[openbeos] Automatic hardware installation / system updates

  • From: "Linus Sarnhult" <linus@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <openbeos@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 00:47:11 +0200


I'm a pretty lazy guy (Sorry to admit it), and got little patience to fiddle
with config files and whatnot. I used to love beos, and I still do. BUT..
and here's the thing:


- I looove how I can find almost all beos software in the same place
- I looove how beos just use any supported hardware without even bothering
to ask me much, or just using default settings and letting me edit later (If
I would even want to).
- I love that the community is so helpful and that the system architecture
is so modular and the dev. api is totally object oriented (mostly).

.. but.. and here it comes..


- I hate, how whenever I want to get a new piece of hardware.. I first have
to find out what kind of hardware is supported (ofcourse this is the case
with any non m$ os.. not much you can do about it..)
- I hate, how most of the time, I end up with just a bunch of chipsets, for
lets say.. eeeehm... a wireless card.. (can't write drivers for ALL hardware
ofcourse.. so it's acceptable) .. but does the average user even know what a
chipset is?
- I hate.. how I then.. have to find out what hardware got that chipset..
(painful painful process) .. at BEST.. the hardware is listed on bedrivers..
but even if people get other hardware to work.. I'm pretty sure most don't
bother to send that info to bedrivers.. cause most people are as lazy as me.
- And then finally.. I get a brand spankin new piece of hardware..
supposedly working with beos.. then BAM.. the new revision of that hardware
had a chipset modification, and therefore isn't compatible.. THE F**L??

Anyways... When I launch up beos.. it identifies my hardware and (I think)
iterates through all the drivers.. trying launch any drivers who found their
supported hardware (or chipset)..


- I would love.. that whenever I lack drivers on my local computer.. and I
got an internet connection.. it could just look there for drivers, and ask
me to select/download/install potentially working drivers (selecting from
user reported success ofcourse) .. as fully automatic BUT user
configureable/selectable (if wanted) as possible.
- I would love.. that if I can't find workin drivers, I could still browse a
tree with drivers, and download/install/try em out..
- And if I get something to work.. I would love to share that information,
back without having to write a whole bunch of pci id's or whatever is
- Let's say I get that new soundcard to work.. I could go to a
devices-lookin-application.. select "audio" or "sound" and then "report
working driver" and then select the driver from the driver database tree..
- That would result in a record in the databse.. possible.. I could add some
instructions, or other link other files needed..
- Then whenever the next user gets that same hardware, it would find that
record.. give him download/install buttons and whatever instructions is
needed for the drivers ( and needed other files ).. 

Anyways.. this mail is getting waaay too long..


1. Can anyone point me to websites/code/bebook entries that instruct me on
how to do the same identification of hardware that the "devices" application
in beos does?

2. I can create the server counterpart for this system, since I handle
client-server and database stuff everyday at work... does anyone want to
help out to create the client application(s)?

3. Is this a good idea?

4. Is there a packaging system in haiku, and if not, and if I would want to
make one for identifying dependencies and such.. have anyone got any
I thought of using the BeFS and just some new filetype for hardware entries
(that you can upload, if you don't have an internet connection and get a
list of drivers to download) and for packages that you have installed (so it
can notify you of updates and such)..

5. Should this application/server perhaps be extendible to even handle
normal software and ofcourse SYSTEM UPDATES (user selectable for different
versions of tracker and forked application)

Am I wrong in thinking that with all the stuff that is sooooo easy to do in
beos.. this one thing with hardware support/drivers is still pretty hard
(for lets say.. eeehm.. grandma?)

Anyways.. holla back.. (and yes.. I'm working on those mockups.. but like I
said.. I'm pretty laze, and got an album to finish..)

Regards.. Linus

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