Friday, 29 October 2010

HAL - I can't let you do that

Linux users know what HAL is, or should.
It's what lets you plug something in and have it ready to go without breaking everything, or needing you to reboot a la Windows. recently had support added for Input Hotplugging by Udev, which makes HAL rather redundant.

Unfortunately, a great many things still rely on HAL, and for someone trying to make a HAL-less system like me, this is inconvenient.
Now, since re-writing the source code of every HAL-dependent package I wanted to use would take a long time, not to mention requiring experience on my part that I don't have, I opted for a different approach to it.
Arch Linux's system for creating packages makes this simple, so with a copy of the PKGBUILD for HAL, and a few alterations to it, fakehal was born.
It's an empty package, which is designed to replace the HAL package, but provide and depend on nothing.
This has probably produced a highly unstable result, and I wouldn't be surprised to find a great many HAL-dependent packages don't work without it - but finding them and finding out if things can work with a fake HAL installed is part of the experiment.

I've uploaded the package to the Arch User Repository by now, which I'm guessing is most likely how you ended up here. If you want to give it a shot, go ahead and install it. Comments, suggestions, etc, just leave them in the comments or drop me a mail. I think I left my email around here somewhere.

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