Linked by boulabiar on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:08 UTC
X11, Window Managers As a result of the MPX integration in the mainline X.Org Server, the French-based ENAC Interactive Computing Lab produced a new video showing off the new multi-touch capabilities using Fedora 12 with its X Server 1.7 and Linux 2.6.31 kernel.
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Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:21 UTC
Calipso
Member since:
2007-03-13

Neat demo I guess but I'm still not really sure how I would benefit from having multi-touch capabilities. On a phone, maybe. I guess the pinch zoom stuff is kinda neat. Other than that can't really think of why I would want multi-touch instead of just regular touch screen.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Calipso
by Praxis on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by Calipso"
Praxis Member since:
2009-09-17

Multi-touch allows for much more advanced and complex gestures than a normal touch screen. So if your using a program that would be improved at all by gestures, then multi-touch is the way to go.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Calipso"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

yeah maybe. But I would imagine those cases would be rather rare, yet people often act as if multi-touch is absolutely necessary and you suck if you don't include it.

Maybe I'm just not creative enough think of of good cases where it would be useful ;)

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Calipso
by Inph on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Calipso"
Inph Member since:
2009-10-05

It's great for moving pictures around and rotating them and scaling them!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Calipso
by sbergman27 on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Calipso"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I'm the sort of person who, immediately after installing an OS, turns off trackpad tapping and disables all the scroll features. Such features drive me insane if I don't. I suppose if I ever take up finger painting, I might be interested in multitouch.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment by Calipso
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 20th Dec 2009 19:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Calipso"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Same here. Especially touchpad tapping is just so frakking asinine. Seriously - if I could go back in time, and find the person who came up with it, I'd kill him before he did. I'm not joking here - I'm deadly serious.

I HATE it. Especially since by default Windows nor Linux can easily disable it. Windows needs the special drivers (Synaptics), and Linux... Well, last time I had to disable it I still had to dive into Xorg.

Reply Score: 0

RE[5]: Comment by Calipso
by sbergman27 on Sun 20th Dec 2009 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Calipso"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

and Linux... Well, last time I had to disable it I still had to dive into Xorg.

System->Preferences->Mouse->Enable Mouse Clicks With Touchpad

It's a checkbox.

You used to have to jump through some hoops since the option that used to have to be enabled to allow changing the setting had some security implications, and was thus disabled by default. I believe that the Ubuntu devs did the work to fix that situation.

-Steve

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Comment by Calipso
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 20th Dec 2009 20:09 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Calipso"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Good to know - I don't have a Linux laptop anymore so I couldn't look it up.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by Calipso
by sbergman27 on Sun 20th Dec 2009 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Calipso"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

BTW, you don't really need to go back in time. Just find him and kill him now. Put his head on a pike and add it to the OSnews logo. Make an example of him. It'll make people think twice about doing anything similar in the future.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Comment by Calipso
by Rahul on Mon 21st Dec 2009 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by Calipso"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually the work to enable it easily including the framework and the UI was done by Peter Hutterer from Red Hat. His blog has more details if you are interested.

http://who-t.blogspot.com/

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by Calipso
by porcel on Sun 20th Dec 2009 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Calipso"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

I know it´s supposed to be all metaphoric, but I don´t like at all all this talk about killing. You know what, if something bothers you that much, do something about it.

Many people like touchpads just fine. And most decent laptops offer and f-key combination that actually disables the touchpad and which works across different operating systems.

Reply Score: 7

RE[5]: Comment by Calipso
by MamiyaOtaru on Mon 21st Dec 2009 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Calipso"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

I wouldn't use a trackpad without tapping. It's quieter than clicking a button. Less stress on the fingers too. Light tap instead of pressing down an often stuff button. Two finger scrolling is great too.

That aside, MPX could be cool for playing split screen games with two mouses. UT3 has splitscreen, but requires gamepads. If a game like UT3 ever came out for Linux (heh) MPX could make splitscreen KBM control possible, which I think would be cool

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Mon 21st Dec 2009 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Calipso"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

ugh. Don't get me started on no UT3 for Linux. A game I was seriously looking forward to and then......nothing but 'soon' from them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Calipso
by ameasures on Sun 20th Dec 2009 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Calipso"
ameasures Member since:
2006-01-09

yeah maybe. But I would imagine those cases would be rather rare, yet people often act as if multi-touch is absolutely necessary and you suck if you don't include it.


I might have said that before having it to live with on a new machine.

Frankly, now, working on a laptop or desktop machine that hasn't got it is slower and awkward and downright irritating. Scrolling with multi-touch in either dimension is just massively more intuitive and convenient for a simple example.

Multi touch isn't absolutely necessary, but then neither are most of the myriad of refinements in our cars, or microwave cookers or other appliances.

You might be dragged to it by the market moving that way (as you suggest); but when you do get it, I genuinely doubt you'll look back.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Mon 21st Dec 2009 12:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Calipso"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

I never used multi-touch scrolling so I'm going to assume this means you can use two fingers on the track pad of a laptop rather than touching the actual screen of the laptop?

I'm picturing one finger being used to scroll horizontally and the other vertically at the same time.

If so, wouldn't this be more of a feature of the track pad it self rather than the OS? If you use two fingers to scroll, the track pad would send separate signals for each finger back and forth between the fingers and move diagonally across the screen or something along those lines.

Reply Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

The OS still has to recognize two concurrent input points and know what to do with it.

