Thursday, December 11, 2008

HAL: support for linux leds kernel subsystem

I've implemented HAL support for the linux kernel leds (light-emitting diode) subsystem some days ago. The new namespace provides these information for leds devices:
  • leds.device_name: The name of the related led device.
  • leds.colour: The colour of the LED. (e.g. green, orange)
  • leds.function: The function of the LED. (e.g. radio, power, standby, batt)
The new leds devices offer via a singleton addon also a DBus interface to set the brightness of the LED. It works the same way as e.g. the org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.LaptopPanel interface by providing a GetBrightness() and a SetBrightness() method. The values for the brightness depends on the kernel driver and should be normally between 0 and 255 (0 normally deactivates the LED, any other value > 0 activates the LED again).

You can get the patches from my git repo [1] [2] [3].
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

HAL: v0.5.12-RC1 released

I've released today the first release candidate of HAL v0.5.12 and a snapshot of hal-info (20081127). You can get the sources here:

More information about the changes since the last HAL version (v0.5.11, released 2008-05-08) and the last official released hal-info package (released 2008-05-08) can you find here.

For openSUSE 11.1/Factory you can find packages in my openSUSE Buildservice Repository.

Please test the packages heavily and carefully. Please report bugs (no features get included until the final version, as already announced) to the HAL mailing list or via the freedesktop bugzilla.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Linux Plumbers Conf: Follow-up

Six weeks ago the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008 ended in Portland (OR). Yesterday I found the time to fill the "Plumbers Conference Attendee Survey". The survey enable all attendees to address their commendation, but also constructive criticism for a better conference in 2009.

Here some of my points:
  • It would be really nice to have a official IRC-channel for the conference next year. It would make it easy to get in touch with other attendees or to announce something.
  • As I already criticised about the Akademy 2008: I missed a list of the attendees, available while the conference, with some information about them (What are they working on? Email address, IRC nickname ...). It would make it much more easier to find the people you are interested in to e.g. discuss a issue/topic. Especially on a new conference with many new people.
  • I hope the room situation for the microconfs can get improved. In some rooms it was really hard to see the slides because you couldn't even see the screen from the half of the seats if the room was full.
  • But one of the much important points is: Also six weeks after the conference only a minority, 14 out of48 , of the presentations slides are online available. Is it that hard for a speaker to upload the slides in time? Normally it should be possible for the majority to upload them directly while the conference or shortly after. So please, if you were a speaker: please upload your slide now!
To prevent the impression that I have only to criticise: I've met a lot of new people, but also people I already work with on different projects. It was a great, interesting and enlightening conference. Thanks to the conference team. I hope I can attend again next year ...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pictures from Linux Plumbers Conf and BlueZ Dev Meeting

Back from Portland I found now some time to put some pictures from Portland, the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008 and the BlueZ Developer Meeting 2008 (both took place in Portland (OR), USA) online:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Linux Plumbers Conf: Linus - Git Tutorial

Linus Torvalds gave a 'Git Tutorial' at the first day of the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008. Now I found the time to edit the pictures I took while the tutorial. They are almost complete. You should be able to follow the basic content of the tutorial to learn something more about git (if you are not already a git expert). You can find the single screenshots of what Linus did here (and as slideshow here).

It was a really interesting, enlightening and amusing. I don't know if someone recorded the session but would be cool, since it's be much more interesting with all the live comments from Linus.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Linux Plumbers Conf: Keynote

Yesterday the contentwise part of the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008 - with all the talks, BOFs and discussions - started with the keynote of Greg Kroah-Hartman. The topic was "The Linux Ecosystem - What it is - Where you are in it". It was basically about the area of Linux the Plumbers Conf is about: kernel, gcc,, glibc, ALSA, HAL/DBUS ...

In fact the keynote was about the role of Canonical/Ubuntu in this area of Linux. It was about how much Canonical (developers) contributed in the last years to the ecosystem. And as it turned out (not the first time) it wasn't that much. It was maybe hard to hear for the Canonical guys because Greg brought up a painful subject, but I think he was right.

It was a really interesting, cool and amusing keynote. You can find the slides of the talk at Greg's blog. The keynote was recorded, as soon as the video is available you can find a link at Greg's blog.

