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Gestures With Multitouch In Ubuntu 10.10 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the touchy-feely dept.
jitendraharlalka writes "Mark Shuttleworth recently announced on his blog that the first cut of Canonical's UTouch framework is ready and will be available in Ubuntu Maverick. He goes on to talk about the development of 'touch language' by the design team. The 'touch language' will allow the chaining of basic gestures to create complex gestures. The approach is quite different from the single magic gestures implemented elsewhere. In Maverick, a few Gtk applications will support gesture-based scrolling."
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Gestures With Multitouch In Ubuntu 10.10

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  • One gesture (Score:5, Funny)

    by dasdumper (1417669) on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:50PM (#33269386)
    Maybe I can stop using the same gesture when my wifi card does not work.
  • by vlueboy (1799360) on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:51PM (#33269406)

    Other than specialty devices, hardware support is not even on the map.
    I believe W7 already supports multitouch, joining the mac bandwagon. So, how long until non-laptops, non-cellphones start shipping with that, so that we can see an explosion in programmer response and API's?

    Oh, and while we wait, it'd be good to find where I can buy a USB pad currently to add multi-touch support for a Windows desktop. Thanks

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yvan256 (722131)

      Where I can buy a USB pad currently to add multi-touch support for a Windows desktop?

      http://www.apple.com/magictrackpad/ [apple.com]

      They mention "for your Mac" but a quick search shows that Apple has Windows drivers available.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        They mention "for your Mac" but a quick search shows that Apple has Windows drivers available.

        Thats because plenty of Mac's run Windows.

        They didn't say 'For Mac OS X'.

      • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:25PM (#33269694) Homepage Journal
        Speaking of drivers, I bought an HP printer with claims to support only Mac and Windows. Lo and behold, turns out there is a 'NIX driver, HPLIP, [wikipedia.org] that is very similar to typical Windows drivers in that it is a unified center of settings and even shows the HP logo in Ubuntu's taskbar.

        Familiar-feeling stuff like that goes a long way toward spreading desktop Linux adoption. Yet, for some reason, they don't simply add it to their standard driver CD.
        • by jedidiah (1196) on Monday August 16, 2010 @10:18PM (#33271396) Homepage

          Vendor specific nonsense that ignores the standard interfaces across all operating systems (MacOS included) does squat to encourage adoption of Linux. If anything, lack of this sort of nonsense for Linux is actually a considerable net gain. Incidentally, Linux has been using the "MacOS printing system" since before Apple was.

          If it were up to HP, I wouldn't be able to use my all-in-one as a network printer under Linux either.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ToasterMonkey (467067)

          Speaking of drivers, I bought an HP printer with claims to support only Mac and Windows. Lo and behold, turns out there is a 'NIX driver,

          Call HP and ask them why it's not printing with the highest DPI setting (even if it is.. humor me). Then you'll learn the meaning of support.

        • Speaking of drivers, I bought an HP printer with claims to support only Mac and Windows. Lo and behold, turns out there is a 'NIX driver,

          Hmmm. By "support" did they mean "will only work on mac/pc" or "if it's not working we'll only give you support (i.e. help) if you're on mac/pc as the number of different flavours of Linux make support a headache"?

    • Were can I buy... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Just_Say_Duhhh (1318603) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:03PM (#33269498)

      where I can buy a USB pad currently to add multi-touch support for a Windows desktop. Thanks

      From Wacom [wacom.com]. I have one of these, and use it on a Windows system. I haven't plugged it into my Lucid system...yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by AliasMarlowe (1042386)

        From Wacom. I have one of these, and use it on a Windows system. I haven't plugged it into my Lucid system...yet

        We have a Bamboo One and a Bamboo Fun on two of our Ubuntu systems, and they work fine. In fact, they worked straight out of the box in Jaunty, without any need for extra drivers etc.

        To take advantage of stylus pressure etc., the application must be aware of the stylus, and the pressure/tilt features must be enabled inside the application. Both Gimp and Inkscape support various features, including assigning different tools to each end of the two-ended stylus.

    • by Kepesk (1093871)
      Don't worry; 5 minutes after this is released, someone out there will start porting it to the iPhone.

      Porting it to the iPhone: the newest, hottest fad.
    • by morari (1080535)

      Wacom makes fairly inexpensive touchpads. Actually, if I remember correctly, most of their Bamboo line can even be purchased without a stylus. Essentially you can cheap out and not get any of the actually useful, artistic features to quench your touchy-feelie desires. :P

  • It's just a toy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiloByte (825081) on Monday August 16, 2010 @06:58PM (#33269466)

    Having tried multitouch, it's useless in the long term. It is a nice gimmick to show in an advertisement, but for using it for longer than 15 minutes at a time, it's not a good idea -- you'll hand will get sore in no time.

