Why is HAL being made the default when it's not ready?

Chris Rees utisoft at googlemail.com
Fri Oct 31 12:43:34 UTC 2008

2008/10/31 Bo Grimes <boslists at gmail.com>:
> On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 05:54:45PM +0900, Dave M G wrote:
>> Ubuntu Users / Developers,
>> I got Intrepid Ibex 8.10 installed, and now my Wacom tablet totally
>> sucks. The eraser and mouse don't work, the stylus is stuck in
>> "absolute" mode...
>> I looked on the 'net and discovered that this is because Ubuntu is now
>> using something called "HAL" for handling all input. I'm sure there's
>> some good reason for doing that... but how about doing it *when it's ready*?
> I'm no expert, but HAL (hardware abstraction layer) is not a new thing in
> Linux (Solaris, BSD, Mac or Windows for that matter).  It's not like Ubuntu
> is rolling out some alpha software.  Those routines exist in other versions,
> so I'm not sure you've correctly identified the problem.
>> I tried using the instructions at
>> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom , but the "Manual setup using
>> xorg.conf" results in either X being completely hosed, or my Wacom
>> tablet not working at all.
>> Since Intrepid blew away my previous Hardy boot options (which, I didn't
>> really want it to do, but that's another story), I'm now stuck with a
>> tablet that is almost unusable.
> I assume you backup before upgrading, so go back to Hardy until yu feel
> Intrepid is ready.
>> I believe the current internet vernacular for this situation is
>> something like "Ubuntu HAL upgrade = FAIL".
> Um...a friendly piece of advice.  Before addressing developers who put
> together fantastic software that doesn't cost you a dime, you might want to
> get your facts straight.  I bet your left nut that Intrepid isn't the first
> Ubuntu to use HAL.  Even if it were, a little humility and gratitude is in
> order, especially if you upgraded with no backup.
>> So how long do I have to push back any graphics projects while waiting
>> for Wacom support to work again?
> If I were a developer and got that kind of feedback...
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Ubuntu has used HAL as long as I remember, for Mac-style CD/DVD
detection; USB sticks etc. It's a fantastic way of _abstraction_,
allowing software to use features rather than having to understand
interfaces. Your graphics tablet clearly just isn't yet understood by

Or would you rather have to go to the Terminal and mount /dev/cdrom
/mnt every time you want to read a CD?

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