There is already a reaction from the CTO of Canonical. After reading the blog post methinks thou dost protest too much. And some of the complaining isn't correct at all. He complains for example that the slides don't contain the Novell logo, but IMO this wasn't needed at all since the first slide contained Greg's mail address, which was a address. After this slide everyone knows that he is working for SUSE/Novell. But read the post yourself.

KPowersave Tip of the Day

I've seen at SUSE Labs Conference and now at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC), that people have trouble to disable Screensaver and Display Power Management Signaling (DPMS) on KDE while a presentation/talk.

Here now the "KPowersave Tip of the Day" for Linus Torvalds (which had some problems to find out how to disable the screensaver at the LPC) and all the other KDE users out there:
KPowersave has a 'Presentation' scheme which do everything for you (disable: screensaver, DPMS, autosuspend, autodimm). Simply activate it before starting your presentation:
  • right click at the KPowersave icon
  • select 'Set Active Scheme'
  • select the 'Presentation' scheme

Monday, September 15, 2008

Back from SUSE Labs ... arrived at Portland

Friday we traveled back from Liberec (Czech Republic) to Nuremberg after an interesting week at the SUSE Labs Conference. Right now I arrived at Portland International Airport (OR/USA) for the Linux Plumbers Conference 2008 this week (17th-19th. September 2008). I will stay also for the BlueZ Developer Meeting next week (22th - 24th September 2008). This means nearly two interesting and fascinating weeks in Portland full with conferences and the chance to meet some interesting people and listen to also interesting talks.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Arrived at SUSE Labs Conference

I arrived today at Liberic (Czech Republic) for the SUSE Labs Conference 2008 from 08.-12. September. It was a really relaxed car-trip from Nuremberg this time.

There are many interesting talks, discussions and hacking planed about different topics as e.g. powermanagement, different kernel topics (Real-Time, filesystems, testing, OOM-killer ...) or network.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

TabletPCs: more machines in SaX2 (2)

I've added again some more TabletPCs (or UMPCs) to SaX2. These machines are now also supported:
  • Asus R2H (should also cover R2Hv, extended udev rules for this machine to create the /dev/input/evtouch_event link)
  • Gateway CX2724
  • HP Compaq TC1100 (I'm not sure if this will work out of the box. There are only some years old reports for the machine and I'm not sure if the special initialization of the wacom device is still needed or if it now may will work out of the box with a recent kernel. If there is a user with such a machine (and may a openSUSE 11.0) please contact me.)
  • Samsung Q1
  • OQO 02
Packages (x11-input-evtouch and SaX2) for openSUSE as always from here.
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TabletPCs: fixes for linuxwacom

After updating the linuxwacom package in my openSUSE Build Service repo to 0.8.1-4 I run some test to check if everything is working. It wasn't. The detection of X wacom input devices, which aren't strictly named stylus/cursor/pad/touch, was broken again. As my last patch for this issue was included to the linuxwacom package upstream, there was the problem, that only some distributions package the xf86config lib (why ever). To solve this the package was changed to use the new code only if xf86config is available, but as I now noticed the code was wrongly ifdef'ed. This patch fixes it.

I've send my udev patch for the wacom input devices upstream. Unfortunately the patch isn't included yet. I added fixed/updated udev packages to my repo, but now I decided to remove these RPMs from my repo. I extended the udev rule file of the wacom package instead, since this is easier to maintain. You can find the new udev file here.

You can download/install the updated wacom packages (wacom-kmp and x11-input-wacom*) for openSUSE as always from here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

TabletPCs: new machines and fixes for SaX2

I decided to put the TabletPC related stuff I did the last days into a openSUSE Hackweek project. You can find the whole description of the idea/project at

