Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 25th Apr 2010 10:38 UTC
Linux Last Monday we reported that Synaptics would be releasing its Gesture Suite for use by Linux OEMs, so they can add multitouch and gesture features to touchpads on Linux laptops. Since many people install Linux by themselves, I wondered if they would make the Suite available for individual users as well - I posed them the question, and the reply is that they're looking into it.
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What's to decide?
by darknexus on Sun 25th Apr 2010 12:28 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Either do it or don't, just like any other driver. It wouldn't make sense not to, since I'd say the majority of Linux users are not from pre-installed machines given most OEMs' incompetence at setting up a good Linux system.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What's to decide?
by moondevil on Sun 25th Apr 2010 16:40 UTC in reply to "What's to decide?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

This is what in the end will also spoil Linux for the "joe" user.

Windows has its issues, and Microsoft is no Saint, but most of the Windows bad experiences can be attributed to the way OEM distribute Windows.

Now that OEMs are turning their attention to Linux, the same is starting to happen with Linux.

So you are able to buy a PC with Linux pre-installed, but with closed drivers for the available hardware, strange distribution configuration.

I can hardly wait for a OEM Linux distribution full with a standard crapware installation. Not!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What's to decide?
by bosco_bearbank on Sun 25th Apr 2010 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE: What's to decide?"
bosco_bearbank Member since:
2005-10-12

...Now that OEMs are turning their attention to Linux, the same is starting to happen with Linux.

So you are able to buy a PC with Linux pre-installed, but with closed drivers for the available hardware, strange distribution configuration...

My first encounter with a "strange distribution configuration" was two years ago and actually open-source - Linpus Linux on the Acer Aspire One AOA110 & AOA150.

Linpus used an open-source driver to provide full access the Jmicron multicard reader, which meant I could plug the xD card from my camera directly into the built-in card reader and it would read my card. However, that driver was not accepted into the Linux kernel, and doesn't work with newer kernels. Good thing I didn't toss my USB card reader.

Reply Score: 1

Good
by Gone fishing on Sun 25th Apr 2010 12:29 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:
2006-02-22

Netbooks and particularly Arm netbooks are an obvious devices to install Linux. This gesture support will make them more pleasant to use and if OEMs are to foolish to see this well at least end users will be able to install.

Although we're looking into could mean we hadn't thought of it - but sounds like it might be a good idea we'll look into it now.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good
by darknexus on Sun 25th Apr 2010 12:40 UTC in reply to "Good"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Netbooks and particularly Arm netbooks are an obvious devices to install Linux.


Off topic, but haven't we been given the ARM fairy tale for quite a while now? I still don't see any ARM netbooks. Been thinking about doing a home build of one to see if the concept is actually as good as it's supposed to be, but until most users can buy one it's not even worth mentioning them anymore.
Netbooks in general are excellent Linux devices though. My 1005PE with Ubuntu 10.04 runs smoother and gets a lot more battery life than Windows 7 does, and I can't complain about that. ;) Too bad that every major netbook OEM so far, except maybe Dell, has manage to completely fsck up their Linux offerings.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good
by Gone fishing on Sun 25th Apr 2010 13:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Good"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

Well there's always the ipad. I like the look of this one http://www.ubergizmo.com/15/archives/2010/01/freescale-tablet.html

but yes - where can I buy one - I want one, I have the money but where can I buy one?

I think / hope they're coming soon.

Edited 2010-04-25 13:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

not impressed with their driver
by bnolsen on Sun 25th Apr 2010 13:16 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

I just bought a win7 laptop for our sales guy to use for demos. I was frankly very underwhelmed by the default settings and the lag regarding how they deal with touch scrolling at the borders, including lag on responsiveness. Based on that experience I wouldn't expect anything from this unless it were open source and allowed people to make it work properly.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 25th Apr 2010 15:19 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

And those countries where software patents don’t apply?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by Karitku on Sun 25th Apr 2010 17:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

And those countries where software patents don’t apply?

