“My first brush with mouse gestures on the Opera browser was an accident, but the ability to quickly move backward or forward in the browser history, open new windows, close tabs, and more without using the menus or moving the mouse toward the navigation toolbar won me over immediately. Nowadays, this feature is available in Firefox and Konqueror too, and you can even configure mouse gestures for GNOME and KDE desktop environments.” More here.
Using Mouse Gestures Across Linux
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Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
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2008-01-30 4:35 pmdagw
I never really saw the point of mouse gestures. The whole point for me is to minimize the use of the mouse as much as possible, not use it for more and more things.
There are however a whole class of apps where you have to use the mouse the whole time anyway. Adding mouse gestures to these kinds of apps might be interesting.
2008-01-30 5:06 pmStephenBeDoper
Ditto. Although I think stuff like this could have utility to some users – I’ve worked with graphic artists who typically worked with one hand on the mouse on and on the keyboard (including a guy who used a drafting table and put his mouse below the keyboard).
2008-01-30 7:42 pmvimh
While keyboard shortcuts are often nice and fast, if my hand isn’t on the keyboard, a mouse gesture would make more sense.
For example if I’m using my Wacom tablet. I’m left handed but use mice right handed so I keep my right hand on the system mouse or the Wacom ‘puck’ and have the stylus in my right hand. In that situation, I don’t want to bother with the keyboard.
2008-01-30 9:27 pmmacUser
There is an application launcher for MOSX that uses gestures to bring up an interface that tries to predict which app you want to launch… You get a few choices as to which apps it thinks you’re going to want to use and then it gets out of your way.
After demoing it for a little while, I really didn’t find the gesture interface very useful and if anything, it cost me more time than simply right clicking on a dock folder to pop up a list of apps.
If I really don’t want to leave the keyboard, I can simply appleKey+spacebar and bring up spotlight, type a few letters and launch my app from there. (I’m sure there are similar tricks in both Windows and Linux)
Also if you’re working in 10.5 you can get quicklook to function from the cli. Apps like BBEdit and Textwrangler will also install command line tools so that you can launch them to edit files. What’s nice about this is that both BBEdit, Textwrangler and Quicklook all convert binary plist files to text.
Anyways, to get back on topic, I think gesture based interfaces may be better left to fingers and not mice, at least in my limited use of them.
2008-01-30 10:14 pmthebackwash
I was going to comment saying basically the last thing you mentioned, macUser. I could see myself performing gestures on a trackpad, where gestures are not *quite* as abstract as they are with a mouse. Mouse gestures have never worked well for me.
I’m excited about multi-touch products starting to be more common, and I eagerly await greater integration in daily OS usage.
it in fact is pretty awul since peope will have trouble using your stuff and you also will find yourself trying non-available gestures on other’s systems.
no this sucks. lucky us, we don’t need to have it on.
it’slike the synaptics horizontal and vertical scrolling. awful, awful awful…..
but hey, we have a choice. not everyone can say that.
…when system-wide way to set speed of scroll-wheels is still one of hardest, unbreakable barriers of “RevolutionOS” ?
The first extension I install on my pc is always all in one gestures…
The reason is very simple – it makes browsing trivial and more efficient for me.
I really only use two gestures – click the right button and drag to the right to go back, drag left to go forward.
Drag up to open a new tab.
This, imo, is far easier than keyboard shortcuts. The only downfall? I go nuts when I’m on someone else’s pc or at work
P.S. – when did Osnews’ members turn so very cynical and decide to complain ABOUT EVERYTHING? Lighten up people!
Mouse gestures can be used on Compiz, and although I found them very annoying at first, they can become useful once you’re used to them. Designers just have to be very careful that you don’t end up triggering one by accident. For example, I used to trigger the “middle mouse scroll on Desktop spins the desktop cube” gesture accidentally while scrolling down a large web page.
Keyboard shortcuts, or just clicking (and programming if necessary) extra mouse or keyboard buttons is much easier (for example, to browse web pages). It could also be healthier for your wrists.
People are having lots of wrist problems because of unergonomic mouses and just because of the need to move the mouse all the time when using computers, often for hours without many breaks. I’m a bit worried that mouse gestures won’t ease that sort of problems.
As to ergonomy, I hope that good ergonomic mouses like this would become more common: http://www.evoluent.com/vm3.html
But I guess people just have difficulties changing old habits?
Edited 2008-01-30 18:06 UTC
Some distro’s (I’m thinking it was fedora) defaulted to having gesturs turned on for Firefox. It used to drive me crazy until I figured out how to turn it off. Every time I would move the mouse to the left the page would go back. If I remember correctly, Opera had gestures, but it was when you had the right mouse button pressed. That made more sense. Nothing worse than filling out a long web-form and then losing everything with an accidental “back” gesture!
StrokeIt for Windows is the first app I always install on any PC. I even use it one-hand with my laptop’s touchpad. It provides system-wide gestures (you can disable them for individual apps). What bugs me is there is NO viable alternative for my iMac – FlyGestures stinks and CocoaGestures don’t work with Leopard.
Edited 2008-01-30 20:14 UTC
I’ve been using Mouse Gestures since I started using Opera back in 2000. It is also one of the first extensions that I add to a Firefox installation. I wish that I could use Mouse Gestures in a stable and systematic way across systems. Why aren’t mouse gestures standardized by default? Also do you guys know anything about the work with “libstroke?” How would one go about getting a FreeDesktop.org standard for mouse gestures?
I’m wondering who did invent mouse gestures.
The oldest software I know using it is the Mentor Graphics EDA suite for Schematics, PCB and simulation.
It used plenty of mouse gestures on X11 workstations (and still does)
(Yes I did search in Wikipedia and got no answer, maybe I’ll do a patent search someday…)
2008-02-01 6:38 pmstooovie
I don’t know how old is your app, but I remember an util called PopMouse which enabled gestures in Windows. It was circa 1996.
It’s almost “ungooglable” as of toady.
Edited 2008-02-01 18:39 UTC
Mouse gestures go way back, way before PCs and the web, even before Sun workstations too, at least to the early 80s. My first use was in CAD software for designing chips, GE Calma used Data General Eclipse workstations and gestures were a necessary way to shoehorn 1000s of different edit commands into practical edit work. If you didn’t use them you had to keep going back to the menu palettes. They were probably used in other CAD packages too.
I never really saw the point of mouse gestures. The whole point for me is to minimize the use of the mouse as much as possible, not use it for more and more things. Generally keyboard shortcuts are faster anyway, and I have an easier time remembering them (they’re also much more standard across applications).