already configured and allows for instant usage. Naturally a controll for changing these device settings needs to also be supplied i.e. for network changes and so on but it can be in the menu under a configure devices menu or something. Not like Windows XP that repeatedly asks what you want to do with the device every time you plug it in. 2004-04-08 2:21 am No, the drivers just have to generate hotplug events. It doesn’t matter whether they are loaded as modules or not. 2004-04-08 2:59 am lets hope the ximian guys get it done asap. after that linux needs to be improved on the software side. 2004-04-08 3:08 am How much improvement does it REALLY need? There are so many apps out there today that work so presisly and efficently that it seems like many people would be satisfied. Things like GIMP, OpenOffice, Ximian Evolution, and so on, are all very strong applications. Though, you are correct, they could be improved, but everything could be improved. As for these types of things, this is a very good idea and concept for a good pnp system, and hopefully it will come around full swing. I will admit though, depending on the distro a fair amount of these things are pretty well done. As for crossing networks, I’m not sure as I rarely do it, nor do I do it with seperate devices (lan, wlan, etc) but definitly neat to see. Think its in the Portage Tree? 2004-04-08 3:13 am Almost every system that supports hot plug events leaves a poor taste in a user’s mouth. “How do I get that screen with a choice of settings to pop up again?” “Well, when did it pop up?” “When I inserted my [new piece of hardware].” “Oh, well pull the [new piece of hardware] out and put it back in again.” “Yeah that did it.” That’s pretty worrying. Why can’t these systems have a straight forward way to trigger a given hot plug event? 2004-04-08 3:20 am How much improvement does it REALLY need? There are so many apps out there today that work so presisly and efficently that it seems like many people would be satisfied. Things like GIMP, OpenOffice, Ximian Evolution, and so on, are all very strong applications. Though, you are correct, they could be improved, but everything could be improved. Mainstream applications from Adobe, Macromedia, Corel, 4D, Lotus etc etc. People don’t want compatibility, they want the application. Give the user the application for the operating system you’re trying to promote, and they’ll move to it. 2004-04-08 1:38 pm I guess I’m the only one to notice the example names were all characters from Buffy and Angel. Do I get a cookie? 🙂 2004-04-08 3:40 pm From the article… “She is offered the opportunity to configure the printer (specify its name, model, and type) immediately, and is advised of how to do this in the future if she does not care to configure her printer at this time.” So the idea is that the user is informed of how to change the settings at a future time when they plug the device in. Actually, having the user plug the USB device in again is quite a user friendly interface IMHO. It’s simple to understand. It would be good if in the desktops menu there was a list of the removable devices plugged in too. As long as all devices are predictable in this way I think it will work quite well. 2004-04-08 5:47 pm Why did linux not have this yet?