Over the last couple of years, we've put some effort into better tooling for debugging input devices. Benjamin's hid-replay is an example for a low-level tool that's great for helping with kernel issues, evemu is great for userspace debugging of evdev devices. evemu has recently gained better Python bindings, today I'll explain here how those make it really easy to analyse event recordings.
Requirement: evemu 2.1.0 or later
The input needed to make use of the Python bindings is either a device directly or an evemu recordings file. I find the latter a lot more interesting, it enables me to record multiple users/devices first, and then run the analysis later. So let's go with that:
$ sudo evemu-record > mouse-events.evemu Available devices: /dev/input/event0: Lid Switch /dev/input/event1: Sleep Button /dev/input/event2: Power Button /dev/input/event3: AT Translated Set 2 keyboard /dev/input/event4: SynPS/2 Synaptics TouchPad /dev/input/event5: Lenovo Optical USB Mouse Select the device event number [0-5]: 5That pipes any event from the mouse into the file, to be terminated by ctrl+c. It's just a text file, feel free to leave it running for hours.
Now for the actual analysis. The simplest approach is to read all events from a file and print them:
#!/usr/bin/env python import sys import evemu filename = sys.argv # create an evemu instance from the recording, # create=False means don't create a uinput device from it d = evemu.Device(filename, create=False) for e in d.events(): print eThat prints out all events, so the output should look identical to the input file's event list. The output you should see is something like:
E: 7.817877 0000 0000 0000 # ------------ SYN_REPORT (0) ---------- E: 7.821887 0002 0000 -001 # EV_REL / REL_X -1 E: 7.821903 0000 0000 0000 # ------------ SYN_REPORT (0) ---------- E: 7.825872 0002 0000 -001 # EV_REL / REL_X -1 E: 7.825879 0002 0001 -001 # EV_REL / REL_Y -1 E: 7.825883 0000 0000 0000 # ------------ SYN_REPORT (0) ----------
The events are an evemu.InputEvent object, with the properties type, code, value and the timestamp as sec, usec accessible (i.e. the underlying C struct). The most useful method of the object is InputEvent.matches(type, code) which takes both integer values and strings:
if e.matches("EV_REL"): print "this is a relative event of some kind" elif e.matches("EV_ABS", "ABS_X"): print "absolute X movement" elif e.matches(0x03, 0x01): printf "absolute Y movement"
A practical example: let's say we want to know the maximum delta value our mouse sends.
import sys import evemu filename = sys.argv # create an evemu instance from the recording, # create=False means don't create a uinput device from it d = evemu.Device(filename, create=False) if not d.has_event("EV_REL", "REL_X") or \ not d.has_event("EV_REL", "REL_Y"): print "%s isn't a mouse" % d.name sys.exit(1) deltas =  for e in d.events(): if e.matches("EV_REL", "REL_X") or \ e.matches("EV_REL", "REL_Y"): deltas.append(e.value) max = max([abs(x) for x in deltas]) print "Maximum delta is %d" % (max)And voila, with just a few lines of code we've analysed a set of events. The rest is up to your imagination. So far I've used scripts like this to help us implement palm detection, figure out ways how to deal with high-DPI mice, estimate the required size for top softwarebuttons on touchpads, etc.
Especially for printing event values, a couple of other functions come in handy here:
type = evemu.event_get_value("EV_REL") code = evemu.event_get_value("EV_REL", "REL_X") strtype = evemu.event_get_name(type) strcode = evemu.event_get_name(type, code)They do what you'd expect from them, and both functions take either strings and actual types/codes as numeric values. The same exists for input properties.