[ubuntu-x] Fwd: Wacom tablets, TabletPC and Xorg support for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty)

Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 20 17:15:42 GMT 2008

Alberto Milone wrote:
> Users will be able to choose between different models and, if none
> matches their tablet, they will be asked a few questions.

Right. However, do we need a wizard for that (at least till they want a
custom configuration)?

> Users should also be able to change their settings (e.g. add new
> devices) from the main dialog thus triggering the wizard or whatever
> will take its place (our usability expert will tell us).

That's great, it answers most of my questions.

> It would definitely be nice to have a pop-up but I don't think we want
> to do that every time a user plugs in a tablet. I guess I can detect the
> id of the tablet.

I should have also explained it in the email ;) In the wiki, the
solution would be allow a box "Do not show this warning again" in the
window that ask "Do you want to configure the tablet now?" (and this
window is shown only when the relevant configuration for the tablet
isn't already in xorg.conf

If users can add devices in the GUI, most people will chose not to show
the warning again (and that only concern users with multiple tablets, or
those that don't want to configure their tablets but still keep it
plugged in), since they'll know the configuration UI is accessible
through the menus (while with the wizard method they might think they'll
have to start a wizard first, and might get confused when they can't
find it in the menus.

BTW, in one of the updates to the wiki, did Bryce wrote something along
"That GUI should appear in Applications>Accessories? Shouldn't it be in
System>Preferences, since that's where people will look at (along with
keyboard and mouse configuration)?

>> 2. How to save options ?
>> If possible, could the tool comment out the configuration instead of
>> removing the lines in xorg.conf, then uncomment them if the user wants
>> to enable that model of tablet again?
> This is not safe since, in the meantime, users might have modified their
> xorg.conf manually, thus breaking what was commented out. Furthermore
> there's no reliable way (in X-Kit) to check the validity of lines which
> were commented out.

Ok. Possibly removing the lines when they haven't been changed? It would
be enough for casual users, since those won't edit their xorg.conf

> It doesn't hurt to leave some InputDevice sections about tablets which
> are not connected. Each configured device can be kept in the xorg.conf
> so that when a specific tablet is plugged in (and X.org is restarted)
> that specific device will get its own (previously saved) settings.

That's in a perfect world. Users where complaining having wacom
configuration lines gave them errors, those that don't want to use the
tablet anymore (or encounter a bug that can be solved by disabling the
tablet) will do the same...

Bryce was also explaining an accessibility application was segfaulting
when wacom configuration was in xorg.conf but the device wasn't there.
Some disabled people use wacom devices for pointing, they could be also
using the program Bryce was talking about.

There's also the case of users that tried different device names and
have an xorg.conf so cluttered we'd like to ask them to remove the
unused configurations first before looking further into their problems ;)

Again, that's far fetched and if it increases the complexity of the tool
(for what is, I admit, a quite small benefit) there's no point doing it.

>> For preferences (speed, sensitivity, etc...) the most sensible option is
>> to enable them on the fly (wacomcpl already does that), since only on
>> the desktop can these parameters be tested (and one can run the program
>> he wants to check what it really does there). Even when there's a
>> drawing area in the GUI, it doesn't replace real-time testing in the
>> application the user wants to use.
> I was planning on using xsetwacom for that.

I was mostly refering to the "on the fly" possibility, since in the
wiki, one of the proposition is still to enable the preferences changes
only when the user clicks the save or apply button.

Thanks for your great work. I look forward to trying it!


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