Gestures with multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10

Monday, August 16th, 2010

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.

The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere. Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated “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 new underlying code is published on Launchpad under the GPLv3 and LGPLv3, and of course there are quite a lot of modules for things like X and Gtk which may be under licenses preferred by those projects. There’s a PPA if you’re interested in tracking the cutting edge, or just branch / push/ merge on LP if you want to make it better. Details in the official developer announcement. The bits depend on Peter Hutterer’s recently published update to the X input protocols related to multi-touch, and add gesture processing and gesture event delivery. I’d like to thank Duncan McGreggor for his leadership of the team which implemented this design, and of course all the folks who have worked on it so far: Henrik Rydberg, Rafi Rubin, Chase Douglas, Stephen Webb at the heart of it, and many others who have expanded on their efforts.

In Maverick, quite a few Gtk applications will support gesture-based scrolling. We’ll enhance Evince to show some of the richer interactions that developers might want to add to their apps. Window management will be gesture-enabled in Unity, so 10.10 Netbook Edition users with touch screens or multi-touch pads will have sophisticated window management at their fingertips. Install Unity on your desktop for a taste of it, just apt-get install ubuntu-netbook and choose the appropriate session at login.

The roadmap beyond 10.10 will flesh out the app developer API and provide system services related to gesture processing and touch. It would be awesome to have touch-aware versions of all the major apps – browser, email, file management, chat, photo management and media playback – for 11.04, but that depends on you! So if you are interested in this, let’s work up some branches :-) Here’s the official Canonical blog post, too.

109 comments:

  1. novatillasku.com » Blog Archive » Multi-touch en Maverick! says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    [...] el link al Blog de Canonical, donde acaban de publicar el anuncio dado en las listas y también Mark Shuttleworh en su [...]

  2. Nathan Nutter says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I have a Lenovo S10-3t which is a touch screen based netbook. If the suspend/resume bug were fixed (#598664) this could make a very economical device (~$400 USD vs. XT2′s $2400 USD). I don’t think it supports 4-finger but I recall it supports three.

    OT: On the matter of that bug. Are there any guidelines for at least having the issue acknowledged by the developers? As far as I can tell only other users have updated/commented on it and there has been no acknowledgment or progress in almost two months.

  3. bigbrovar says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Are there any work to bring this to upstream like the Xorg guys and also to make it so this also works with both gtk/gnome and Qt/Kde. I know for one that the X guys are working on bringing multi-touch to X and there are some level of multi touch support in Qt4.6.

  4. mark says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    @bigbrovar

    Yes, on all fronts. There will be patches for Gtk, there is code for X and I think Qt is in the same position.

  5. Zac says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Nice work. Keep Ubuntu moving forward.

    Don’t forget to work on the Software Centre – a way to get commercial applications installed/kept updated very easily. How about a donate button for application built into the Software Centre?

    Keep the innovation coming.

  6. BlogMicael » Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte para multitouch says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth Más información | Canonical | Lista de correo de Ubuntu Sitio oficial | Repositorio de Canonical [...]

  7. mandy sauls says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    iUbuntunite Brilliant! MM 10.10 (“,)

  8. cosmix says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    That’s exciting news Mark. Multitouch is certainly going to be a prevalent interaction technology in the near future, and seeing Ubuntu participate in its development for linux is truly amazing and a great opportunity for the platform to flourish in — what is going to be — the centre of consumer computing. Thank you (and those responsible for the code) very much for your efforts!

    Nevertheless, while I am happy that Canonical is betting on multitouch and contributing back to the community, as an Ubuntu user and linux developer I have to admit that on the whole I am becoming increasingly disappointed with the laggard pace of polishing the Ubuntu desktop, the number of severe regressions that crop up after every release, the stagnant state of Gnome (Ubuntu’s primary focus). It is somewhat ironic to talk about multitouch when there’s basic stuff missing from the desktop experience, almost thirty years since it made its appearance; some quick examples: ‘regional settings’ are totally missing from GNOME as shipped by Ubuntu (you need to resort to setting LC variables, not exactly the pinnacle of user friendliness for new users), except for the coarse-grained language selection. Upstart and service management as a whole are infantile compared to its contemporary solutions and have been for the 4 years of its existence; configuration remains a major issue for many newcomers to Ubuntu and system-wide search (ala the Mac OS X Spotlight) is still nowhere to be found in a working state. Just a couple releases back audio was in a quasi-working state, due to the immaturity of Pulseaudio.

