Full PowerMate support at last

Tim Burrell has released powermated, which finally adds (nearly) complete support for the Griffin PowerMate in Linux.

I pinged him a list of comments on the subject, since I’ve been struggling to get it all working nicely for a while (see Fedora bug #144253 and GNOME bug #152749).

For the sake of completeness, here are my thoughts:

  • I don’t use XMMS, I use beep media player. This uses the same plugin system as XMMS so it should be fairly straightforward to support it using virtually the same code as the XMMS plugin uses.

    In fact, I think you can use almost exactly the same code. You really only need to add something like

    #ifdef BMP
    #include bmp/plugin.h
    #include xmms/plugin.h

    and set the CFLAGS using pkg-config bmp --cflags instead of xmms-config. Unfortunately, I got tied into knots inside configure.in and Makefile.in when I tried to make this change myself…

  • the video shows a green xosd display. The code appears to have the colour hardcoded as Cyan. This could be made configurable.
  • we need a GUI for configuring rules etc. As a GNOME user I demand recommend a GTK one 🙂
  • in order for the ALSA mixer and GNOME applet to be updated when the volume is changed, maybe we should use DBUS to send events around? I don’t know, I know very little about this, but from my basic knowledge of what DBUS is for, it sounds like a possibility.
  • There is some gstreamer / gnome-media derived code available – would it be feasible to merge this into powermated?

During my previous exploration of how to get my PowerMate working in Linux, I found that the following apps support it:

Unfortunately I have never been able to get it working in The Gimp… I get the impression I need to add the device to my X configuration, but I’m not certain. Anyone who knows, please ping me.

Tim Burrell is a hero.