First public version of libwacom released

First public version of libwacom released

Back in September during an interview Peter Hutterer mentioned that linuxwacom team was considered a new project — a library that would allow applications to get more information about a tablet and its features. The first version of that library was released last weekend.

There's not much information available on the library yet, so we asked Peter about it. Here is what he came up with:

The library itself is intended to be used by both the driver and client-programs that need model identification. The gnome-settings-daemon already uses it, how useful it will be for other programs, remains to be seen.

The information that the library exports is largely “is this a stylus with an eraser attached”, “is this a built-in or an external tablet”, etc. So it really depends on the program how useful this information is.

The work on the library was started by Peter who wrote the basic framework. Bastien Nocera picked it from there and did the rest of the job.

So far the library looks useful mostly for GNOME's Wacom configuration tool and its KDE counterpart. The GNOME's applet, for instance, will be able to display configuration options specific for an actual device attached to your computer.

Both Krita and GIMP developers are aware of the library, but lean towards delegating the job of dealing with device specific controls to system configuration tools.

For the curious of you the source code of libwacom 0.1 is available to download.

Was it useful? There's more:

4 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. Exciting stuff - lots of great possibilities for this. Sort of regret selling my wacom tablet a few months back now…

  2. Alexandre Prokoudine 19 December 2011 at 4:05 pm

    @Joey Indeed! I love how streamlined things are becoming on the desktop lately.

  3. this last bit about the system having control over the tablet properties is the way that the windows wacom driver works. its probubly best to have a dedicated app to manage the config. the really nice thing about the wacom config software on windows is that you can set a profile for each app. so you can set the pressure, buttons hotkeys etc per app. the driver automatically switches to the correct profile when you focus on an app.

    now if your using a new wacom with all the extra buttons and sliders touch ring etc, you get big productivity boost from this. if your doing 3d sculpting and then switch to a paint app the pressure curve need to be adjusted. and it seems like every app needs a different set of pressure settings and some custom buttons. 

    anybody implementing a gui config should try to figure out how to have auto profile switching. as it is now i have a bash script for each app that i have to click when i switch apps.

  4. grubz: On X11, automatic profile switching could be done fairly easily by following the window focus, and matching the class to identify the application.
    It is a bit fragile. A better solution would be to have a DBus service that applications register with.