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Re: dexter

On Tue, Oct 10, 2000 at 08:00:57PM -0700, Seth Arnold wrote:
> Hey, Dexter looks pretty cool;


> my one suggestion is it should have a ``I
> have a working XF86Config file already'' option near the front of it, or
> ``install a default and useless XF86Config file for me''. If you want
> them hidden behind an ``expert'' button, that would be fine by me.

Well, Dexter has simply replaced the old script "xserver-configure".  It is
only run if the config file is not present (you can confirm this by reading
the xserver-* package postinst script).

The confusing thing here is that the XFree86 4.x server uses XF86Config-4
preferentially, but will fall back to XF86Config (man XF86Config).  The
XF86Config file formats are not completely compatible between versions 3.x
and 4.x, and we still have to support some of the old 3.x servers, so it is
necessary to use XF86Config-4 for the new server.

If you have already written a 4.x XF86Config file, I suggest moving it to
/etc/X11/XF86Config-4.  I do not support upgrades between versions of these
experimental packages; that is the main problem that people are seeing.

Upgraders from the potato X packages, and fresh installs, will work fine.
When they install xserver-xfree86 for the first time it is pretty darn
unlikely that they will already have a 4.x-style /etc/X11/XF86Config file.
In the (also unlikely) event they already have a /etc/X11/XF86Config-4,
Dexter won't run, figuring that someone has already configured the server.

Likewise, the suriving 3.x X servers assume that an existing
/etc/X11/XF86Config is valid for the 3.x X server(s) you are installing.
This will be true (unless it was already broken) for the few people who are
upgrading but having to stay with the 3.x server (mostly really old
hardware).  Everyone else will need to switch X servers to xserver-xfree86,
which looks for /etc/X11/XF86Config-4, which won't yet exist, and Dexter
will give them a jump start.

In other words, I think the scenario you describe is pretty likely to be
confined to people who have been using the phase2 packages.

> Somehow, I have this feeling that my setup is a bit too strange to
> expect dexter to handle it well (dualhead g400 using matrox's driver).
> (When I don't have homework to work on, I shall give dexter a proper
> test drive. :)

It is not intended to be a general XF86Config file generator.  It is a very
rudimentary tool that is the result of some of my Progeny work.  It is
intended to generate a functional, single-screen X setup for North American
users because that is all Progeny is targeting right now.

Once XFree86 -configure stops core dumping on various chipsets, and xf86cfg
is better developed, hopefully Dexter can be thrown out.  It is a
temporary, interim solution and is only intended to be better than
xserver-configure.  On balance, I think it succeeds at that.  The only
really weak spot relative to that old tool is keyboard configuration, which
is kind of US/Canada PC keyboard chauvinistic.

> Thanks Branden (and others, if others need thanking. :)

In its present (ugly) state, Dexter is all me.

G. Branden Robinson             |     "I came, I saw, she conquered."  The
Debian GNU/Linux                |     original Latin seems to have been
branden@debian.org              |     garbled.
http://www.debian.org/~branden/ |     -- Robert Heinlein

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