[sane-devel] Re: [PATCH] generate hal fdi file

David Zeuthen david at fubar.dk
Tue Mar 20 03:16:50 CET 2007

On Sun, 2007-03-18 at 10:31 +0100, Julien BLACHE wrote:
> David Zeuthen <david at fubar.dk> wrote:
> Hi,
> > Is it possible anyone can apply / comment on this? Thanks!
> It's in.

Great, thanks a lot! Another thing; one of the things we're looking at
in GNOME is making the buttons on the scanners work; there's some detail


Basically what people want to achieve is making sure that something
happens (e.g. an app is launched) when a button on the scanner is

To get some context, let me describe the proposed work-flow

 1. User attaches USB scanner [0]
 2. kernel notices USB device
 3. udev creates device nodes; sends event to HAL
 4. HAL figures out (via the fdi file that is now in) that the USB
    device is a scanner supported by SANE
 5. HAL launches an add-on [1] to monitor button presses; this would
    pretty much be like sanebuttonsd, only it would emit D-Bus events
    via HAL when buttons are pressed
 6. The desktop environment (e.g. GNOME, KDE and others) would be able
    to catch this signal and launch an app for scanning that is using
 7. App using libsane starts up and figures out what device to use. When
    it finds a device it calls sane_open() as usual.
 8. /usr/lib/libsane.so is patched so sane_open calls the D-Bus method
    InhibitMonitoring() on the HAL addon just before it calls into the
    backend. This makes the addon close the device so the back-end can
    actually use it. I suppose this can be done in backends/dll.c?
 9. sane_close() in /usr/lib/libsane.so calls AllowMonitoring() on the
    HAL addon right after it returns from the backends sane_close().
    This make the addon resume button monitoring. [2]

Ideally the HAL addon would also live in the SANE tree since HAL
supports plugins. All this would all be a build time option and I don't
expect the patch to dll.c to be huge; it would basically just connect
the the D-Bus system message bus (private connection) and call a few
messages here and there. 

So I'm curious if a) you think this is a good idea; and b) whether such
a patch would be able to go into mainline SANE? Thanks for considering!


[0] : This would also work when booting with the scanner attached; I
just left out that use-case to make the flow of the example more linear.

[1] : A "HAL addon" is basically a daemon that is tied to the life-time
of the device; e.g. it's launched when the device is detected and killed
when the device goes away

[2] : The addon itself would also track disconnects so if a process dies
between sane_open() and sane_close() (e.g. when it have disabled the
addon for monitoring) the addon would notice and start monitoring again.

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