At the moment, GNOME does not give any feedback to the user when a device gets plugged in. If the hardware is recognised and a driver for it found, then a piece of software might be executed if previously defined: that's it and not yet user friendly.

Here comes hardware-feedback, a little Python experiment relying on HAL that displays appropriate feedback and potentially useful hints when a device is detected.

Here is the result:

detecting.png

A notification appears immediately when a device is plugged.

mouse.png

Mouse detected!

webcam.png

Webcam detected: the Tango project needs an icon for that, anyone?

For those who would like to start hacking, here is the bazaar branch:

bzr co http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~fboucault/hardware-feedback/trunk/

A number of improvements are possible:

  • helping the user to find a solution when no suitable driver is available on his/her computer
  • providing the user with software handling the device well (think Cheese for a webcam)
  • rewrite and integration in gnome-volume-manager
  • audio feedback in addition to the visual one

ps: thank you Danny Kukawka, David Zeuthen, Richard Hughes, Havoc Pennington and the many others for this very nifty HAL.