So what did I on the last day of Hackweek?
  • Fixed the x11-input-evtouch package to install also the udev rules, which create for the touchscreen devices /dev/input/evtouch_event. Added another machine (IDEACO IDC 6680) to the list of rules (see patch).
  • Fixed SaX2 to handle also the ports/device paths of touchscreens correctly. Now SaX2 can also set /dev/ttyS{2,3} correctly and accepts /dev/input/{elo,evtouch_event,touchscreen} as paths.
  • Moved some existing TabletPC with touchscreens from the Tablet section to the Touchscreen section of SaX2.
  • Changed SaX2 to set now for all Wacom based TabletPCs the option "Button 2" "3". This enable the right mouse button for the Pen/Stylus button, which is much more practical than the default setting of the wacom driver.
And I added again some more machines:
  • Clevo TN120R (a.k.a Nexoc Osiris S621) (evtouch)
  • Gateway C-120X (should be identical to E-155C)
  • Gateway C-140X/E-295C
  • Gateway C210X (should be identical to M280E)
  • HP Compaq 2710p (which should also work for the upcoming 2730p)
  • Samsung Q1-Ultra (evtouch)
You can find the updated packages (evtouch and SaX2) in my Build Service repo and the patches here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

TabletPCs: more machines in SaX2

Today I added again some more TabletPCs to SaX2. With my patches SaX2 and openSUSE now supports also these machines:
  • Gateway E-155C (thanks Ping Cheng for the data)
  • HP TC4400
  • LG C1
  • LG LT20 Tablet PC
  • Panasonic Toughbook CF-18
  • Toshiba Portégé M series Tablet PC
  • Toshiba Satellite R15/R20
  • Toshiba Tecra M series Tablet PC
You can get the update SaX2 package as always from here. Let me know if you have a machine which isn't listed yet (send your xorg.conf, lshal output and if needed also calibration data/info) and I add your device to the database.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TabletPCs: HP Pavilion tx2000/tx2100/tx2500 support

Today I've extended SaX2 to support also the Touch devices of the Wacom USB TabletPCs since the touch input devices have now persistent /dev/input/by-id links (see my last post). My SaX2 version supports now these new machines:
  • HP Pavilion tx2000 series [2]
  • HP Pavilion tx2100 series [2]
  • HP Pavilion tx2500 series [1]
  • generic Wacom USB TabletPC (added touch device to existing entry) [3]
You can get my SaX2 package for openSUSE 10.2/10.3/11.0/Factory from my Build Service repo (be sure that you also update udev from my repo). As soon as the patches for udev are gone upstream also the SaX2 patches go into the upstream repo.

Let me know if you have any problems with the new entries on these machines. If you e.g. still need to calibrate the input devices manually tell me the BottomX/Y and TopX/Y values and I update SaX2.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wacom USB TabletPCs: persistent by-id links

Since the linuxwacom package supports TabletPCs with USB tablets we have the problem to find the correct devices under /dev/input/* for the xorg.conf settings. While the input device of the stylus was easy to find (/dev/input/by-id/usb-Tablet_ISD-V4-event-mouse) but strange named, the input device file for the touch device needed to be searched by the user since there was no persistent link under /dev/input/by-id/ that would allow to use the same link for all USB based Wacom TabletPCs.

Now I've found a way to change udev to set also a persistent by-id link for the touch device. I also change the naming of the link to the stylus device. With my patch you get now these links under /dev/input/by-id/ :
tux@linux:/ # ls /dev/input/by-id/
The input devices you needed for you xorg.conf are the *-event-* links.

If you use openSUSE you can get patched udev versions from my buildservice repo. I've patched also SaX2 to handle the new link names (packages see here). Note: you need SaX2/udev to get everything working correctly and you may need to run SaX2 to update your actual X configuration.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to activate your HP UMTS card

After starting last week (only) one time Windows on my HP Compaq 2710p the internal UMTS card (HP HS2300 HSDPA Broadband Wireless module) stopped working under Linux again. And as Seife already pointed out: there is no way to activate the card from Linux (at least with kernel version 2.6.26) or the bios. I found today some time to search for a solution since several people asked me how to reactivate the card and since there are also bugreports with this problem.

Seife gave me the hint that may the hp-wmi kernel module, which will be part of 2.6.27, could provide a way to enable/disable the card. And it does. Currently the module don't get loaded automatically, you have to load it manually (modprobe hp-wmi). As soon as you load the module the UMTS card gets enabled, also if deactivated under windows before. Since the module handle the card as WWAN I assume also CDMA cards from HP would be handled the same way.