    A coherent, polished and mature environment that could thrive is missing. Over the years it has become clear that most of the commercial actors in the linux software development industry don’t care that much about the desktop. Canonical has long been an exception both in its rhetoric and — to a lesser extent — its focus; as a company it has been the cheerleader of desktop linux at a time when people gradually (and to a large extent justifiably) gave up on it.

    I hope that as Ubuntu becomes more popular, the community, along with companies like Canonical, will choose to strengthen the very foundations of the open source software we love and use as much as it will strive to lay the ground for future technologies/paradigms like multitouch. Having the APIs in place is necessary, but not sufficient to a great software platform.

    It’d be a shame if — five years down the road — Ubuntu (as an offering) sported a comprehensive and stable API for multitouch, while missing the polish, refinement and usability that would make it an appealing alternative. So, while I’m excited about this, I am also concerned that 10.10 will be a very marginal improvement to 10.04, it’ll break some of the stuff that should never break in 2010 (see comment above about suspend/resume; it happens on too many laptops/netbooks to list here), it will not be any friendlier, any more productive, faster or have more features than its predecessors, while resources are dedicated to the development of a multitouch API.

    Developing anything new is bound to be more exciting than fixing old stuff, but — right now — I feel that Ubuntu needs the latter more than anything.

  9. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte para multitouch | Ultimos Avances says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth Más información | Canonical | Lista de correo de Ubuntu Sitio oficial | Repositorio de Canonical [...]

  10. lunamystry says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Nice!

    Next I hope you taking on Microsoft kinetic. I think Microsoft would be stupid if they didn’t add kinetic to the desktop and if Ubuntu gets it at the same time or before that would just squash the first bug.

    I saw some company, from Israel I think, did it using a camera and I dont know what, maybe they’ll be interested in working with Linux/Ubuntu.
    I am an Ubuntu user.

  11. Andreas Nilsson says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    This is really cool news, Mark!

  12. Ubuntu 10.10 får stöd för multitouch | Ubuntuportalen's Blog says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    [...] kan läsa hela inlägget på Mark Shuttleworths blogg. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Lokala epostlistor [...]

  13. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte para multitouch says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth Más información | Canonical | Lista de correo de Ubuntu Sitio oficial | Repositorio de Canonical [...]

  14. BUGabundo says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Mark is any work being done to work with chromium and firefox multitouch support?

  15. Ubuntu 10.10 goes multitouch - Nicklas Rudolfsson says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    [...] Read more here. [...]

  16. Seb24 says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Hello Mark !

    I have a question : why you do not use the moblin framework ? ( http://moblin.org/projects/clutter-gesture )

  17. Justin C says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I’m curious what considerations were given to support multi-user collaboration with the UTouch framework.

    My use cases involve the touch surfaces I see mostly in R&D (e.g. tabletop touchscreens) or even two users each with a touch device connected to a single system.
    While multi-user touch surfaces do not have widespread use, I have concerns.

    Consider that a touch framework isolates itself to a single user model, and becomes standardized such that (many?) applications depend upon it.
    Now the prospects for multi-user touch surfaces are buried by the necessity to replace the preceding touch framework _and_ transfer applications to the new multi-user touch framework.

    Linux has alway been a terrific platform for developing new technologies, but sometimes it seems like the community just buries itself under more and more work trying to expand on limited technologies _and_ fix application support without consideration for how the technology will mature/progress.
    Case in point, we’re seeing the shift from single-touch to multi-touch now. We can’t know all the possible paths touch-input may take, but I think that multi-user support will be included at some point, so why not lay a foundation that encourages progress toward this milestone rather than impede it.

    It’s possible that my hopes are misguided and such a foundation cannot be accurately defined without knowing the implementation that will be. But I’ll continue to dream.

  18. Jef Spaleta says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Will grail and geis require copyright assignment to Canonical to contribute to?

    -jef

  19. mark says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Yes, we believe copyright assignment is good for a vibrant open source ecosystem, and our policy is that we request assignment for contributions to all the code bases we maintain.

  20. Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” tendrá soporte multitouch | MadBoxpc.com says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    [...] [Mark Shuttleworth blog] & [Canonical Blog] [...]