Well you can try write something from scratch without any clue how it works in those country, so good luck.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by unoengborg on Mon 26th Apr 2010 10:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

"And those countries where software patents don’t apply?

Well you can try write something from scratch without any clue how it works in those country, so good luck.
"


When it comes to patents it doesn't matter if you have a clue or not. If you create something patented, the patent holder can sue you regardless if you had a clue or not about the existence of that patent. This is the problem with overly broad and often far too obvious software patents in the US.

Reply Score: 3

The open source world should make their own
by Zifre on Sun 25th Apr 2010 15:35 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

It's certainly possible. The open source Synaptics driver can already detect multiple touches. We just need to modify X to detect gestures.

I say, just ignore the patents. Host the files in Europe or something. If I were a company, I'd be weary of patents, but nobody is going to sue me as an individual user. I see no reason why anyone besides a company should have any desire to respect patents. It's called civil disobedience.

One possible solution to the patent problem is to make a generic gesture recognizer. A description file would be needed for each gesture. These could be downloaded, or one could create them on one's computer, which would avoid patents because there would be no distribution.

Reply Score: 2

emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

FOSS community is NOT a single entity and it is NOT able to make a decision.
If someone's itch scratches, so he decides to write such thing, nice. It may happen. However, if it happens, you cannot say 'Open source world decided to slap synaptics and write its own drivers'.

Also, if it doesnt happen, you cannot say 'Open source world did not make the decision to write an open source driver'.

Please, understand, FOSS community IS NOT A SINGLE ENTITY. it never decides.

Reply Score: 2

Title...?
by Brendan on Mon 26th Apr 2010 03:12 UTC
Brendan
Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

Um, "Synaptics Looking into Availability Gesture Suite to End Users" - what if users don't want their time to end?

Killing potential customers is probably one of the worst marketing strategies... ;-)

- Brendan

Reply Score: 7

RE: Title...?
by Karitku on Mon 26th Apr 2010 10:22 UTC in reply to "Title...?"
Karitku Member since:
2006-01-12

It would if there was competition, there isn't. Not even alpha status open source project. I think Linux community should be happy that even someone is trying to make closed source stuff, ofc they aren't and start throwing stones on Synaptic even if they did provide package without OEM.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Title...?
by makc on Mon 26th Apr 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE: Title...?"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

Read again repeating loudly "Irony" ;)

Reply Score: 2

My major gripes with Synaptics
by Quietleaf on Thu 29th Apr 2010 04:53 UTC
Quietleaf
Member since:
2005-11-11

1.They stopped support for Windows 2000 with the 11.x driver series. The newest driver available for Windows 2000 that I could get is 11.2.15, 17-Oct-2008. I really would like to know why the newer drivers won't work...is it technical or did they simply decide not to test it on Windows 2000?

2. The driver isn't smart enough to disable the touchpad if you plug in a USB mouse. There's an app at MSFN that will do this, but it's a workaround for something that really should be in the driver. Of course, even if Synaptics added it, they wouldn't update the Windows 2000 driver, so it's not as if that helps. Anyhow, here is a link to the disable utility...

http://www.msfn.org/board/synaptics-touchpad-disabler-t142289.html

Edited 2010-04-29 05:12 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: My major gripes with Synaptics
by darknexus on Thu 29th Apr 2010 09:09 UTC in reply to "My major gripes with Synaptics"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

OH please. If you use an outdated os, an os even the manufacturer no longer supports and hasn't done so on the desktop for quite some time, you can't be surprised if others leave you behind and don't test with such a system. Win2k on the desktop is officially dead, as unfortunate as that is. It was the best, at least imho, version of Windows I've ever used for desktop systems. You can keep using it obviously, but don't be surprised or complain if you don't get access to the latest and greatest drivers or have to jump through some hoops to make them work.
As for disabling the touchpad in favor of a USB mouse, I assume you've actually sent them a feature request along these lines? Still, bare in mind that it isn't something most people even give thought to. Truthfully, options like that should be in the operating system and not the individual mouse driver anyway.

Reply Score: 2