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

Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at gmail.com
Tue Nov 11 20:50:59 GMT 2008

Bryce Harrington wrote:
> Cool, Loic can we ask you to draw a quick mockup of one or two ideas on
> how it could work and be laid out?  A scanned in paper sketch would be
> fine, or if you want to get fancy then done up in Gimp or Glade would be
> great.  I think this would be helpful to code to, if we do go this
> route.
> Bryce

I've done a mockup at
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wacom/PropertiesMockup and I'm
attaching a compressed Inkscape SVG. Only the first

I also started a thread for discussing this possible tool on
linuxwacom-discuss (so we don't mix discussion about the tool and
discussion of the solution adopted for Jaunty). As for request on the
LWP side it's nice if this discussion happens in LWP's mailing list, so
other distribution have the opportunity to see what we do and
participate. The thread is at

linuxwacom developers (including Ron, the Debian maintainer) feels that
it is really important that Ubuntu developers participate in the LWP
mailing lists. I can act as a liaison, but I'm no developer and I don't
know if any of you is on the LWP lists.

Now, for a summary of the situation:

- Intrepid :

The impression was that the xorg.conf wacom configuration would conflict
with HAL fdi configuration. They don't. It was probably a mistake, the
wacom lines could have been present in xorg.conf and commented out (for
the sake of KDE users I believe), and users would have edited their
xorg.conf like before (no need for .fdi, we could have waited for the
solution to mature). Not good, but they're ending up having to edit it
in Intrepid anyway.

We could even have kept the .fdi, the xorg.conf configuration would have
been ok if the tablet was plugged at boot, while when hotplugging the
tablet would have been picked up by HAL (only stylus working). TabletPC
would have been perfect (except for the bug in U's drivers for

- Jaunty:

LWP 0.8.2 stable drivers will ship soon, they will end up in Jaunty
since there's no point keeping with an older beta. They're a strong
option if we go for the xorg.conf method. Lenny will most probably
switch from to 0.8.2 (but we haven't synced them with testing in
ages, we get everything from unstable)

0.8.3.X will follow, beta drivers but they will support having multiple
devices with the .fdi method. They will still support xorg.conf method,
but using the fdi we'll get input/hotplug, a safer method for our
userbase with the fdi (you can't hose X that way, while everybody and
their dog can hose X with a single character at the bad place). We're
also used to shipping beta drivers in Ubuntu, so there'll be nothing new.

Regardless, we need a graphical configuration tool for enabling the
devices. We've been needing it from before Ubuntu ever shiped a
distribution. We might have been needing it from before Wacom tablets
ever shipped.

Any work on that tool isn't going to be wasted, for the sole reason that
the Gnome desktop has nothing planned for that (they've got keyboard
properties, mouse properties, but nothing for Tablets or AFAIK
joysticks). Gnome might get aboard actually, the desktop needs it. KDE I
don't know, but I believe KDE users still have to set their xorg.conf
manually, so they also need this tool.
Enabling the tablet and setting device properties are done in the fdi
file (or xorg.conf). Even in the highly unlikely situation that Xorg
starts -selling popcorn- autodetecting and setting up tablets and
TabletPC properly, the desktop will still need to ship with an UI for
the tablet devices properties. For TabletPC and Cintiq, calibration is
mandatory, and we also need an UI for the ExpressKeys.

If an Ubuntu developer can program the tool, I can go ahead and detail
(on the wiki) exactly what options are necessary for what model of
tablet/TabletPC, ask our users for the models I'm not sure and do the
liason with upstream for double check. And organise some testing.
 So if you tell me you can handle the GUI programming and the
parsing/editing of either xorg.conf or/and the fdi (for choosing only
the  Bryce will know better than me if we can expect Xorg to be mature
enough in Jaunty, since for LWP 0.8.3.X should get the code fairly
soon), not knowing the specific aspects of the wacom options beforehand
shouldn't be a problem.


P.S: Bryce, for the SRU in Intrepid do you still want me to
start the process, or is there a way we'll get some packages to
get some tests before?
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