Device-Kit Will Replace HAL in GNOME

During the GNOME 2.25 release cycle, GNOME Power Manager will be moved from a HAL dependency and on to a new DeviceKit-power dependency.

DeviceKit-power is a new mechanism daemon that moves the battery profiling and statistics interface system-wide, and also does the history recording once per system, rather than once per session. It also moves to an interface that is legacy-free and is more focused on the entire power management system thatn HAL ever was.

HAL has grown into a mega-daemon doing a little bit of everything, it evolved with DBUS over a number of years and is now pretty horrible code.

HAL also has a very low level interface, and so apps needed tons of complicated code in the session to do simple things like work out remaining battery lifetime.

DeviceKit-Power also implements a Qos interface for latency control, and in the future will be used for aggressive application power control. This is needed to produce a desktop that uses little power when idle, but doesn't feel sluggish.

http://hal.freedesktop.org/releases/

DeviceKit is a very small simple daemon that is basically a thin wrapper over udev.

It's designed to be very easy to implement for Solaris and FreeBSD, and
you could even do it in a few hundred lines of python, if you knew all
the hardware details about those platforms. You would just have to
populate a directory tree that looked like a power_supply class under
Linux and everything would "just work" assuming there was something on
those platforms that could parse the trivial udev rules [1].

One option that might be best (but slightly controversial) would be for
FreeBSD or Solaris to present a Linux compatible /sys device tree,
either populated in userspace, or better, in the kernel.


Comments:

If DeviceKit-Power is so Linux centric that the "best" option is for Solaris an FreeBSD to adopt a Linux device tree then I think it is fundamentally flawed. On the other had if the power_supply class is actually generic and just happens to easily map to something in the Linux /sys device tree then thats fine. I don't think forcing Linuxism onto other operating systems is a good think for freedesktop or GNOME - even if Linux based systems are the primary development platform for GNOME/freedeskop. In particular are there power things that OpenSolaris, FreeBSD etc can express that Linux can't ?

Posted by Darren Moffat on November 27, 2008 at 12:48 PM CST #

I have to say that I agree with Darren.

Gnome is a desktop for unix and unix-like operating systems - expecting everyone else to follow the "linuxisms" is only going to end up creating separate implementations and fragmentation on all of our desktop efforts.

Posted by Che Kristo on November 27, 2008 at 01:07 PM CST #

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