Effing HAL

Reed Loefgren rloefgren at forethought.net
Thu Oct 29 23:57:59 UTC 2009

Freminlins wrote:
> 2009/10/29 Paul Schmehl <pschmehl_lists at tx.rr.com>
>> Far be it from me to pile on when you're already so frustrated, but I run
>> into these sorts of problems myself from time to time.  It's usually because
>> I didn't bother to read /usr/ports/UPDATING first, which in this case might
>> have warned you.
> Yeah, thanks for that. I knew about that file, but don't often read it.
> There's even more to the saga - Xkblayout doesn't work. This whole HAL thing
> stinks horribly. IF X is built with HAL basically certain options specified
> in xorg.conf no longer work. HAL thinks it knows best. But it doesn't, cos
> it's broken.
> What really gets my goat about this is that things that used to work, and
> people understand how they worked and how they were configured, no longer
> work. And I'm 18MB of RAM worse off into the bargain.
> There's a thread about other people's experience here:
> http://forums.freebsd.org/showthread.php?p=10924#post10924. One of the posts
> contains these words "I've been fighting this one for two days now, and
> still don't have a fully working system." That's seriously nasty for anyone.
> The whole Xorg thing, at least on FreeBSD, is just a minefield. I like to
> remove unnecessary packages, to save space for when I do backups. I don't
> have an Nvidia card on this box so:
> pkg_delete xf86-video-nv-2.1.13
> pkg_delete: package 'xf86-video-nv-2.1.13' is required by these other
> packages
> and may not be deinstalled:
> xorg-drivers-7.4_1
> xorg-7.4_1
> Great. So what is the point in having a separate package if I can't remove
> that damn thing? I know I can pkg_delete -f, but why make it hard?
>> Paul Schmehl, Senior Infosec Analyst
> MF
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Yes, HAL does stink. As I understand it it drifted over from the Linux 
world. People smarter than I saw a need for it. (I'm not second guessing 
them here, after the typical hair pulling I read UPDATING and some of 
the angry but concise posts about HAL and everything has worked great 

Imagine my surprise then to read in a recent Ubuntu write-up that, with 
the release of Karmic Koala, their (Ubuntu's) use of HAL is on its way 
to deprecation. How long has it been around? A year? Two? And now it's 
headed for Linux's ever-expanding dustbin of ideas that were once sold 
as the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is why I use FreeBSD; as 
a counter-irritant to Linux's willy-nilly approach to development.

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