Touchscreen Compatibility [was: Feature proposal: combined system status menu]

Hi Alberto,

Alberto Ruiz <aruiz gnome org> wrote:
The main element of the design is to combine the sound, network,
bluetooth, power and user menus into a single menu. This will enable
us to resolve a number of UX issues we've encountered with the
existing design (badness on touch, difficulties having the user name
in the top bar, lots of complexity in some menus, like network,
virtually none in others, like sound...).

Sorry if this goes a bit off topic,

It is a bit, so I'm moving this to a new thread. Touch compatibility
is only one of a host of drivers for this proposal.

I'll respond to your comments regarding the system status proposal
itself in the original thread.

but, is the general policy now to
try to optimize for touch?

I am not sure what the criteria is with this regard and I might have
miss a public discussion about it. What are we trying to accomplish
with this whole trend towards touch? I haven't seen any successful
single UI story that works well on both touch and mouse/keyboard form
factors. Again, bear with me since I might have missed compelling
discussions about this design strategy.

There has certainly been discussion in the past. We talked about it
last GUADEC during one of the BoFs, for example.

I agree that it's difficult to be completely agnostic when it comes to
input devices. That said, the number of devices shipping with touch
screens in combination with other input devices is on the increase. I
think it would be a really bad situation if people wanted to install
GNOME on their laptop, would be unable to use their touchscreen with

So as an initial goal, I'm hoping that we'll be able to have a good
form of touch compatibility, with a target of laptops with

I don't think we have the resources to create several versions of
GNOME for different types of devices.

I would be more than supportive if we decided to do a tablet version
of GNOME but I am slightly concerned that we are just blindly
following MS/W8 and the desire of hardware manufacturers to have
something new to ship.

To a certain extent we do have to follow hardware manufacturers - we
have no control over what they ship, and there are a lot of hybid
devices out there nowadays.

I am also concerned about the message that this sends to application
developers. Should they optimize their apps for touch as well? In my
experience doing an app for a touch driven device and a kbd/pointer
one is quite a different deal.

This is something where the nascent design patterns and accompanying
toolkit work will help - we obviously need clear guidelines for
application developers. I foresee a couple of different classes of
applications when it comes to input devices - simpler applications
which use the standard GNOME design patterns, and which aim to have a
level of touch compatibility, and more complicated applications (like
image editors, office apps, etc) which are fully targeted towards
pointer driven input.


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