With hp-wmi the killswitch now enable/disable the WLAN, Bluetooth and the WWAN module automatically. But the user can switch the state also via sysfs. To disable for example the WWAN device you have to do this:
  1. go to /sys/class/rf-kill
  2. find the rfkill device of the WWAN module (grep wwan */name)
  3. use 'echo 1 > rfkill3/state' to activate or 'echo 0 > rfkill3/state' to deactivate the device
I've added a kmp package (hp-wmi-kmp) for openSUSE 11.0 to my buildservice repo. Currently there is no kmp for factory but I guess a 2.6.27 kernel will be available soon (or use the kernel from here).
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Akademy 2008 ended

Last Friday (15.08.2008) the Akademy 2008 officially ended. Thursday was the day of the 'Boat Trip on the rivers Dijle, Ruppel and Schelde'. It was a really nice trip with drinks, finger food and a delicious barbecue. The right event/place to discuss KDE and opensource topics with different people.

The conference was really a great event. Many interesting talks, discussions and new information. Thanks to all attendees and the organization team.

What I really missed (again) was a list of all attendees. With some of the information we filled out on registration as e.g. Name, E-mail address, IRC nickname. But also information about: how long (and on which days) a person will be at the conference, what a attendee contributes to KDE or on what he/she is working and maybe also the 'Remaining information' field if there are usefull information. All this would make it much easier to find and contact the correct people. There were so many new attendees this year that it was really hard to find what they do and if it would be important do speak to one of them. There is room for improvement.

Next year the Akademy is planed on the same place as the GUADEC: Gran Canaria. The content of both conferences will be independently, but there will be a number of cross-over sessions for all attendees.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HAL: fixed device locking

Some days ago I had a discussion with Matthias Kretz at the Akademy 2008 about HAL, the handling of audio devices in HAL and the needs/requirements from the perspective of phonon.

One aspect was that phonon needs to find out of some other tool already uses a audio device. The HAL device locking would be a solution to detect this. I took a look at the HAL code for device locking and while playing around with the interfaces I wondered why it didn't work as it should. The lock information (info.locked* keys) where never removed if the lock owner died or exited without unlock the interface again. The handling was also broken if someone requested more than one lock (e.g. two or more different devices).

I really wonder why there was only one bugreport about problems with device locking (if the lock owner dies). Did nobody ever used these interfaces?

I've wrote a quik patch to solve these problems. As first I changed the hashtable which contains the lock info from key={lockowner}/value={device} to key={lockowner}/value={list of devices} so that locking multiple devices is now possible. And the other part of this patch is to remove the lock based on the old_service_name (and not the new_service_name) on NameOwnerChanged events from DBus to solve the 'lock owner died' problem.
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Monday, August 11, 2008

Akademy 2008: Literacy Bridge

Yesterday the 'KDE Contributors Conference' of the Akademy 2008 ended. And there where of course again several really interesting talks as e.g. 'Location-aware applications with GeoClue' or 'Gallium3D - Graphics Done Right'. But for me the most interesting and impressive talk was the keynote from Cliff Schmidt: 'Digital Audio to Reduce Illiteracy, Poverty and Disease'.

He spoken about the Literacy Bridge, a nonprofit organization which try to fight against illiteracy, poverty and disease by empowering people in the developing world with affordable tools for knowledge sharing and literacy learning. The goal is advancing education, health, economic development, democracy, and human rights.

Currently they are building the 'Talking Book Device', a robust/rugged low cost audio player and recorder. The plan is to produce the device for 5 Dollar, so that the people can buy the device themselves. It would allow local organizations and users to produce the content themselves as e.g. to help people to learn reading. An other example: it would enable a doctor to speak instructions on the device for taking pharmaceutical to prevent misusage.

The really impressing on the project and the organization is that they really understand the audience.They cooperate with local groups e.g. in Africa, they understand the people and their needs. And this is in my opinion why the project will success. Compared to the OLPC project this device fits into the existing infrastructure of wide parts of the developing world, it's no high-tech tool, it's easy and intuitively to use and it's really affordable.

