Subject: Re: "console" on multi-device busses
To: Erik E. Fair <>
From: Lennart Augustsson <>
List: tech-kern
Date: 05/14/1999 12:14:39
"Erik E. Fair" wrote:

> 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?

I've been pondering these things and I have a proposition that
I'm planning to send out soon.  It would also allow for multi-headed
machines if you want that.  The biggest headache is to handle keyboards
right when they are of different types (e.g. one American and one
Swedish) since their scancodes differ and X expects scancodes.


        -- Lennart