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Re: Workaround for Ksynaptics. (Was preventing people from making a mistake)

On Monday 08 December 2008, Matthew Saltzman wrote:
>On Mon, 2008-12-08 at 20:15 +1030, Tim wrote:
>> On Sun, 2008-12-07 at 20:46 -0500, Gene Heskett wrote:
>> > I do my best to keep my thumbs away from that SOB, even using a
>> > finger to tap the space bar when I'm composing an email, only to have
>> > it do something off the wall cuz a finger or thumb got too close to
>> > it.
>> Mine does that, too, and it's bloody annoying.  In prior releases I
>> managed to EASILY disable touchpad tapping without disabling other
>> touchpad features, and that solved the problem.  For Fedora 9, I
>> couldn't do so easily.  Installing the obvious package to control
>> (gsynaptics, since I use Gnome) it refused to do anything.  The
>> information about how to enable the package was lacking in useful
>> details, i.e. *where* to put the extra settings into the xorg.conf file
>> to get the SHMConfig enabling option to actually work.
>This point in this thread seems as appropriate as any to mention
>syndaemon.  It's part of the synaptics (now xorg-x11-drv-synaptics)
>package.  When it runs, it disables the touchpad while the user is
>actively typing on the keyboard and re-enables it after a brief pause
>after the user stops typing.  Sounds very neat.  (I haven't felt the
>need to actually use it, as I don't have too much trouble with
>accidental tapping of my current touchpad.)
>It does require setting SHMConfig, though, so that problem still needs
>to be addressed.

Not applicable for F8 it appears, from the description of it that I am looking 
at on my yumex screen right now, there is zero, nada, no mention of being 
able to disable it with the currently available synaptics-0.14.6-3.fc8.rpm 
package.  It is as if the old package is gone, and replaced by a totally new 
one without that capability.

>> After making a bugzilla entry, which got cancelled for not really being
>> a bug (I'm in two minds about that, because the package doesn't install
>> itself in an operational way, and didn't provide enough information for
>> you to manually enable it without the use of undocumented knowledge), I
>> was left with information (on the final bugzilla entry) about how to
>> disable my touchpad:

Somehow it managed to get itself installed on this Fu8 install, for what 
purpose I have no idea as this is an under the counter tower without any 
touchpad whatsoever.

The only place where the ability to disable it is mentioned is in the man page 
for the option:

       TouchpadOff (Integer)
              Switch off the touchpad.  Valid values are:

              0   Touchpad is enabled
              1   Touchpad is switched off
              2   Only tapping and scrolling is switched off

So how is one to determine that this is what they need to install in order to 
disable it?  The blurb yumex spits out, which is what folks with a modicum of 
common sense would go by, makes no mention of this ability.
from that yumex screen:

    * Movement with adjustable, non-linear acceleration and speed.
    * Button events through short touching of the touchpad.
    * Double-Button events through double short touching of the touchpad.
    * Dragging through short touching and holding down the finger on the 
    * Middle and right button events on the upper and lower corner of the 
    * Vertical scrolling (button four and five events) through moving the 
finger on the right side of the touchpad.
    * The up/down button sends button four/five events.
    * Horizontal scrolling (button six and seven events) through moving the 
finger on the lower side of the touchpad.
    * The multi-buttons send button four/five events, and six/seven events for 
horizontal scrolling.
    * Adjustable finger detection.
    * Multifinger taps: two finger for middle button and three finger for 
right button events. (Needs hardware support. Not all models implement this 
    * Run-time configuration using shared memory. This means you can change 
parameter settings without restarting the X server.

And then the point is moot anyway cuz there is not sufficient instructions, 
even in the man page, to properly set this 'SHMconfig' option in the 

Again, from the man page, no help, its not mentioned, and likewise in the man 
page for xorg.conf there is no mention of it that grep can find.  So where 
does the hapless user find this info on setting up the shared memory that 
makes all this work?

>>    1. Reference the touchpad by adding "InputDevice "Synaptics Touchpad""
>>    to the ServerLayout section.
>> Which will allow me to use the gsynaptics program to twiddle my touchpad
>> settings at will, and it's what I've done.  But from time to time, in
>> the middle of using the computer, it fails, and suddenly the mouse
>> pointer has done something that it shouldn't do.  Moments later, it's
>> disabled again.  And no amount of trying to abuse the touchpad will make
>> it fail.
>>    2. Add the options to the
>>    /usr/share/hal/fdi/policy/20thirdparty/10-synaptics.fdi file. This
>>    way you don't need an xorg.conf entry for the touchpad at all. Add
>>    each option in the form of
>>    <merge key="input.x11_options.TapButton1" type="string">0</merge>
>>    to the respective section (info.product is Synaptics Touchpad in your
>>    case)
>> But this would completely disable it for all users, with no way for a
>> particular user to enable it, and I didn't like that idea.

And why not?  Hey folks, its a laptop or it wouldn't have a ^&*^% touchpad in 
the first place, and unless the user who left it there for the next user 
takes his personal mouse with him, it will still be there for the next user.  
Not a very good argument for user defined pad killing IMO.  Particularly 
since most lappies belong to that user and are not generally shared.

>> My BIOS gives me options to have the touchpad working or not working,
>> with no auto-disable option.  It's a laptop, I might need to use the
>> touchpad when I'm mobile, but I generally prefer to use a mouse, and it
>> can be handy for page scrolling without scrabbling for the mouse.  An
>> auto-disable when there's a mouse would be perfect for me, but I can't
>> see a way to do it on Linux.

Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
	"I've always wanted to work in the Federal Mint.  And then go on
	strike.  To make less money."

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