You can find more information on the website and the blog of the organization.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

aKademy 2008 started

I (or we, since there are 8 SUSE developer here) arrived yesterday at Mechelen (Belgium) for the Akademy 2008 (from 9. to 15. August in Sint-Katelijne-Waver). Today the Akademy was opened and there where already some really interesting talks as the keynote ('KDE Community websites: The past, the present and a vision for the future'), 'Future of the KDE Development Model', 'Akonadi Unleashed', 'Deepening KDE and Qt collaboration' or 'Qt on Maemo'.

Thuesday is the 'Embedded and Mobile Day' with interesting talks about QT and KDE on Maemo. I have to ask there the Nokia/maemo people about the handwrite recongnition (HWR) on the N810. I couldn't find yet any usefull information about the backend which do the recognition. Currently there is no good free HWR for Linux TabletPCs available (except maybe Cellwriter, which support grid-entry based input, but no natural writing). It would be really cool if Nokia would share the HWR so that TabletPCs under Linux could get more usable than currently.
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Friday, August 01, 2008

TabletPC: ASUS R1E/R1F support

I added support for two USB Wacom based TabletPCs from ASUS, the R1E and the R1F, to SaX2 ([1]). Unfortunately SaX2 wasn't able to handle the "Device" correctly, neither /dev/input/wacom nor /dev/input/by-{id,path}/* was excepted by SaX2 also if it was correctly set in the config database entry. The input device path was always set back to /dev/input/event0 and not only TabletPC where affected. I fixed it with a patch ([2]) to extend the existing path checks.

While fixing the USB device paths I also discovered a problem with the serial (/dev/ttyS*) device paths while testing the existing entry for the HP tc4200 which needs to use COM-3 (/dev/ttyS2). The device was always set to /dev/ttyS1. Fixed also this problem with a patch ([3]) for SaX2.

Additionally I've extended the existing generic 'Wacom ISDV4 TABLET PC (SERIAL)' entry to support also Touch devices and added a new generic entry for TabletPCs with USB Wacom devices [4].

You can find an updated SaX2 version (including all patches) for openSUSE 10.2-Factory in my repo.
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Thursday, July 31, 2008

TabletPCs: support for WACOM USB Tablets

Great news: the linuxwacom package supports now also TabletPCs with internal USB WACOM tablet devices. This means there is now support for e.g. the ASUS R1F or the Hewlett-Packard tx2000z/tx2130ea/tx2500z.

To get the tablet supported you need a new version of the wacom kernel module. I've added a new wacom-kmp package to my openSUSE Build Service project with an updated version of the module including a working version for kernel 2.6.26. The package is available for openSUSE 10.2/10.3/11.0 and factory. You should also update x11-input-wacom to the latest version from the same repo.

Currently I'm working on an updated and extended version of SaX2 to easily configure also these TabletPCs. As soon as I've a new SaX2 package available I'll announce it here.
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Friday, July 25, 2008

Lenovo ThinkPad X61t Touch support

As I already wrote in the last post the linuxwacom driver now works with Touch devices as used in the Lenovo ThinkPad X61t. Today I tried to use the touch device, but unfortunately it's not full working with default settings as the other wacom input devices on TabletPCs. By default you can only use a part of the screen, the cursor never reaches the last 2-3 cm to the border of the screen.

I tried to calibrate the device with wacomcpl but I got alway an error. The reason was that wacomcpl wrongly detected all wacom input devices as core devices. I had to fix wacomcpl first, you can find the patch here.

Sadly also the fixed version of wacomcpl wasn't able to calibrate the touch device correctly. The touch device get active as soon as you hit the display with you finger or a non-EMR pen. This get interpreted by wacomcpl as click, you don't have a chance to put the cursor on the cross to get a value for calibration. Because of this I played around with xsetwacom and the ButtomX/Y and TopX/Y options on the X61t. Here the values I added to my SaX2 version to get the device usable:
Option "BottomX" "915"
Option "BottomY" "950"
Option "TopX" "48"
Option "TopY" "79"
I hope this make the X61t now usable. You can get updated SaX2 and x11-input-wacom packages here. But it would be nice if the autocalibration in the driver could get fixed including wacomcpl.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

openSUSE: Better TabletPC support

Since a while some newer TabletPCs uses Wacom Tablets with Multitouch support which allows to use the Tablet with the pen but also with your fingers as a Touchscreen. One example is the Lenovo ThinkPad X61t.

