[kismac] Re: r148 works with Intel MacBook Pro

  • From: Robin L Darroch <robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: kismac@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 25 May 2006 15:10:25 +0800

What would make gpsd totally useful for all situations is a "virtual
serial port".  I don't know if it's possible, but if there was a way
to trick the computer into thinking it had a serial port, but was
really getting info from gpsd, it would be possible to use gpsd with
any program that uses a serial port.

No! Bad! Evil!

Sorry... instinctive reaction there. Essentially, that's as close to impossible as makes no odds. The whole POINT of gpsd is NOT having to hack up the system you're running to trick lousy software into believing it has exclusive access to a serial device. It has of course been discussed to death on the gpsd mailing list (and I've even been a proponent of it, once upon a time), but faking serial ports comes down to very system specific stuff which (a) might not work with all programs anyway - depending on how they handle the serial port - and (b) might cause Bad Things (tm) to happen if client-programs-that-don't-realise-they're-client-programs try to send special commands to the GPS unit.

And then a linux and windows port of that would make everything fall
right into place.  Anyone know of anything like that?

The "anything like that" is gpsd - the important work for now is to put unrelenting pressure on GPS software vendors to support gpsd. I've already made an offer which has been sent directly and/or forwarded to at least three software vendors to give them FREE assistance to add gpsd support to their products (and if any of them go through with it, I'll probably even buy their product if (a) it does something I want and (b) they don't give me a copy).

There is one expensive piece of software available for Windows only called "serial splitter" (or something like that), and I've heard talk of using FIFO buffers to create a fake device which you may or may not be able to persuade a program is a serial device... but really, come right down to it, that kind of solution sucks.

Remember: right now, GPS software is in its infancy - only vendors with the commercial clout to accumulate or buy large amounts of expensive proprietary data can produce certain kinds of software. But that WILL change. Remember trying to access aerial photography and satellite imagery before Google Earth? Now Google Maps covers a huge portion of the western world, and it's only a matter of time before auto-routing/turn-by-turn information becomes much more widely and cheaply available... and then the vendors that were too thick to implement gpsd support now will wonder how they missed the boat.

Talk to your friendly software vendor... and if they don't reply, talk to another vendor!


 Robin L. Darroch - PO Box 2715, South Hedland WA 6722 - +61 421 503 966
      robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx - robin@xxxxxxxxxxx - robin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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