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    SubjectRe: uniform input device packets?
    Dossy wrote:

    > On 1998.06.24, Pavel Machek <> wrote:
    > > Hmm, I do not like this one. What is wrong with attaching 9 mice to my
    > > PC?
    > You currently can't attach 9 mice to a standard PC, so what's the
    > problem? At least my proposed methodology would *possibly* support
    > 8. With USB, 9 mice on your USB might be *possible*, but highly
    > unlikely.

    What about a box with a Stallion card and mice plugged into it,
    to provide all the mice for a many-headed X server (eg, one with
    2 or more PCI busses almost fully populated with both PCI and ISA
    video cards) or for an X server farm using the gpm named pipe and
    some network sockets to share the mouse over the network?

    If you don't think the idea of a 9-headed X server with a Stallion
    card providing the mouse ports is possible due to CPU limits, just
    think about a 4 x Pentium II 400 on a dual-PCI bus board (plus ISA).
    I expect it would work acceptably; I used to run X on my 386 and on
    machines of non-Intel architecture with much less CPU power.

    Or joysticks - even my Playstation has games which support more than 8 players
    (controller sharing + multitaps to do it, though, but the point is it's
    possible and people even write software which does it). Someone might have
    a big-screen display and want a game with a dozen or so gamepads at a
    shopping centre, whatever.

    A hard limit on the number of any type of device is not good, especially
    if you make input packets have to fit into a machine word which makes
    extending the hard limit difficult (look at how long the 32 signal limit
    stayed around, causing problems with threading in apps which used SIGUSR1
    for a user signal, such as squid, under the kernels with that limit).

    USB supports something like 128 devices, there are also SCSI-based input
    devices you may want to incorporate into your scheme and so on. You can
    never predict the configurations where people might want to use Linux

    I really don't like the idea of tagged input packets to begin with.
    What's the problem with a /dev/keyboard[#], /dev/joystick[#],
    /dev/mouse[#] and so on? Or even /dev/input[#] (which I don't particularly
    like the idea of). It's far more generic. It's simpler. It doesn't need
    a bloated inflexible protocol. Any application simply connects and gets
    only the information it wants.


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