The linuxwacom X11 driver now also provides touch support. It's realised as a new input device with option "Type" "touch". These devices work only on TabletPCs and with the option "ForceDevice" "ISDV4".

Since SaX2 currently only supports the configuration of the Stylus (Pen) and the Eraser devices I had to extend Sax2 to allow also the configuration of Touch devices. You can find my patch here and an updated SaX2 package (for openSUSE >= 10.2) in my openSUSE Build Service home repo (you need also the latest x11-input-wacom packages from there to get the full support).

Here a screenshot of the new 'Electronic Pens' tab of SaX2 from a Lenovo X61t:

If you have an other TabletPC with Wacom Multitouch support feel free to send me an email with your xorg.conf and some information about the machine and I add the machine to SaX2, so that you be able to configure your machine very easily.
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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Fixing UMTSmon Sierra Wireless port detection

Yesterday I tried the first time to run UMTSmon on a HP Compaq 2710p TabletPC with a HP HS2300 HSDPA Broadband Wireless module (which is a Sierra Wireless). Unfortunately I couldn't unlock the SIM card with the correct PIN, while it worked under Windows and on a HP Compaq 2510p which has the same UMTS card.

With some hints/help from Seife I found out that the ttyUSB* ports for PPP and AT are twisted (compared to the 2510p). Since the cards in both machines have the same USB vendor and product id UMTSmon can't differ between both cases.

To solve this problem I added some code to UMTSmon to identify the PPP port from the output of the ATI command. The answer of the PPP port contains 'APP1\n'. This allows for Sierra Wireless cards with two ttyUSB ports to find always the correct port. You can find the patch on the UMTSmon mailing list or here.
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Thursday, July 10, 2008

HAL patch collection (5)

Here my actual HAL patch collection. I didn't send them to the HAL ML yet, but I try as soon as I find the time.
  • a patch to fix handling of PMU battery and AC if the devices are available via the power_supply kernel interface to fix problems with duplicated devices from the proc interface (should also fix fd.o#15482)
  • patch for fd.o#16427 to fix the PropertyModified signal in SPEC to do what the code already do
  • small memory leak fix
  • a patch to remove the storage.model property from all volume devices (it's always empty and should be only part of devices which use the storage namespace)
  • a bigger patch to cleanup the code of some addons, removed check_priv() from the addons and added it to a new file to be able to simply reuse it for all addons if needed
  • a patch to prevent get truncated model strings for some IDE devices (I think it's atm not the final version of the patch, this need some more testing)
  • a patch to fix the FDI match directive for the uint64 type (fd.o#16575)
I wrote also two patches to improve the performance of HAL. These patches move some often used stuff from the scripts to addons to prevent multiple (at least 2-3) forks for each DBus method call. The patches are:
  • one for the generic kernel backlight interface
  • and another for the Intel WLAN (ipw) killswitch interface
These patches are against current HAL git or against the v0.5.11 sources. If a link to a patch doesn't work, the patch was maybe moved to this directory. The patches are already part of the HAL package in my openSUSE Factory buildservice repo.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Hunting for a job as linux developer?

Are you seeking for a job as a open source software developer? Do you have experience with Linux and are you interested in develop software for Linux? You have knowledge of technologies related to laptops/mobile devices as e.g. WLAN, ACPI, Bluetooth, HAL, power management, device drivers or data synchronisation? You are a good C/C++ developer?

Then the SUSE/Novell Mobile Devices Team has probably a interesting job offer for you. We are looking for a talented, energetic Software Developer to increase our team. You can find the full job description here. SUSE offer competitive salaries and benefits. As far as I know the job location is not necessarily Prague.

If this sound interesting to you, mail us your application documents (for contact see here) and feel free to let me know.
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Friday, June 13, 2008

TabletPCs: fix for xsetwacom

We had some trouble with rotation of wacom input devices on openSUSE 10.3/11.0 (see bugs #387127, #399016 and #391466) if the screen content get rotated via the XRandR extension.

The source of the problem was the way 'xsetwacom --list' try to identify the configured wacom input devices. The tool try to find them based on the device name (Identifier in xorg.conf) which don't work if you set other names than cursor, stylus, eraser or pad. But this is what SaX2 do if you configure a Tablet, they get named 'Mouse[x]'. Because of this (the patched version of) krandrtray (KDE) and resapplet (GNOME) were no longer able to find the devices which need to get rotated with xsetwacom.