    Even for mobile devices, there is simply no better thing than the good old keyboard. If you try the on-screen touch thingy on an iPad or most Androids, it may be enough for typing a single line of text. On an N900 with a proper physical keyboard, you're in good shape after several hours of typing. And since you can't have that many distinct gestures, traditional keyboard shortcuts are so much better.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by xianthax (963773)
      clearly you've never used swype
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Swipe sucks for many tasks, I say that as a droid owner who tried it out. Totally useless for anything that is not chatting or emailing. Which is fine for most, but not so great when you are using ssh. Heck, the virtual keyboard period sucks for that kind of use just due to the screen area given up.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by fishexe (168879)

          Totally useless for anything that is not chatting or emailing. Which is fine for most, but not so great when you are using ssh.

          I consider ssh a type of chatting. When I use ssh, I'm just chatting with my honey...I mean computer...

        • by xianthax (963773)
          while i realize this is slashdot, chatting and e-mail covers the data entry requirements for 99% of smart phone users. just turn off swype for data entry for your ssh app, at least on the nexus one it remembers your preferred keyboard per app.
      • Re:It's just a toy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JanneM (7445) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:06PM (#33270094) Homepage

        Swype is very overrated. Works fine for 90% of what you write (if you're using a well supported language), and makes the remaining 10% a pain to use. If you use more than one language, or want to use uncommon or non-standard vocabulary that 90% drops to something like 60% or worse.

        Besides, swype doesn't need multitouch. I agree with the OP; it's a nice gimmick but not particularly useful.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Multitouch is great. I have a couple of netbooks with multitouch synaptics touchpads. Oh what, you thought multitouch was only for screens? It was around for touchpads first, and it works pretty well there.

    • On an N900 with a proper physical keyboard, you're in good shape after several hours of typing.

      I have a n900. I can heartily affirm that its keyboard is just made for common lisp + emacs. C/C++ have many special characters for which you have to pop up a virtual keyboard. But common lisp has all needed characters in just the right place in n900's keyboard. Only the quasi quote charater is missing, which is a small tradeoff to make for programming while walking around the house. Offsets the sedentary lifestyle a little.

    • Re:It's just a toy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shmlco (594907) on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:25PM (#33269680) Homepage

      Your hand will get sore? You're kidding,right?

      There was probably some guy like you shaking his head thirty years ago. "Mice? Sorry, I tried one and it's totally useless. You always have to take your hand off the keyboard to do anything at all."

      "Not to mention how sore your hand will get mashing buttons and dragging it around your desktop."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664)

        Yeah, lots of people still avoid it. Vimperator exists for firefox for a reason.

        Mice suck, gestures suck more.

      • And given a proper mouse app and a proper keyboard app for any given job, the keyboard app still wins hands down for any task apart from image/video/audio editing and possibly spreadsheets (hard to tell, that: there aren't any modern keyboard-driven spreadsheet apps).
    • Re:It's just a toy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dlevitan (132062) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:01PM (#33270052)

      Multi-touch on my Macbook is great. Two finger scrolling, three finger flipping from page to page makes life significantly easier. Yes, I can do everything with a mouse, but usually don't have mine out if I just have my laptop. And of course I can always use the keyboard, but why when I can do the same thing 10 times faster with a few finger movements.

    • by coryking (104614) *

      Mutitouch isn't hype! It's potential has barely been scratched!

      Think maps. Big maps. Used on boats for navigation. Pinch to zoom in and out—way more intuitive and way quicker than keyboard and mouse.

      Think retouching photos—way easier to move around a picture with multitouch.

      Think browsing the web—way quicker to click on links and scroll pages than the mouse or keyboard.

      Think healthcare.

      Think of the music industry—put one of those puppies on a soundboard or as the display on your

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Multi-touch on maps, or anything else, works really well on the iPhone because it's incredibly specific. It's not like using the mousewheel with a pointer. You touch two points on the image, and they stick to your fingers, so if you pinch on a particular part of a map, it's that part which expands. A lot of companies implimenting multi-touch don't seem to get that this is why Apple's implimentation is so popular. Be interested to see if Ubuntu figured this out.

        I'm not convinced that translates to non-touchs

    • by ivucica (1001089)
      Scrolling with two fingers on OSX is a pleasure. It saddens me everytime I use Windows that some schmuck decided that mouse wheel is not a proper axis, but that it's two buttons. Either it's not changeable in Windows, or Apple didn't bother; either way, two-finger analog scroll in OS X is so much more natural and pleasurable to use that it's undescribable to someone who didn't try it. Especially if you take into account that you can do horizontal + vertical scroll at the same time in the most natural pannin
    • by mdwh2 (535323)

      I agree, I think I'd always prefer a physical keyboard (especially on a tablet/netbook sized device). I also think that most of the benefit is simply having a touchscreen at all, versus not having a touchscreen; the additional benefit of multitouch seems far less. Plus, I'd rather have a resistive screen so I can have extra precision, and not smear my expensive Nokia 5800 screen with the food I've just been eaten. It annoys me that capacitive is unthinkingly assumed to be superior, when they each have their

  • So ... as a hint ... if you want to copy Apple ... good for you, no problem with that I'm all for it ... but maybe you might want to consider WHY they do so well.

    You’ll need 4-finger touch or better to get the most out of it

    ... 4 fingers to get the most out of it, I'm not jerking off here, I'm using a touch screen ... what kind of gestures am I making with 4 fingers? Does it learn when I flip off the screen or something?

    Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic ges

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      You can sell GPL3 works. Not sure what your point is.

      The iPhone is not the be all and end all, no matter what your master jobs told you. Check out the android sales numbers for a good example.

      • by TheEyes (1686556)

        You can sell GPL3 works. Not sure what your point is.

        The iPhone is not the be all and end all, no matter what your master jobs told you. Check out the android sales numbers for a good example.

        Note that Android as well only uses the "magic gestures" form of multitouch. It isn't just Apple who has decided that simple, intuitive multitouch additions to a traditional touchscreen are the way to go; everyone has.

        Now, that's not to say this is entirely a bad idea. This actually seems to echo the idea of mouse gestures, a notion that plays well to the niche crowd who is willing to memorize a series of not-necessarily-intuitive commands in order to powerfully interact with the system quickly and efficien

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          > Most people don't want to have to learn a new language just to talk with their phone/PC/TV/etc.
          > They have other things to be doing--being parents and workers and social butterflies ...that's fine so long as they don't have to do anything remotely interesting or productive. The current Apple approach to interfaces seems limited to the cable TV viewer. Not all of us are that passive and don't want to be limited by what gets pushed to the couch potatoes.

          Anything that presents a non-trivial set of choi

    • by mjwx (966435)

      So ... as a hint ... if you want to copy Apple ... good for you, no problem with that I'm all for it

      I do, I need Ubuntu to take the place of my Windows machines, up until 10.04 you were doing well. Apple cannot do this, so copying Apple will not fulfil the functions I and 97% of the market require of Ubuntu.

      4 fingers to get the most out of it, I'm not jerking off here, I'm using a touch screen ... what kind of gestures am I making with 4 fingers?

      2 player game. Possibly even a four player game. There ar

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ToasterMonkey (467067)

        You are clearly of the "Apple" school of thinking where "Simple" means "Remove functionality". Most of the world doesn't work like this, making something "simple" means "a series of easy to follow steps in a logical order" or simply not requiring specialist knowledge.

        To do this, you'll eventually end up hiding functionality, and be accused of doing the same thing Apple does for the exact same reasons...
        You should think long and hard what "simple" is in the real world instead of the anti-Apple echo chamber where somehow they successfully sell devices that do nothing, easily.
        EX: a car - how much functionality is lost in an automatic vs. manual?

  • How about an ARM netbook with Ubuntu on it! Would't that be better than multi-touch? You could even sell it of your website and make some cash out of it! Who knows it may even sell so well shops may want to stock it? putting Linux into public eye.
  • I believe it was right around $1000, looked ridiculously like an iMAC and ran Win 7. I remember touching it at the store and being like "wow, now if this was only useful...."
    • by Culture20 (968837)
      Load a fps on it. Touch heads for headshots. Get banned for using an aimbot.
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      > I believe it was right around $1000, looked ridiculously like an iMAC and ran Win 7.
      > I remember touching it at the store and being like "wow, now if this was only useful...."

      Yes, every time I see the iThing I lament the fact that it isn't a proper Mac.

      Since Apple has chosen to ignore the power user, then it's up to Microsoft and the
      Linux community to fill the gap for the simple basic circa 1985 features Jobs chose to
      leave out of the current

  • Minigames! (Score:5, Funny)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@ p ... r e trograde.com> on Monday August 16, 2010 @07:36PM (#33269774)

    They are introducing multi-touch in 10.10 because in 11.04 the close and minimize buttons
    will run around the borders of your windows and you'll need two hands to catch them.

    This is much better than the current 10.04 "Memory" min-game where you try to remember which side the buttons are on.

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      They are introducing multi-touch in 10.10 because in 11.04 the close and minimize buttons will run around the borders of your windows and you'll need two hands to catch them. This is much better than the current 10.04 "Memory" min-game where you try to remember which side the buttons are on.

      I usually use the Zork like game to turn the recent memory game off. The magic words elude mee at the moment, but they have something to do with sed and gconf.

    • by Woy (606550)

      This is precisely the kind of mocking the new button location in lucid deserves.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday August 16, 2010 @08:55PM (#33270578) Homepage
    Hey, the RT2700 and open source Nvidia drivers are shagged sideways in 10.04 again but fuck fixing that legacy shit, right, because we can focus on adding bells and whistles for hardware that two, maybe three of the actual competent devs and testers currently own! Rock on, buddy!
    • The nouveau NVidia drivers are now way mature enough to deploy on a consumer OS. If you want it to move faster and become stable, contribute to the development at http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/ [freedesktop.org]. The RT2700 drivers seem to be a Kernel issue. See http://kernel.org/ [kernel.org] for information on how to contribute. Ubuntu usually ships with recent kernels.

      I don't really know what your problem is, but Canonical is not your nanny. They are a distribution company. Their main focus is to merge Linux based software into

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Bitch, I be contributing mah mad skillz out the hizzizzy. But thanks for demonstrating exactly why Linux will never, ever be ready for the desktop.
  • I downgrade my 10.04 to 9.10 because in 10.04 my touch screen and printers that was supported in 9.10 wasn't. I hope for more hw support in new version not less. We all forget about goodies when basic hardware doesn't works.

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