Think of a machine with two mice attached. If you move the first mouse, the cursor will move. If you move the second mouse, the cursor will still move. You need an OS that can provide two mouse cursors on the screen. It also needs to track them in relation to each other and objects on the screen; One mouse cursor hold the picture corner while drags the opposite corner further from the first (zoom).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Calipso - multi-user
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Dec 2009 18:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Calipso"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I think your right on the money. It's a thing that one misses much less when they haven't used it much. If you don't have it then no loss but once your used to it other devices feel crippling.

My best example would actually be multi-user. Most people think "but only one person uses my computer a time" but people who are used to working with multiple accounts active on a true multi-user platform find single user systems limiting.

For me, touch and multi-touch makes sense on small form devices, notebooks, slabs, table surfaces or similar devices used in a more flat possition. I've no interest in touching my desktop display though. Reaching across my desk horizontally to poke at my floating screens isn't happening.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Calipso
by unoengborg on Mon 21st Dec 2009 09:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by Calipso"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Neat demo I guess but I'm still not really sure how I would benefit from having multi-touch capabilities. On a phone, maybe. I guess the pinch zoom stuff is kinda neat. Other than that can't really think of why I would want multi-touch instead of just regular touch screen.


Actually, on a phone pinching for resizing makes very poor usability, as you often need to use such a device with one hand. The Samsung, one finger zoom, system works much better on such devices.

However, multi-touch is still useful if you want to implement things like on screen keyboards, as it without it will be impossible to get various modifier keys to work as expected.

Then there are of course uses related to collaborative work on large screens.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Calipso
by Calipso on Mon 21st Dec 2009 12:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Calipso"
Calipso Member since:
2007-03-13

yeah on my phone I draw circles with my thumb to zoom in and draw circles the opposite way to zoom out. Works quite well one handed.

Reply Score: 2

Is it just meâ¦
by vinterbleg on Sun 20th Dec 2009 20:29 UTC
vinterbleg
Member since:
2005-07-11

Is it just me, or isn't it nearly as impressive when the most fundamental feature of the X server (displaying graphics) appears to be laggy still?

I know this is not the case on moderne computers, but when you're showcasing some cool new feature, make sure the basics are still working. Otherwise it just comes off as lame.

Reply Score: 3

Isn't it patented?
by Dr-ROX on Sun 20th Dec 2009 21:54 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

It's a nice feature to have, but as i remeber movies when multitouch started to be demonstrated, Apple and Microsoft were highly interested.
Iphone has lots of touch related stuff patented, I guess multitouch is also not left behind to implement freely..

Reply Score: 2

RE: Isn't it patented?
by darknexus on Mon 21st Dec 2009 03:35 UTC in reply to "Isn't it patented?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

And since when has the F/OSS world given a rat's rear about patents? Not that I blame them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Isn't it patented? - since always
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Dec 2009 18:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Isn't it patented?"
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

You'll find the FOSS folks much more stringent about patents and related licenses. Licenses are the very primes and reason for the FOSS community in the first place.

Now, if you have source information that supports the claim that FOSS folks have a general disregard for patent and license law, it could be an interesting read..

Reply Score: 3

RE: Isn't it patented?
by ndrw on Mon 21st Dec 2009 05:43 UTC in reply to "Isn't it patented?"
ndrw Member since:
2009-06-30

No, it isn't. I doubt EPO will ever grant a patent for multi-touch. It is not a novel idea (duh!), it is an incremental improvement over existing interfaces and it is not even a technical invention.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Isn't it patented?
by spiderman on Mon 21st Dec 2009 09:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Isn't it patented?"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Well, they've patented this kind of stuff before:
http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/7028023/fulltext.html
The US patent office is incompetent. They don't actually know what software is to begin with and they don't filter anything, not even the most obvious crap.

Edited 2009-12-21 09:07 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: Isn't it patented?
by spiderman on Mon 21st Dec 2009 09:00 UTC in reply to "Isn't it patented?"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Software patents are only applicable in the US and some other small countries. It doesn't matter for free software. They just put their mirror servers anywhere that is not the US.

Reply Score: 2

Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

http://wearables.unisa.edu.au/mpx/?q=node/147

"Increasingly I get as whether MPX allows multi-touch. The answer is neither yes nor no."

"here's the big difference: some devices can detect the area of touch, rather than a single point. And here's where it gets interesting, as this allows gestures. [...] This is true "touch support", and by far not commonplace yet. One of the prominent examples that supports true multi-touch is MS Surface."

So this demo is still cool and still allows multiple touch points, which is obviously a big improvement to a large number of users. It's just worth noting that devices can potentially support even more variation than just multiple points. The MPX guy also notes that getting multi-point is the harder part of the work and that he's experimented a bit with "full" multitouch support, so by building on top of MPX it should be possible to do that too.

Edited 2009-12-20 22:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

dante Member since:
2009-08-25

I would caution using that link; it's over a year old.

The important thing to note from this video and news, it that this is support in X, which does not mean support in toolkits.

However, since it is enabled by default, it will make more sense for toolkit developers to add the support.

Finally, even when that is done, that doesn't necessarily mean apps will play nice, as people could have developed things in a way that multiple cursors could break things.

Reply Score: 2

Touch supported for Panasonic CF-27?
by jabbotts on Mon 21st Dec 2009 18:10 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd love to rejuvinate my old CF27. A light *nix and touch screen support would do it. (ok, I know.. this is multi-touch but a geek can dream about it possibly including old touch hardware..)

Reply Score: 2