To solve the problem I ported and extended an old patch from Stefan Dirsch from 2005 to the current package/source. With this patch xsetwacom now check the xorg.conf for devices which uses the wacom driver and check then the Type field/option for the device type.

The upcoming openSUSE 11.0 contains the patch already. For older openSUSE releases you can find updated packages in my openSUSE build service repository. All other people can get the patch for v0.7.9 and v0.8.0 of linuxwacom here.
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KPowersave Test Cases

To improve the quality of KPowersave I've wrote some test cases for the most important functionality and features of KPowersave and added them to a test plan in the internal Novell Testopia system.

Since Testopia isn't available for external people I've added the same test cases to the SVN repository of KPowersave (see here) so that every interested person can follow the instructions and report bugs and regressions. You can get the test case also as a tar.bz2 package from ftp or as plain text files here.

All cases are about KPowersave running under KDE3. Every test run, against the latest KPowersave (SVN) version, and bugreport (with the number or name of the failed test case) would be appreciated.
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Thursday, June 05, 2008

HAL 0.5.11 released

Yes, it's a delayed blog entry ... I forgot to blog as I officially announced HAL v0.5.11 and a hal-info package (20080805) last month.

You can download the source packages here:

A list with all changes since the last release can you find here or in the announcement email on the HAL mailing list.

Thanks to all contributors, testers and bugreporters which helped during the (too) long release cycle. I hope we see the next release faster (than the 8 months between 0.5.10 and the actual version).

Small note for openSUSE user: this HAL/hal-info version is already part of the upcoming openSUSE 11.0.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

HAL: v0.5.11-RC2 released

Due to problems with the 'parallel event processing'-patches I've opened a branch for hal v0.5.11. We reverted the relevant changes in this branch and added some patches from the list.
I've decided to stretch the announced release plan with a RC2 to get some time or testing. At the moment I plan to release the final 0.5.11 until Friday (2008-03-21) if there are no new critical bugs.

You can download the snapshots here:

For openSUSE (Factory/11.0) you can find packages in my hal-beta openSUSE Buildservice Repository as soon as they get build.

For more information about the changes since the last release check this emailPlease test the packages carefully and report bugs to the HAL mailing list or via freedesktop bugzilla. Special thanks to Rob Taylor and Sjoerd Simons for testing and patches.

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Friday, March 14, 2008

HAL: v0.5.11-RC1 released

I've released some hours ago the first release candidate of HAL v0.5.11 and a snapshot of hal-info (20080313). You can get the sources here:

For more about the changes since the last HAL version (released 2007-10-12) and the last offical released hal-info package (released 2007-12-12) can you find here.

For openSUSE you can find packages in my hal-beta openSUSE Buildservice Repository (named as git snaphot to prevent problems with update packages later).

Please test the packages heavily and carefully. Please report bugs (no features get included until the final version, as already announced) to the HAL mailing list or via the freedesktop bugzilla.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

HAL: release schedule for v0.5.11

The next HAL version is on the way and since I manage this time the release, here the current release schedule for hal v0.5.11:

  • feature and major changes go into until Wednesday (2008-03-12)
  • HAL 0.5.11 RC1 get announced and offered as source package (2008-03-13)
  • bugfixes and hal-info related changes until Friday (2008-03-14)
  • release of new version on the weekend (2008-03-16), or depending on open critical bugs by Monday (2008-03-17) at the latest.

I would like to see atm these (major) patches go into the release:

  • optimization patches (Rob Taylor)  [1] ff.
  • TabletPC support (Danny Kukawka) [2]

So please review and test them carefully. Let me know, if there are other patches left, that need to go into the release.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Hacking umtsmon

After I had a beer with Klaas van Gend (the UMTSmon developer) and some members of the UUGN (that's from Seife: "umtsmon user group Nuremberg") two weeks ago, I hacked a little on UMTSmon

Here what I did:

  • added support to sort the content of QTable objects of the info dialog (bug #1616485) [1]
  • fixed tabstop order for some widgets [2][3]
  • reduce the really annoying flickering of the LCD widget in the main window, by use QWidget::setPaletteBackgroundPixmap() instead of QLabel::setPixmap() to draw the background image [4]

There are some ideas left to improve UMTSmon, some really nice features, we will see if and when I find the time to implement them ...

