touchscreen mode (Re: Pluggable widget types and implementations)

On Tue, 28 Nov 2006, Tristan Van Berkom wrote:

/me strays a little offtopic...

As someone with a background writing applications for the touchscreen,
I'm happy to see there's been an interest over the last year... my
personal opinion is that the desktop is not for the touchscreen, and that
touchscreen apps are marginally different in the way they interact with
the user and will always be highly customized, I think the best thing
to do for these corner cases (touchscreen, cellphone keybad driven
interfaces etc..) is to make gtk+ more customizable at the widget/object level
as much as possible (example add properties to the GtkScale to make is more
usable on the touchscreen, but let the developer set those properties).

do you have concrete suggestions/patches here?
"add properties to the GtkScale" is too vague, concrete property suggestions
would help the discussion, especially wtih regards to their relation to

While having a feature that will make virtually any app usable on a
touchscreen interface at the flip of a "touchscreen mode" switch sounds
kindof cute, I know that its of no value to us ("us" here is:,
the company I write jukeboxes for)... and unless the home pc market is
moving from the mouse pointer to the touchscreen, I dont see much value
in this feature.

it'd be helpful if you outlined *why* this is not going to be of use to
you. you seem to not be aware that the reason to add the touchscreen mode
setting in the first place was to enable/disable gtk patches that were
necessary to support touchscreens as input device.
i.e. this is not some abstract hackery, but enables patches needed and
developed on real world touchscreen devices.

So in closure, yeah "appointed types" sound like an interesting way
to have "themable widget implementations" so to speak, the idea doesnt
suck, but I hope it is not a solution to a problem that doesnt exist.

again, that proposal is driven by a real world need, and not a scientific experiment.

Also, as an afterthought, hows this alternative:
  - Add GtkVirtualKeyboard

also here, device vendors most probably want highly customized variants.

  - Add properties to some widgets to make them usable on the touchscreen

again concrete suggestions would be nice. others have been integrating
concrete touch screen patches and properties (on widgets, styles, GtkSetting)

  - Extend GtkAction so that it supports all activatable widgets as proxies
    (i.e. GtkButton GtkRadioButton GtkHScale etc...)
  - Use one glade file for the touchscreen, and another glade file for
    the desktop, use GtkActions for a high level of code abstraction
    (some code would be optional on the touchscreen, i.e. virtual keyboard
    handling etc).

for gtk, this sounds like something that should rather be done at the
application level (exchanging glade files).

That would be a "touchscreen portable" application, with customizable UI
and abstraction, and most importantly it helps to preserve gtk+'s pristine
simplicity that I value so highly :)



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