  21. Matthew Guay says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Will this support multitouch touchpads from Synaptics that are very common on current generation netbooks and laptops? Mine supports 3 finger touch for sure… two finger scroll and pinch-to-zoom work perfect in Windows 7 right now, not so much in Ubuntu 10.04.

  22. Jef Spaleta says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Mark,
    This is unfortunate. I think the history of copyright assignment proves the opposite of what you want. Copyright assignment to a for-profit entity leads to unhealthy projects with less external community contribution. The copyright assignment policy is going to retard the effort to see this functionality integrated widely beyond the bounds of Canonical controlled space. If the internal structures of grail and geis are going to be moving targets in response to upstream discussions (like the discussion about the final X extension) the copyright assignment is going keep people from helping to keep these libraries in sync and will induce others to write alternative implementations which can be integrated in a more suitable fashion into upstream frameworks.

    -jef

  23. Ubuntu 10.10 – First official multitouch details from Mark Shuttleworth | Linux User says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    [...] exciting development (including insights into post-10.10 development) on Shuttleworth’s blog here, or the official Canonical blog post [...]

  24. Ubuntu 10.10 จะรองรับมัลติทัช | ข่าวไอที ข่าวเทคโนโลยี ข่าวคอมพิวเตอร์ บทความคอมพิวเตอร์ says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    [...] ที่มา – Mark Shuttleworth [...]

  25. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte Multitouch « Soft-Libre says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    [...] en octubre, soportará gestos multitáctiles. Sin duda que una noticia como esta, que ha sido anunciada por el propio Mark Shuttleworth, no hace más que reanimar aquella [...]

  26. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte para multitouch | PULLOTECH~MAS QUE TECNOLOGIA says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    [...] | Mark ShuttleworthMás información | Canonical | Lista de correo de UbuntuSitio oficial | Repositorio de Canonical [...]

  27. Linux Rants » Blog Archive » Interesting Linux News for the Day – August 16, 2010 says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    [...] Gestures with multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10 [...]

  28. Thorsten Wilms says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Great stuff.

    Since this is about interpreting gestures and even “sentences”, and since you mentioned support on a per application level, I once again have to wonder why there shouldn’t be a central input-events interpretation mechanism. Allowing to edit key- and gesture-bindings on a per command level for several/all applications at once.

    http://thorwil.wordpress.com/2007/04/10/event-to-action-mapping-1/

  29. Annie says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    I’m just surprised there’s not a single mention of TUIO ( http://www.tuio.org/ ) here:

    “TUIO is an open framework that defines a common protocol and API for tangible multitouch surfaces. The TUIO protocol allows the transmission of an abstract description of interactive surfaces, including touch events and tangible object states. This protocol encodes control data from a tracker application (e.g. based on computer vision) and sends it to any client application that is capable of decoding the protocol.”

    Why reinvent a standard? The good folks at TUIO would more than welcome support from Ubuntu on this!!

  30. J. Mohn says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    What about the patent situation with regard to multi-touch ?

    I hope your “touch language” is not based on sign language. :)

  31. أوبنتو ستوفر تجربة تعدد اللمس للينكس | تيدوز says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    [...] مارك بنشر مقال في مدونته الخاصة حول هذا الموضوع، كما يوجد مقال علي مدونة كانونيكال الرسمية، يمكنك [...]

  32. André Gondim » Gestos com multi toque no Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth,  anúncio do blog da Canonical, anúncio na lista de desenvolvedores do projeto multi [...]

  33. Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” tendrá soporte multitouch « Activity says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    [...] [Mark Shuttleworth blog] & [Canonical Blog] [...]

  34. Ubuntu będzie miało własny framework Multi-Touch | WebInfo says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    [...] uTouch pisze również na swoim blogu Mark Shuttleworth: Zespół projektowy stworzył “język dotykowy”, jakiego nie [...]

  35. Ubuntu uTouch: soporte multitouch para Ubuntu | MuyLinux says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth anunció ayer por la tarde el lanzamiento de Ubuntu uTouch 1.0, la “pila multitouch de gestos” para esta distribución de Ubuntu que estará integrada [...]

  36. Omar says: (permalink)
    August 16th, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    I posted this on slashdot but its probably better said here!
    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.

