Subject: "console" on multi-device busses
To: None <>
From: Erik E. Fair <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 05/14/1999 01:26:54
We are now dealing with console input devices from multi-device busses
(e.g. USB) a bit more often than we used to, and we seem to bind tightly to
particular devices; perhaps a bit too tightly. I wonder if we shouldn't
take a page from Apple Computer's handling of such things with the Apple
Desktop Bus (ADB), which USB is replacing on the iMac and new Blue & White
G3 desktop machine (and will probably appear more often in the IBM PC clone
space, too); MacOS doesn't bother to designate any particular input device
as "console" or "primary" - it just takes keystrokes and pointer-movements
from *all* devices on the bus.

Yes, that means two keyboards can "fight" with each other. However, it also
means that you can hot-swap on USB and not care, and you can have two
devices that operate in a complementary fashion, e.g. a keyboard and a
bar-code scanner that sends input as if it were keystrokes, or a mouse and
a track-ball (or touch-pad).

Or am I misreading the state of console input bindery in NetBSD?