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Re: Fedora 8 internet keys support detailed plan + patches

Hi Hans,

Since I've been looking at the same stuff, and noticed your post on
LKML, I was wondering when you were going to bring the problem
Fedora-side. Here are my thoughts on the subject:

1. as mouse handling showed we're really better of with the kernel
faking a single kind of device rather than exposing all the device
quirks to userspace. Therefore input work should progress from the
kernel upwards and not the current multi-layer approach where efforts
somehow never meet in the middle

2. what should be emulated is a microsoft usb keyboard as they're the
best specified and competition is forcing manufacturers to target them

3. however right now the kernel is not able to handle latest microsoft
usb keyboards (google for hid bus on usb-devel). So first effort
(getting target keyboard to work flawlessly to have a reference) is

4. Once that's fixed the only sane thing to target is evdev. It's been
progressing quickly lately so putting efforts anywhere else is insane.
Checking keyboard maps and app keybindings is a lot of work, it would be
insane to do it for a temporary solution.
(everyone interested in testing should be careful to restart his system
after reconfiguring X as you can get weird effects otherwise). 

5. the X internal keycodes are limited to 256 values, so you can't just
assume a monster keyboard with every possible extended key. More work

6. in an extended keys words some actions can be triggered both by an
extended key and ctrl+foo combos so apps need to learn to bind several
keybindings to a single action

7. manufacturers are often quite creative in the extended key sets they
propose so users need to be able to remap them (optionaly, as some users
will take what's printed on keys over anything else, even if what's
printed is totally useless)

8. lots of usb gadgets have extended keys nowadays, not just keyboards
so the remapping & keybindings apps need to learn to be less
keyboard-oriented someday

9. laptops are not the only ones with extended keys, and dmi is a
laptop-specific solution

That's a lot of stuff to fix, and it won't happen overnight, so a
short-term target should probably be to choose a reference keyboard,
enable evdev and try to have all our test hardware behave as well as it
in this mode (well ≠ perfect as we're not there yet unfortunately)

Nicolas Mailhot

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