  37. anzan says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Very interesting, Mark. I’ve been using single touch on an Android tablet (Ekan m001) and been very unsatisfied with precision in scrolling, especially in reading PDFs ad ebooks. I much prefer physical buttons on eReaders 9the Augen thebook, which also has a browser and text editor; the Aluratek Libre) at this point. I hope that multitouch will be more usable.

  38. Komputery » Blog Archive » Ubuntu będzie miało własny framework Multi-Touch says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:47 am

    [...] uTouch pisze również na swoim blogu Mark Shuttleworth: Zespół projektowy stworzył “język dotykowy”, jakiego nie [...]

  39. Sam Spilsbury says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    This is certainly interesting. I did some MPX related stuff in compiz back in 2008 – how would you feel about multi-touch in compiz?

  40. AlfaZeta says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth Más información | Canonical | Lista de correo de Ubuntu Sitio oficial | Tags: Touch, [...]

  41. Gestos com multi toque no Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat « TecnoBlog – Software Livre, Linux e Tecnologias says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 1:51 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth,  anúncio do blog da Canonical, anúncio na lista de desenvolvedores do projeto multi [...]

  42. Ubuntu bringing multitouch to Linux « Thailand Trade for Machinery & Electronic says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 4:55 am

    [...] Shuttleworth announced the multitouch move on his blog Monday. Further details are on the Canonical blog and Ubuntu developer mailing list announcement. [...]

  43. Ubuntu Is Ready For A Multi-Touch Future | Krishworld says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:15 am

    [...] CEO of Canonical and who now focusses on their desktop and cloud computing efforts, has written a blog post announcing the multi-touch support and why they went with a 4 finger approach to multi-touch [...]

  44. Ubuntu Is Ready For A Multi-Touch Future | CloudAve says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:22 am

    [...] of Canonical and who now focusses on their desktop and cloud computing efforts, has written a blog post announcing the multi-touch support and why they went with a 4 finger approach to multi-touch [...]

  45. See's Message » Ubuntu 10.10将支持多重触控 says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:35 am

    [...] 17 2010 Ubuntu 10.10将支持多重触控 By admin Canonical创始人Mark Shuttleworth在博客上宣布,新的UTouch框架已经准备就绪,将随Ubuntu 10.10一同释出。 [...]

  46. Le multitouch sera disponible dans le prochain Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat | WebDevOnLinux says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    [...] des médias dans la version 11.04, mais cela dépend de vous!  »Quel objectif !Source : markshuttleworth.com et blog.canonical.com                     [...]

  47. cga says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hi Mark,

    this is an awesome news. Making a “framework” for multitouch in Linux that works with X is the right way to do it.

    I only have two questions tho:

    1 – how will this interact (if ever) with Synaptics latest drivers and suite (SGS-L) ?

    2 – considering how bad are patents and how many trolls have will to sue…. how will you manage a possible sueing from Apple that patented multitouch >.< ?

    Since this the first time I write here I want to *Thank* *You* for the _giant_ leap of faith you took with Canonical and Ubuntu few years ago and what you achieved so far. Despite what people says and despite the fact that I don't use Ubuntu myself, You guys are making an awesome job and have all my Love and Respect.

    All the best

    cga

    [1] SGS-L: http://www.synaptics.com/solutions/technology/gestures/touchpad-linux
    [2] Apple patents multitouch: http://tinyurl.com/34zxp9v

  48. Ubuntu/Maverick supporterà il multi-touch come Android e iOS | Giovanni Raco says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 10:43 am

    [...] Via | Here Be Dragons [...]

  49. Ubuntu 10.10 será multitouch says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    [...] moda, y en Ubuntu no podían quedarse atrás en este sentido. Y es que, según leíamos ayer en un post del propio Mark Shuttleworth, en Canonical están trabajando para que Ubuntu 10.10 tenga soporte [...]

  50. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte para multitouch « El Blog de Rigo says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    [...] | Mark Shuttleworth Más información | Canonical | Lista de correo de Ubuntu Sitio oficial | Repositorio de Canonical [...]

  51. Information Technology Leader » Blog Archive » Ubuntu 10.10 to Feature Multitouch Support says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:00 am

    [...] Meerkat, Ubuntu version 10.10 is scheduled for release on October 10, 2010. According to a post on Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth’s official blog, at least a four-finger touch device is needed “to get the most out of [...]

