[patch] remove wireless support

Owen Fraser-Green owen at discobabe.net
Thu Jun 3 02:07:57 PDT 2004


On Wed, 2004-06-02 at 17:25, Robert Love wrote:
> Yup, and this will undoubtedly lead to the need to have other libraries
> built on top of HAL (and, really, it makes sense to have a class-
> specific library on top of HAL).  And once there is a lib on top of HAL,
> the abstraction might as well be there.

Let's say there are four levels of abstraction:

1) The inherent properties of the physical device
2) The properties that the operating systems uses to address the device
3) Device settings
4) Actually using the device for its intended purpose

Now, HAL clearly already tries to do 1) and 2) and everyone's happy
about. I think we're also in agreement that abstracting 4) is pretty
silly and I'm definitely not advocating that. 3), though, is the grey
area and, really, this wireless properties thing isn't the only time
it's been stepped into. Hard drive volumes, I believe fall into this
category, for example (it's a UNIXism to view them as devices). So does
ethernet MAC address and rate. By applying the setting vs. inherent
property yardstick then why not get rid of these too?

The reason is that that would limit HAL's ability to implement some of
the use cases it was designed to do. Volumes make automounting a
reality. The MAC address and rate make device selection much easier. And
so could the wireless network properties. What if I wanted to discover
the wireless network with the lowest highest signal level? What if I
wanted to chose the fastest one? What about an application that could
automatically chose a network profile based on the signature of
wired/wireless networks available? One of HAL's primary goals was to
make default hardware selections possible. Well, I think category 3)
abstraction is necessary for that.

I agree that future generations of tools dedicated to wireless network
configuration probably won't use HAL (directly at least) to do their
thang but it's all the other possibilities that I think are really


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