Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Jul 2007 19:54 UTC, submitted by archiesteel
X11, Window Managers Peter Hutterer, the man behind the multiple pointer X server, has released an update to MPX server, adding support for multitouch displays. "MPX already supported multiple input devices. Which blows pretty much all assumptions in user interfaces (input) out of the water. Now I've gone one step further and added support for multi-touch displays."
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Not a day too late
by ple_mono on Sat 14th Jul 2007 21:54 UTC
ple_mono
Member since:
2005-07-26

This is what i've been thinking of for years now...
Yet, when i bring this up people always tend to miss the point, and rather see the problems, or fail to understand what this possibly could be good for. I bet lot's of people said the same thing about the computer mouse back in the days. ;)
What i would really like to know, is how this is handled by the GUI toolkit/framework (two hands in one app) and/or window manager (two hands in two apps)?

I've often used this analogy to point out the possible benefit of a multi-touch user interface;
Think of when you're playing "age of empires" (or any game that involves a lot of "point and click" really) and you could utilize both your hands instead of just the mouse and some keys on you keyboard . Yeah, that would be real slick. ;) But, what if you transfer that scenario to a real world (job, military or whatever) application that involved a lot of input/action? That would make you job a lot easier.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Not a day too late
by bnolsen on Sun 15th Jul 2007 04:33 in reply to "Not a day too late"
bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

fltk was the first toolkit that came to mind. It hard codes a single static input device.

The most fundamental issue I wonder about what net affect this has on focus policy. I guess it still works well with "focus follows mouse", of course that just means that more than one application can have focus simultaneously for some things.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Not a day too late
by hechacker1 on Sun 15th Jul 2007 16:13 in reply to "Not a day too late"
hechacker1 Member since:
2005-08-01

Very cool technology.

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What i would really like to know, is how this is handled by the GUI toolkit/framework (two hands in one app) and/or window manager (two hands in two apps)?
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As far as the applications go, they don't know the difference in devices. MPX emulates a "CorePointer" i.e. generic mouse for each input device (be it a mouse or your hand).

Two hands in different apps is easy... it just means two different mouse pointers, each independent in it's respective application.

Two hands in the same application would require support for multiple events in the GUI at the same time (another use for multiple cores!). I wonder how many applications already allow two pointers to interact? Eventually we'll need applications with menus that can be opened independently and at the same time.

Multiple core CPU's will help out with lag time.. if we allow each CorePointer and its respective action to operate on a separate core. Which also means we need a re-architecture of programs that lock up when one part of it is in use. THink.. how to use GIMP for two users at the same time? What if one person is using a CPU heavy filter and another wants to do something else.

Reply Parent Score: 2