  52. Shuttleworth: Ubuntu 10.10 supporterà il multitouch - Chimera Revo says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    [...] incontreremo in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat ma proprio l’altro giorno c’è stato un annuncio importante da parte di Mark Shuttleworth: Multitouch in Ubuntu 10.10! In Maverick infatti alcune applicazioni [...]

  53. Ubuntu adotta il multitouch says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:17 am

    [...] fondatore di Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, ha annunciato l’introduzione del supporto multitouch a partire dalla prossima versione di Ubuntu, chiamata [...]

  54. Anonymous says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:59 am

    [...] [...]

  55. Jose says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    This is good news!!

    I love to use my ipod touch and I think the Apple folks discovered something: That touch is important and movement coordinated with touch is important too. Our brain is simply wired for that as a primary sense. My work with 3d understanding using cameras confirm that.

    The Android phones I tested don’t take it seriously, it “almost work” but when it doesn’t it breaks totally the illusion. Maybe enlightenment(e17) people are more suitable to touch that gtk and qt with their static interfaces with small buttons, like windows it doesn’t feel right. Just drawing different images is not movement, is akinetopsia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akinetopsia

    It would be a good idea to redesign the Linux UI for tablet use,smooth movement feedback, and the ability to reuse old c, c++, python code , like iphone-ipad does. The better project for that is e17:
    http://www.rasterman.com/

  56. Canonical Adds Multi-Touch To Ubuntu | eWEEK Europe UK says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    [...] will get the best results today,” said Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth in a Monday blog post announcing the launch. “By release, we expect you’ll be able to use it with a range of [...]

  57. Ubuntu 10.10 to Feature Multitouch Support says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    [...] Meerkat, Ubuntu version 10.10 is scheduled for release on October 10, 2010. According to a post on Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth’s official blog, at least a four-finger touch device is needed “to get the most out of [...]

  58. uTouch: el soporte multitáctil de Linux Ubuntu | RedUsers 5.0 says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    [...] explicó en su blog Mark Shuttleworth, presidente de la compañía, este soporte no se basará únicamente en gestos [...]

  59. Felix says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    This is all well and good, but it would be even better if touch interaction on existing devices that support it would actually work in Ubuntu. See e.g. this bug for 10.4 which has not so much as generated a reply from a developer:

    https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/598664

    This is a regression btw. and used to work in a previous release. Can we please have working touch before we get multitouch?

  60. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá soporte multitouch says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth lo explicaba personalmente en su blog: El equipo de diseño ha liderado este camino, desarrollando un lenguaje “touch” que va [...]

  61. solid_liq says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Why does support need to be added into all applications to support this. That sounds like a step backwards.

    One of the things I most liked about Linux when I first switched over from PC’s 10 years ago was the fact that things like the mouse wheel were implemented sensibly in libraries. Instead of having to trap event messages for the mouse wheel and handle them in every application you write to support scrolling, the libraries instead took on the sensible default behavior of scrolling a window or moving a dial in response to mouse wheel events. If you don’t want this behavior, you write code to disable it, which is much more sensible than having to write code to enable it everywhere. In a certain other OS, you see inconsistent behavior in the handling of the mouse wheel because developers forget to add support for the mouse wheel in every control and every dialog. In some dialogs where you’d expect to be able to use the mouse wheel, you can’t, because the developers forgot to add support for it.

    These touch gestures should work the same way. Scrolling gestures should cause controls to scroll appropriately by default. Gestures for back and forward should emit the appropriate messages for these actions. One should be able to tie these UI event messages into the existing event handling system of applications without even having to modify the source code.

    Instead of taking the blind, “zomg this is so cool, modify all your applications to support this” approach we’ve become accustomed to from a certain Redmond based company, the smart approach (which is the approach which caused Linux to make so many waves in the first place) should be taken. This way, we’ll get full support quickly, and we’ll have nice consistency across desktop applications with respect to how they handle gestures, just like we have with the mouse wheel.

    We need to work smarter, not harder, just like we did when there were only 1% as many people contributing to GNU/Linux. Please don’t take a step backwards.

    I hope people involved in writing this code are reading this comment and taking it to heart.

  62. yacov drori says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Great new, though,what about video gestures? I’m waiting for them to be more helpful.
    why get a touch screen, if I already own a webcam?