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

HAL: some deprecated keys ...

... will be removed from HAL with end of this month, because they are deprecated since 12 months now and already replaced by other keys/properties. The affected keys  (old --> new/replacement) are:


  • smbios.system.manufacturer --> system.hardware.vendor
  • smbios.system.product --> system.hardware.product
  • smbios.system.version --> system.hardware.version
  • smbios.system.serial --> system.hardware.serial
  • smbios.system.uuid --> system.hardware.uuid
  • smbios.bios.vendor --> system.firmware.vendor
  • smbios.bios.version --> system.firmware.version
  • smbios.bios.release_date --> system.firmware.release_date
  • smbios.chassis.manufacturer --> system.chassis.manufacturer
  • smbios.chassis.type --> system.chassis.type
  • system.vendor --> system.hardware.vendor


  • info.bus --> info.subsystem
  • *.physical_device --> *.orginating_device

Please note, that there are some other (IMO rarely used) keys which are planed to be removed end of March:


  • usb_device.speed_bcd (int) --> usb_device.speed (double)
  • usb_device.version_bcd (int) --> usb_device.version (double)

Please check your packages for these keys (code and shipped fdi-files) and prepare them for the next HAL package. If you use openSUSE or you package RPMs  for openSUSE:  the next HAL version for openSUSE 11.0 (Beta) will be shipped without support for these keys.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

New/updated packages ...

... I have added new packages to my openSUSE Build Service homeproject for SLE-10 and openSUSE 10.2 - Factory. Some of them already existed in some other projects in the buildservice or in other places, but not up-to-date.

The new packages are:

  • KBlogger v1.0 Alpha 2 for KDE4
  • QSvn v0.6.1 for QT4
  • QGit v1.5.8 for QT3
  • QGit v2.1.1 for QT4
  • SVK v2.0.99_991

Some other packages get updated:

  • CellWriter to v1.3.3
  • kvkbd to v0.4.8
  • Jarnal to v9.20

Thursday, January 31, 2008

HAL: sysfs ACPI batteries fixed

With the recently released linux kernel v2.6.24 and if configured with ACPI_PROCFS_POWER and ACPI_SYSFS_POWER, you get now two ACPI battery interfaces in the system. One, as before, under /proc/acpi/battery/ and a new in the power_supply subsystem in the sysfs under /sys/class/power_supply/ . HAL listed both batteries, which was fixed by show the proc batteries only if there is no power_supply battery in the system [1]. Unfortunatly the sysfs battery was never updated (except on add/remove events of the AC adapter). This could lead, besides missing information updates, to a system crash on empty batteries if the userspace tools as e.g. KPowersave trusted these information. They never reached critical battery levels in this case.

I have now fixed this problem in HAL git master with several patches (last one was this), which also fix the power_supply battery handling in general (since it were several bug in the code). HAL poll now the power_supply ACPI batteries every 30 seconds as HAL already does for proc batteries. The code should work basicly, but I assume there are some corner cases left. Need to check the existing ACPI code for the proc batteries to find and port them. Maybe it make sense to split up the ACPI sysfs battery part from the existing power_supply handling to merge it into the existing ACPI code ... we will see.

I have added an updated HAL version for openSUSE factory (and for openSUSE 10.3 as testing package) to my OSBS HAL project repo and to the next Alpha2 of openSUSE 11.0. Fell free to test and report problems.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Fixed KDBus

I commited today two fixes to the KDE SVN to make KDBus usable again on DBus method calls:

  • fixed show the input widgets for input/output method parameters, show in the 'Output:' section only the output and not again also the input parameter widgets [1]
  • fixed handling of boolean method parameters, now you should be able to call e.g.  SetPowerSave(bool) on the org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.SystemPowerManagement interface again without errors [2]

Updated RPM packages are already available for openSUSE 10.2 - openSUSE Factory and SUSE Linux Enterprise (Desktop) 10 as always in my openSUSE Build Service project.

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