5.10. Why do I have to tell QJoyPad to "update joystick devices"? Why can't it do that on its own?

It can! With the hotplug options of the more recent Linux kernels, not only is it easy to automatically load the right modules for a joystick when it is plugged in, but also to notify QJoyPad and have it update its list. Unfortunately, this is a little complex, still not available on everyone's computer, and still in development. If you'd like to get this setup, I'd love to help you figure things out and perhaps I'll make it a standard feature of QJoyPad once I have a better idea of what needs to be done on various systems. Please, either contact me for help getting started, or send me an email after you get it working explaining how you did it ;) To make QJoyPad search for new devices, use the command qjoypad --update.