  63. לגעת חינם: לינוקס אובונטו מוסיפה תמיכה במולטי-טאץ | Newsgeek says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    [...] (Mark Shuttleworth), מייסדה של קנוניקל, שפת המגע של אובונטו תציג גישה שונה מהמקובל במערכות המולטי-טאץ' הקיימות בכך שהמשתמש יהיה מסוגל [...]

  64. Ubuntu 10.10 soportará multitouch | Pingüinos Y Cia says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    [...] comenta Mark Shuttleworth en su blog: El equipo de diseño ha liderado este camino, desarrollando un lenguaje “touch” que va más [...]

  65. Multitouch gestures coming in Ubuntu 10.10 | Notebooks.com says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    [...] TweetCanonical, makers of the user-friendly Linux operating system Ubuntu, announced today that Ubuntu 10.10 would support multitouch gestures by [...]

  66. Ubuntu uTouch: soporte multitouch para Ubuntu « iNetWorks says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth anunció ayer por la tarde el lanzamiento de Ubuntu uTouch 1.0, la “pila multitouch de gestos” para esta distribución de Ubuntu que estará integrada en [...]

  67. 10 grunner til at du bør velge Ubuntu | Auduns IT-weblogg says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    [...] Ubuntu 10.10 kommer også innebygget støtte for multitouch, selv om det fantes fungerende løsninger med multitouch allerede i [...]

  68. Ubuntu 10.10 terá recurso multi-touch | Global says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    [...] Netbook Edition, haverá uma nova interface do Unity com suporte a touch.Mark Shuttleworth, em anúncio oficial no seu blog, explica melhor sobre a novidade, salientando que para tirar o máximo proveito da [...]

  69. Fanboy says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I love you Mark Shuttleworth!

    Android sucks! Ubuntu tablets w/Compiz FTW!

  70. Ubuntu 10 terá atualização para Touch | Detalhe Técnico says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    [...] Em nota oficial, a empresa Mark Shuttleworth explica melhor quais serão as novidades e como essa nova [...]

  71. Canonical anuncia el soporte del multi-touch en Ubuntu 10.10 ¿Linux conquistará el mercado de los tablet PC ? « Blaunia says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    [...] : Blog de canonical, Blog de Mark Shuttleworh Linux    Un ejecutivo de Apple arrestado por el FBI, acusado de corrupción: [...]

  72. Ubuntu também vai incorporar recursos multitouch. « Jmsalles Blog Linux e Afins says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    [...] gestos básicos executando comandos  completos e promovendo interações mais complexas.  Em seu blog, Shuttleworth diz que o manuseio do Ubuntu multitouch, exigirá dispositivos com suporte a [...]

  73. Ubuntu também vai incorporar tecnologia multitoque « MEU ESPAÇO NA WEB says: (permalink)
    August 17th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    [...] gestos básicos executando comandos  completos e promovendo interações mais complexas.  Em seu blog, Shuttleworth diz que o manuseio do Ubuntu multitouch, exigirá dispositivos com suporte a [...]

  74. Multitouch Support di Ubuntu 10.10 says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 4:57 am

    [...] ini dia. Melalui blog pribadinya  dan juga perusahaannya, Mark Shuttleworth mengumumkan bahwa dukungan akan fungsi multi-touch [...]

  75. uTouch : du multipoint pour Ubuntu 10.10 » initial-blog.fr says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 7:49 am

    [...] que les développeurs pourraient être tentés d’intégrer à leurs applications », explique sur son blog Mark Shuttleworth, créateur [...]

  76. Rex from Vancouver says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Very good news.
    How can we, I mean the community, help? Is there a link to volunteer testing, developing, etc?

  77. Ubuntu 10.10 tendrá sistema multitactil « Facilware says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 9:29 am

    [...] táctil en Linux. Este ha sido uno de los principales puntos que le faltan a Linux”, dijo Mark Shuttleworth, fundador de la empresa llamada Canonical que desarrolla y soporta [...]

  78. Fabian says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Multitouch on Ubuntu does indeed sound great. Can’t wait to see it in action.

  79. uTouch: Canonical bringt Touch-Framework für Ubuntu » t3n News says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    [...] von uTouch, sei ein Gerät notwendig, dass sich  mit bis zu vier Fingern bedienen lasse, schreibt Shuttleworth in einem Blogpost. Möglich sein dies beispielsweise mit dem Dell Latitude XT2, einem Notebook, dessen [...]

