Sunday, April 11, 2010

Great News and Bad News for Wizardpen Linux driver

It's been more than a year since I posted any updates on the Wizardpen driver, and I have both good news and bad news in relation to that.

First, the bad news is that: I'm now on the Mac == any breakage of the driver with the latest release of Ubuntu will not be captured or spotted by myself.

But! Here's the good news: the Wizardpen Linux driver is now more actively maintained at Launchpad. I have been subscribing to their code commits for the past year and the code base and configuration files have been cleaned up significantly. And the best part is that they are currently maintaining a list of supported devices the FDI rules so that make using the Wizardpen almost a plug-and-play experience. (well, if PnP doesn't happen, do file a bug report there :))

So, in many ways, I'll be officially stepping down from the responsibility of maintaining the build documentation (which has been pretty stable since 0.7) as well as tracking code updates (as, hopefully, Launchpad will be its permanent home and there's will always at least a code maintainer there to assist).

In case you'd still like to update me on the progress on the driver so that I can post it up here, feel free to email me at

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What the Linux Wizardpen driver needs right now

To be honest: I don't really check this site often - I am quite used to only log into Blogger when I had something new to say about the progress of the Linux Wizardpen driver. And only recently I found out a lot of comments that was pending moderation and I was completely flooded by old comments, so greatest apology to everyone who had left their questions unanswered, unpublished and unnoticed for the past three months =.=.

Such experience points to a fatal functional flaw: that the driver does not have a functional project structure. Currently here's a few items that the driver need, in order of importance:

  1. A support forum
  2. Package the driver to make it user-friendly, which includes the following:
    • Precompiled packages (DEB, RPM) - I'm aware that there are a few people who had already done so and a couple others working on making it PnP. We need some way for these package maintainers to collaborate with each other
    • Generic FDI rule that could allow PnP to be possible
    • A graphical calibrator program - Similar to what has been done for Aiptek (Or would it better for us to use the gAiptek software and make it more general purpose?)
  3. Choosing a project home for the driver. Currently there's two that has been setup, which I'm aware of:
    1. Feature request and bug fixes, e.g.
      • Better mouse support (i.e. the Genius tablets that came with the stylus and mouse)
      • Correct detection of screen in driver and removal of ScreenX and ScreenY parameters
      • Lines drawn on GIMP/Inkscape not as smooth as what that could be drawn on Windows (workaround: Modify the ScreenX and ScreenY parameters that doubles the current screen resolution)
      • Etc.
    Personally I have to admit I couldn't do it by myself: I really needed a lot of help. Both in terms of building a community site and the programming effort. If anyone is interested, please comment on this thread (with the e-mail followup checkbox checked :), so you get the latest updates on who has the same interest on this project as you do).

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Wizardpen driver 0.7 series compatible with Ubuntu Karmic Koala

    Just upgraded my machine to the Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Alpha 5 and I'm happy to say that Wizardpen would work seamlessly with the next version of Ubuntu. So when October comes, you don't need to worry about the upgrade breaking support for your creative pursuits. (I'll keep you updated in case it breaks some time before the actual launch occur in October)

    Recently there isn't any progress on the driver due to a lack of a active maintainer for the code. Currently there are a few project pages being setup for the driver, currently the one with recent activity was the one at the Wizardpen project in Launchpad: which they are taking up an ambitious goal of setting up the appropriate FDI rule to have it auto-detect most (hopefully all) supported tablets. Greatly appreciate that you'll be able to submit the appropriate `lsusb` output for them to maintain a database of sorts ;).

    Anyway, it is to be noted that Ubuntu 9.10 introduced a lot of major changes in packages: e.g. SCIM input to iBus, utilizing GRUB2 and Ext4 and eventual migration to DeviceKit in replacement for HAL in the future (meaning that the setup guide will need to be updated as soon as Xorg deprecates HAL as well). So I do greatly suggest that you prepare for the release by reading these new changes up.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    wizardpen-0.7.0-alpha2 DEB package now available

    First of all, all thanks to Giorgo Enrico who made the package! I have personally tested it and find it to be working, so I suppose it'd be of great help to those who aren't too comfortable in compiling :).

    Anyway, here's the place to download the packages:
    Calibrator tool: COMING SOON!

    I'm not particular sure about whether it does support 8.10 or not, so if somebody had tested it, please let me know ;)

    Friday, April 17, 2009

    Driver Update: wizardpen-0.7.0-alpha2

    Hi all, I've just made a quick bug fix in relation to the compilation issues with Ubuntu 9.04 and (reportedly, from what I read from the linuxgenius project page) Fedora 11. The code fix should allow the compilation of the driver for both Ubuntu 8.10 and Ubuntu 9.04, however I do need someone to help me test to compile the driver for Ubuntu 8.10.

    The latest driver is available here:

    Till then, have fun!

    Monday, March 30, 2009

    Wizardpen, Ubuntu 9.04 and Everchanging Xorg APIs

    Here's the good news: I'm announcing that Wizardpen is compatible with Ubuntu 9.04! Apparently it was a quick fix actually as the reason the driver isn't compiling is due to the fact that Xorg had tinkered the argument list of one of its functions (specifically InitValuatorClassDeviceStruct, which it removed the motionProc argument). Doing so created a clean compile and a working driver.

    However, the fact that all this while I was never involved in maintaining the driver nor had any knowledge in Xorg module programmer. Therefore it'd take me a while to test to make sure that there wouldn't be any side effects. But my guess is that I shouldn't take me more than a few days, so I think I'd be able to come up with a quick patch for that.

    For now, I had the feeling that Xorg is starting to become more of a moving target seeing the API changing from time to time. With that in mind, I'm in an opinion that we'd probably need to catalogue the versions of Wizardpen drivers and to which release of Xorg it'll still work. From memory:
    9.04 - 0.7.0-alpha2 (?)
    8.10 - to 0.7.0-alpha1
    8.04 -
    7.10 - Probably 0.5? Can't quite remember that one...

    Would probably figure out a time to quickly sort it out, probably merging the new code over to project at Google Code or SourceForge. I'll see to it then.

    P/S: For those who's confident in patching their own code, you can refer to this page.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Wizardpen on Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope): WORKING

    UPDATE: I got it to work now, please see my latest blog announcement for the details

    Seeing that Ubuntu 9.04 is coming up and I had installed Alpha 6 of the release, it is fair enough for me just to forewarn you that the Wizardpen driver will not work with Ubuntu 9.04... for now, at least. (UPDATE: It works now)

    So for those who really needed the compatibility with Wizardpen in Ubuntu, hold your horses, stick to 8.10 (Interpid Ibex) for a while and wait until a patch is up.

    OR... if you had done a fix, do share it out ;).