Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

Summary: Multitouch gestures are coming to Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat," or so says Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth.

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Multitouch gestures are coming to Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat," or so says Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth.

Multitouch is just as useful on a desktop as it is on a phone or tablet, so I’m delighted that the first cut of Canonical’s UTouch framework has landed in Maverick and will be there for its release on 10.10.10.

You’ll need 4-finger touch or better to get the most out of it, and we’re currently targeting the Dell XT2 as a development environment so the lucky folks with that machine will get the best results today. By release, we expect you’ll be able to use it with a range of devices from major manufacturers, and with addons like Apple’s Magic Trackpad.

It seems that Ubuntu has some sophisticated plans for gestures, where users will be able to chain together basic gestures together to form sentences.

The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction :)

The official Canonical blog has more details:

Canonical is pleased to announce the release of uTouch 1.0, Ubuntu’s multi-touch and gesture stack. With Ubuntu 10.10 (the Maverick Meerkat), users and developers will have an end-to-end touch-screen framework — from the kernel all the way through to applications. Our multi-touch team has worked closely with the Linux kernel and X.org communities to improve drivers, add support for missing features, and participate in the touch advances being made in open source world. To complete the stack, we’ve created an open source gesture recognition engine and defined a gesture API that provides a means for applications to obtain and use gesture events from the uTouch gesture engine.

Awesome news for Ubuntu users.

Topics: Hardware, Open Source

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19 comments
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  • ubuntu

    ubuntu doing what it does best copy lol. And i am amazed zdnet never picked up on the story that dell removed ubunto from its web site hmmmmmm
    Stan57
    • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

      @Stan57
      http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/ubuntu?c=us&l=en&cs=19
      mylestonnies
  • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

    One word for this news: BORING. Let us know when linux does something that is actually exciting. Although I do have to admit its fun watching Shuttleworth dump money into his project to give the illusion that linux is still relevant.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

      @Loverock Davidson Agreed. This is boring. I feel I must respond too :)
      mylestonnies
  • Actually it's one more feature added to the mix

    There isn't any way for Microsoft to maintain the same development pace x.04/x.10 that Ubuntu has adopted.

    And I have to laugh at just how ridiculously well Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 runs on my new Acer Aspire One D260.

    Acer enthusiasts will note that the D260 has an interesting twist in its design, a new bios and support for dual-boot to Android out of the box.

    On top of all the other excellent features, I decided to reformat the spindle and go with UNE running a VM of Windows.

    Is Acer's Aspire One D260 with an Atom N450 up to the task? You betcha and I might add it's running the GNOME ui with compiz 3D effects.

    It's really too funny that most Windows Folk (around ZDNET) don't seem to grasp what is happening--a wholesale switch from Windows to Linux-based devices is well underway. I might add, the growth of the Netbook market has only just begun. These netbooks are well-suited to Linux and exceptionally versatile.

    I've got this netbook running optimally with the N450 hyperthreading 64-bit Atom. There were no configuration issues with UNE and everything worked correctly after install.

    That my friends is impressive.

    So, those who are yawning better take another look. Otherwise, we Linux folks will be giving you a morning wake up call very soon.

    Be smart. IT smart includes Linux in your topology.
    Ubuntu Linux: The safest operating system on the Planet.

    I stake my reputation on it. ;)
    Dietrich T. Schmitz, ~ Your Linux Advocate
    • Wow, that IS impressive!!

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
      [i]I've got this netbook running optimally with the N450 hyperthreading 64-bit Atom. There were no configuration issues with UNE and everything worked correctly after install.

      That my friends is impressive.[/i]

      How about that, you got Linux working on a computer. Even more astounding is that everything worked correctly after install. That [b]is[/b] impressive!! With monumental achievements like being able to install the OS on a netbook and having it work correctly, Linux should be approaching 95% marketshare in just a few months!
      NonZealot
      • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

        @NonZealot
        LOL the simple minds of a linux user. Bragging that they installed an OS. This explains why the linux UI always treats the user like they are an idiot.
        Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate
      It must suck to have to wipe your data and upgrade every 6 months then restore it. I'm glad I don't have to go through that hassle. Also glad I don't have to add 3rd party code just to make my OS secure.
      Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

        @Loverock Davidson Yeah, it does suck. I had to do that every three months on my Windows box before I got my Mac.
        ssaha
    • Yeah