  80. Ubuntu 10.10 krijgt multitouch-ondersteuning » Clippy.be says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    [...] Ubuntu 10.10, dat op 10 oktober uit moet komen, zullen volgens Canonical-topman Mark Shuttleworth veel applicaties die de Gtk-bibliotheek gebruiken, standaard het [...]

  81. Ubuntu Support Multitouch Screen | Ivan Kristianto Blog says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    [...] the founder of Canonicla, a company that support Ubuntu development, Mark Shuttleworth said on his blog: “Every single major PC manufacturer has been asking for a touch story on Linux. This has [...]

  82. Linux Pad Implications: Canonical to add multitouch gestures in Ubuntu Linux 10.10 | Betanews « wesley83's Blog says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    [...] to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated ‘sentences,’” he said in a blog post. “The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together [...]

  83. Cursos oficiais Ubuntu: Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Certified Professional, Ubuntu Server, Cloud Computing, videos, dicas, migração, consultoria com representantes oficias Ubuntu Brasil. says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    [...] gestos básicos executando comandos  completos e promovendo interações mais complexas.  Em seu blog, Shuttleworth diz que o manuseio do Ubuntu multitouch, exigirá dispositivos com suporte a [...]

  84. Oracle suit overwhelms Ubuntu launch | apogee says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    [...] to talk about anchor babies or mosques when he would rather talk about education and the economy, Mark Shuttleworth had his launch of Ubuntu 10.10 hijacked by the Oracle suit. We had a good excuse, however. Ubuntu [...]

  85. Zoom Out » آرشیو » آقای فالس و گافی دیگر… says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    [...] شاتل ورث بنیان گذار توزیع اوبونتو و شرکت کنونیکال در این پست وبلاگ خودش خبر از قابلیت Multi Touch اوبونتو ۱۰٫۱۰ داده که [...]

  86. azeddine kadi says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    good afternoon sir,

    i’m using ubuntu 10.04, i just wanna ask a simple question,

    i have a laptop with sis 672 graphic card, i think you know about that card, there is no 3D support, and now in this ubuntu 10.04, the configuration is not wondefull at all, i wanna know if there will be interest from your part to that card.

    best regard,

    thank you

  87. Ubuntu 10.10 krijgt multitouch-ondersteuning | says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    [...] Ubuntu 10.10, dat op 10 oktober uit moet komen, zullen volgens Canonical-topman Mark Shuttleworth veel applicaties die de Gtk-bibliotheek gebruiken, standaard het [...]

  88. S03E14 – His Nose in the Book – OGG HIGH | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team says: (permalink)
    August 18th, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    [...] Some guy called Mark called us and left a message [...]

  89. S03E14 – His Nose in the Book – MP3 HIGH | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    [...] Some guy called Mark called us and left a message [...]

  90. S03E14 – His Nose in the Book – MP3 LOW | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:06 am

    [...] Some guy called Mark called us and left a message [...]

  91. S03E14 – His Nose in the Book | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:07 am

    [...] Some guy called Mark called us and left a message [...]

  92. S03E14 – His Nose in the Book – OGG LOW | Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo team says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    [...] Some guy called Mark called us and left a message [...]

  93. Ubuntu soportará MultiTouch | Experto en Internet says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    [...] Vía | Markshuttleworth [...]

  94. News.PCStore.bg » Мултитъч поддръжка в Ubuntu 10.10 says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 6:57 am

    [...] на Ubuntu Linux – Марк Шътълуърт обяви, че следващата версия на Ubuntu ще поддържа мултитъч [...]

  95. Reach out and touch your netbook with Ubuntu multitouch | ItPak.net says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    [...] Mark Shuttleworth (markshuttleworth.com) [...]

  96. Multitouch entra nos planos da Canonical para o Ubuntu | invasao.com.br - Seu primeiro site hacker (trojan, keylogger, vírus, hacker, programas, exploit). Conheça o Curso de Tecnologias Anti-Hackers. says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    [...] sinalizou com a possibilidade foi o próprio Mark Shuttleworth, fundador da [...]

  97. BlueEyes from black forrest says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Hi mr. shuttleworth,

    this is great news you post in your blog… I can hardly await to see the new multi-touch in action. You would make my dreams come true, when those multitouch action will work with a apple magic touchpad in ubuntu, which would be my choice to slide on my desktop. Any chance that we can see support for those device in your multitouch ubuntu?

