rotate button sucks on the XO

Eben Eliason eben at
Sun Mar 1 18:32:25 EST 2009

On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 5:53 PM, NoiseEHC <NoiseEHC at> wrote:
> Eben Eliason wrote:
>> This whole argument, I feel, is fruitless.  That's just my opinion, of
>> course.
>> The touchpad isn't readily accessible in handheld mode, and was never
>> made to be.  I'll continue to suggest that the cursor simply be
>> automatically hidden in handheld mode, and that a simple means for
>> taking full advantage of the handheld buttons which are present be
>> made available to activities in a standardized way.
> This argument rests on the wrong assumption that the user can only rotate
> the screen in handheld mode. Of course the user can open the laptop as a
> book and read it rotated while using the touchpad with one of his thumbs.

I suppose that's true, though I'm not sure I see a benefit to that.
My impression of handheld mode is as a means of consuming content (not
creating content).  I think that the cursor AND the toolbars should
hide completely, leaving a fullscreen interface for the pleasurable
viewing of the pdf, webpage, image, movie, etc., with nothing else in
the way, and basic controls mapped to the buttons.

It's a question of need, really.  When you're not using the laptop as
a laptop, what benefit do you gain from use of the cursor (and/or
toolbars)?  Let's draw a clear distinction between the modes and make
them independently useful, rather than trying to make every
button/control/feature work in both.

>> A suggestion for how this standardized system might work is laid out
>> rather clearly at  I'd
>> very much like to see an API for the press and press-and-hold states
>> of these buttons so that activities could take advantage of it easily
> I have read this page but it does not talk about screen rotation at all.
> Unfortunately (last time I checked) most of the activities are handling
> keyboard focus badly and they usually need some help with the touchpad to
> focus to their scrollable area. In handheld mode it means opening the screen
> a little bit as david Lang has just said.

This is why we need a consistent and easy to follow API (And
guidelines) for implementing this mode. ;)  If we could make it easy
to get right, there wouldn't be a need to build crutches to fall back

- Eben

> A footnote is that this latter touchpad usage conflicts with the one I have
> talked about halfway on this page, just imagine it.... :)
> ps:
> I would like to hear a similarly interesting conversation about the xvideo
> surface and X11 driver, please!

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