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and I was completely flooded by old comments, so greatest apology to everyone who had left their questions unanswered, unpublished and unnoticed for the past three months =.=.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.