    I have to thank for a real smooth linux distribution you made avaiable for the world, thanks alot!

    When you would ask me, what ubuntu may need for future navigation issues, I would propose to also add speech recognition for navigation as additional feature. This would sure make a new experience how to work with a computer.

    Keep up the good work with your canonical staff, you sure enhance the way we use our digital resources…

    With best regards and many thanks,

    b.e.

  98. Canonical Announces the Release of uTouch for Ubuntu OS | eHomeUpgrade says: (permalink)
    August 19th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    [...] their applications 1/2/3/4 finger touch-aware (devs can have a looks at the guidelines here via Mark Shuttleworth). As you’re probably wondering: How many apps out of the box will support this new feature? [...]

  99. Fitur Baru Ubuntu 10.10 “Mendukung Perangkat Multi-touch” – Semua Ada Di Ujung Jari Anda | quallestacia's Blog says: (permalink)
    August 20th, 2010 at 3:05 am

    [...] “Dengan rilis ini, kami berharap Anda dapat menggunakannya pada berbagai macam perangkat dari produsen terkemuka dan juga AddOns seperti Apple’s Magic Trackpad”. – Kata Mark Shuttleworth di blog pribadinya. [...]

  100. Ubuntu dorobi się własnego frameworka wielodotykowego | thecamels.org says: (permalink)
    August 20th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    [...] czterech innych języków. Owy język dotyku jest opisany w dokumencie Google oraz na blogu Marka Shuttlewortha, jako umożliwiający łączenie prostych gestów w łańcuchy, tworzące [...]

  101. naveenkumar says: (permalink)
    August 21st, 2010 at 7:01 am

    Hi! Touch!

  102. Ubuntu, Innovation and Hardware: What the new multitouch gestures mean | TechHaze.com says: (permalink)
    August 21st, 2010 at 10:49 am

    [...] system is heading. Four days ago, the company’s founder Mark Shuttleworth anounced that a full multitouch framework will be comming to Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) that is due in less than to [...]

  103. تبعیدگاه » Blog Archive » یه خبر لینوکسی جدید… says: (permalink)
    August 21st, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    [...] شاتل ورث بنیان گذار توزیع اوبونتو و شرکت کنونیکال در این پست وبلاگ خودش خبر از قابلیت Multi Touch اوبونتو ۱۰٫۱۰ داده که [...]

  104. Fitur Baru Ubuntu 10.10 “Mendukung Perangkat Multi-touch” | WWW.PULUNG-PC.COM says: (permalink)
    August 23rd, 2010 at 1:30 am

    [...] “Dengan rilis ini, kami berharap Anda dapat menggunakannya pada berbagai macam perangkat dari produsen terkemuka dan juga AddOns seperti Apple’s Magic Trackpad”. – Kata Mark Shuttleworth di blog pribadinya. [...]

  105. uTouch: el framework táctil debutará en Ubuntu 10.10 « El Blog de Rigo says: (permalink)
    August 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 am

    [...] Shuttleworth se hace eco del anuncio oficial del nuevo "framework" uTouch de Ubuntu para soportar gestos táctiles con hasta [...]

  106. cyrille Ngassam says: (permalink)
    August 26th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Hi Mr Mark, I’m glad to see that Ubuntu will have a feel of touch on the screen, who said uTouch ?
    May be could we, user, have something in the future like uSpeek ?
    keep going on.

  107. Ubuntu 10.10′da Bizi Neler Bekliyor? | Teknoloji Labs says: (permalink)
    August 27th, 2010 at 9:46 am

    [...] dokunma dili geliştirme çabalarının olduğundan da bahsediyor. Daha ayrıntılı bilgi için: http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/455 Masaüstü Ortamı ve Varsayılan UygulamalarUbuntu 10.10 Alpha 3, pek çok güvenlik [...]

  108. Testing your multitouch device « Let’s test Ubuntu NOW! says: (permalink)
    August 30th, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    [...] right, this is not news, a lot of people have been already been talking about it, inside the Ubuntu community, and also outside the community. I cannot express how excited I am about multitouch support and the [...]

  109. | Tutoriales debian says: (permalink)
    August 30th, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    [...] Shuttleworth se hace eco del anuncio oficial del nuevo “framework” uTouch de Ubuntu para soportar gestos [...]