Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (661 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] The Future of SaX2
  • From: Lubos Lunak <l.lunak@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 17:45:58 +0100
  • Message-id: <200912021745.58373.l.lunak@xxxxxxx>
On Tuesday 01 of December 2009, Egbert Eich wrote:
The Future of SaX2

For many years now SUSE Linux came with a tool to configure the setup
of the desktop which was second to none in the Linux and Free Software
world: SaX2. It made it easy even for unexperienced users to configure
video modes, screen layouts as well as keyboard and input devices for
the X Window System.
Meanwhile however the technology around the X Window System server
as shipped by X.Org has evolved: hot pluggable input and output devices
made a static configuration infeasible. Automatic configuration and
dynamic reconfiguration mechanisms have been developed such that today
most of the tasks that SaX2 was able to do are done fully automatically
on the fly and can be modified from within a desktop session. Modern
desktops like Gnome and KDE provide convenient user interfaces for that.
A static configuration of the Xserver as done by SaX2 is still possible,
yet it does not work well together with dynamic reconfiguration.
The changes to SaX2 to improve this situation would be considerable
and will require substantial changes in its design.

Novell has decided to no longer invest in development maintenance of
SaX2 but instead rely on the new automatic and dynamic configuration
features and invest in desktop applets to perform dynamic changes.
Federico Quintero for instance has created gnome-display-properties.

The resources needed to keep SaX2 in sync with changes in X.Org will
exceed what the people at Novell who have been maintaining SaX2 next
to their normal work tasks in the past few years are able to spare.

Thus starting with openSUSE 11.2 SaX2 will no longer be offered as
a configuration option in YaST.

openSUSE 11.2 was released almost a month ago. That not only makes the tense
used in the sentence incorrect, but it also makes it hard to do something
about the cases which need adjustment. Such as, let me think, the case when
one wants to change the global keyboard layout (in xDM) or the case when the
KDE display tool is designed to change the screen setup during a session but
not quite so to do the initial setup (where one would somehow expect that X's
initial setup is X's responsibility). And frankly I'm getting tired of
finding out about such changes the hard way, thanks for reminding me that I
wanted to bring this up. I'll keep that for a separate mail.

As for the actual problem, so what exactly is the theory about how things
should be done now? My personal theory would be that X people decided that
everything now works automagically and in the case when not those unlucky
should be smart enough to know xinitrc, so maybe even some X guy told a GNOME
guy in the next office at RH. KDE now will have to do the same and who cares
about the rest if they don't know xinitrc, huh? Is that far off or did I
guess right? Are now each desktop really to do the X setup during their
startup whenever X doesn't get something right?

Lubos Lunak
KDE developer
SUSE LINUX, s.r.o. e-mail: l.lunak@xxxxxxx , l.lunak@xxxxxxx
Lihovarska 1060/12 tel: +420 284 084 672
190 00 Prague 9 fax: +420 284 028 951
Czech Republic
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