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Re: What is pbbuttonsd used for nowadays?

On Fri, 30 Jan 2009 22:21:48 -0500
Stefan Monnier <monnier@iro.umontreal.ca> wrote:

I follow this discussion with some astonishment.

As pbbuttond was born, none of the programs named here existed
except pmud. It started as a small project to just make the
brightness and volume function keys work and developed over time
to what it is today: A program that supports any vendor-specific
hardware on iBooks and PowerBooks and some on MacBooks and make
it convienient to use them.

Of course no program satisfies all people and many think they could
do it better and start their own projects, so did I. So over time
many programs were created that have a lot of overlapping functionality.
Because most of the code for Linux is under the GPL, it is very easy
to learn and use code from other projects. But this is nothing evil, its
evolution. Discussions about "This program is better than that" are quite
useless and reserved for Windows extremists.

Many of the programs you mentioned in this discussion use pbbuttonsd code
and whenever I discover this, I feel a warm feeling of satisfaction and
know that pbbuttonsd moved GNU/Linux a step forward. What I learned in my
time programming pbbuttonsd is, that you cannot claim the ultimate solution
for yourself, that you cannot force people to use "your" program. People
will always use programs they want to so embrace the variaty of solutions
with welcome and appreciate it as a chance that makes GNU/Linux so unique.

> I think it would be good if someone who understands these issues could
> complete the pbbuttonsd webpage&documentation describing how it differs
> and/or interacts with other programs providing overlapping functionality.

To know what pbbuttons is able to do, look into the README. It is quite easy
to compare this list with the features of other programs finding your prefered
solution. Why should you rely on my word? I'm not objective ;-)

> E.g. is pbbuttonsd's cpu throttling similar to what cpufreqd/powernowd
> do or does it work differently?  What about the comparison with the
> kernel's "ondemand" scaling governor (tho this doesn't work on my G4, so
> it's maybe not a relevant question)?  What happens if two of them are
> installed at the same time?

To answer your question regarding CPU Throtteling: Pbbuttonsd does no CPU
throtteling at all, neither cpufreqd, powernowd or laptop-mode tools do. Only
the kernel is able to do this in an efficient way. So all this programs only
provide an interface to control the kernel feature. In other words the algorithm
behind all this programs is exactly the same (only depending on the CPU you use).

> How does pbbuttonsd's hard-disk power save compare to the usual
> laptop-mode thingy?

Both programs use hdparm to do the work. If laptop-mode tools is installed,
pbbuttonsd will use it, because it also tweaks the disk buffer and sync
inverval of the harddisk, so that it could spin-down for more than ten seconds.

> For someone like myself who uses Debian on a variety of platforms, it'd
> help me figure out how best to adapt my generic Debian config.

I use debian with Gnome too, nevertheless I still use pbbuttonsd because it
is convienent, small, fast, does anything I need and tells me the precise time
left on battery (thanks to IBAM for that) and not the crap read out from the
batteries itself that Gnome will sell to you.

 Best Regards

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