Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:10 UTC
Linux We all know Synaptics, the company that seems to produce just about every touchpad you can get your hands fingers on. Their touchpads also do a lot of multitouch and gesture stuff, but up until now, their set of gestures, the Synaptics Gesture Suite, was only available on Windows. Luckily, they've ported it over to Linux, and made it available for OEMs building Linux laptops.
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" With Synaptics business being hardware, I'd have thought (and correct me if I'm wrong here) there was no "trade secret" danger from opening up their code.

If having gesture support in their drivers gives them a competitive advantage, that would be a "trade secret"

But it's the hardware that supports multi-touch et al. The drivers just allow the OS to interface with the hardware.

Sure, the gesture suite will probably have mappings, but it would be little more than any other gesture mapping on any other hardware. (eg recording certain strokes to trigger certain events)

If it was a purely software interface, then Linux would have reverse engineered it by now as gestures have been in Linux for years already. The problem is interfacing with the specialised hardware controls to support things like two-fingered scrolling. Stuff like that will only run on Synaptic hardware so it really doesn't matter what software/drivers you run on top of it so long as it can read the hardware fully. Thus my point that I wouldn't expect to see any trade secrets in the source.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not ungrateful. ;)

Edited 2010-04-19 22:20 UTC

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