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate <br><br><i>There isn't any way for Microsoft to maintain the same development pace x.04/x.10 that Ubuntu has adopted.</i><br><br>Yet that still hasn't mattered at all. Microsoft's development of Windows has surpassed that of Linux. In fact, there is so little development with Linux for me to safely say that nothing in the OS sticks out enough for me to even care using it outside of a VM, which I only have it there to dabble with. Windows still supports the healthiest eco-system out there.<br><br><i>And I have to laugh at just how ridiculously well Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 runs on my new Acer Aspire One D260.</i><br><br>And I could say the same for Windows. Your point?<br><br><i>It's really too funny that most Windows Folk (around ZDNET) don't seem to grasp what is happening--a wholesale switch from Windows to Linux-based devices is well underway. I might add, the growth of the Netbook market has only just begun. These netbooks are well-suited to Linux and exceptionally versatile.</i><br><br>Uh-huh. Yet Linux market share has stayed the same for how long now? While XP decreases and is replaced with Windows 7, which by the way is gaining more traction with 3rd party developers as well.<br><br><i><br>Be smart. IT smart includes Linux in your topology.</i><br><br>Linux in the backend, Windows in the front.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Multitouch gestures coming to Ubuntu 10.10

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz, Your Linux Advocate

      "..I stake my reputation on it"

      What's left to stake?
      bobiroc
  • But I thought Touch and Multi-Touch was a gimmick

    That is what I have heard from so many Linux Advocates for years. Maybe in the right scenarios it can be useful? Not for everything but some things it can prove to be quite useful and not just on phones and other portable devices either.
    bobiroc
    • It's a great addition to OS X

      @bobiroc I know multitouch had always been a gimmick, back when Asus, Dell, or whoever tried it on their cruddy netbooks and it failed miserably.

      Then come Apple, and they make it near perfect. Pinch for zoom, multiple fingers (2) for scrolling, (2) for rotation and zoom - Preview, iPhoto, Finder, (3) for navigation - back/forth through Finder, Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, etc., (4) for Expos?, Show Desktop, and App Switcher. Now, I say "near-perfect" because I have an awful habit of accidentally enlarging Finder icons while trying to zoom. In that sense, I think that's user error - I'm somewhat alone on that front.

      And, if you get adventurous enough, there are other tools out there that extend the multitouch trackpads (and now Magic Trackpad) to a remarkable level. For instance, I don't know when you'd use it, but the trackpads in Apple's MacBooks are capable of registering 11 touch points to the system.

      BetterTouchTool, the trackpad extension I've come to love, adds so much functionality to my MacBook Pro I wish Apple had put in from the beginning. As an added bonus, BetterTouchTool adds window snapping (that Win7 system extension [read: that Win7 gimmick]), but to a greater level - full screen, left, right, and corners. For instance, I have my BTT setup so that when I drag a window within 30 pixels of the edge, it resizes to occupy 25% of my screen with a 5 pixel padding on all edges.

      Multitouch, when applied properly, is a wonderful experience. M$ will never built it nicely until they understand the concept of smooth scrolling, my biggest pet peeve about being a Mac user by choice, Windows user by school's demand.
      Ktroje
  • Good news for Linux users with multi-touch hardware, but...

    I'm still not convinced as to the value of multi-touch on the desktop in the first place. Especially since I'm still cleaning my nephew's grubby finger marks off my laptop screen after just playing "World of Warcraft" with him!<br><br>The multi-touch device would have to be lying flat on the desk before it could even begin to be an option, because there is simply <b>no way</b> I am going to spend my entire working day with my arms stretched out in front of me to reach my monitor.<p/><br>As an aside, I have a friend who lost an arm in a car accident: do any of these multi-touch stacks assume that the user has two hands?
    Zogg
    • Desktop multi-touch

      @Zogg

      Is meant more for convertibles than desktop PC's.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • One quick Google search for "multitouch monitor" later...

        @NStalnecker <br><br>The market does not seem to agree with you. Multi-touch monitors exist!<br><br><a href="http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-1172" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-1172" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><a href="http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-1172" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Displays/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-1172</a></a></a><br><br>It has an integrated webcam too! This monitor <i>must</i> be intended for desktop use!
        Zogg
      • Yeah

        @NStalnecker

        But, like yourself, I feel as if desktop touch is rather uncomfortable to utilize, and is best suited for notebooks or netbooks that can convert to a tablet.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • And yet, remembering my laptop screen again after my nephew had finished...

        @NStalnecker

        I looked at the smeary mess left by just casually pointing to things in the game, and I thought "Yeugh!". The thought of what he might achieve on a screen [i]designed[/i] to have both of his grubby little hands constantly wiping over its surface fills me with abject horror!
        Zogg
      • Ahahaha

        I guess that makes me different. I for one, welcome our new smudge overlords. Mainly because I do own a tablet convertible. But before I touch, I always make sure my hands are clean. :)
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion