rotate button sucks on the XO

Eben Eliason eben at
Sun Mar 1 18:51:45 EST 2009

On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 6:43 PM,  <david at> wrote:
> On Sun, 1 Mar 2009, Eben Eliason wrote:
>> On Sun, Mar 1, 2009 at 5:39 PM,  <david at> wrote:
>>> On Sun, 1 Mar 2009, 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.
>>> actually, it's pretty easy to lift the screen a bit and hit the touchpad
>>> if
>>> you have the screen oriented in portrit rather than landscape (in many
>>> ways
>>> it's easier than hitting the game keys)
>> But /why/?  Can you honestly say that's a desired mode of interaction?
>> I think proper support of the keys would negate the need for such
>> clumsiness.
> two reasons
> first:
> if you hold the XO in e-book mode with the handle on the top or bottom the
> keys are readily accessable.
> however if you hold it with the handle on the left or right they are not
> very accessable.

This is a rather unfortunate truth...

> second, you may want to use the keys for something else and not dedicate
> them to moving the mouse around.

However, you misunderstand me, there.  I'm distinctly arguing AGAINST
any such thing.  I think the cursor should disappear, toolbars go
away, and that any mouse-like interaction should be left to laptop
mode only.

The keys should definitely be used for something else; something more
useful.  In a browser, scrolling/link navigation and forward back
buttons come to mind.  Their use would, of course, be activity

> not all activities in this mode are going to be the same, so the best that
> you can do is to steal 6 of the 8 keys to simulate the mouse (four for
> direction, two for the two mouse buttone), that works, but it's not optimal.

Well, I don't think that all activities will be able to, or care to
take advantage of handheld mode.  I'd much prefer that they did, and
that they mapped the keys to useful functionality, but if they don't,
then they simply don't and we shouldn't expect them to work.

On the other hand, moving the mouse cursor about, as awful as that
interaction seems, could be a fallback for those that choose not to
have any custom behavior, if we desire to ensure that all activities
do /something/ in that mode.  I'd prefer a way for activities to
indicate to Sugar that they choose to support it, so that those that
wish to aren't crippled by a catch-all solution like a d-pad-driven

> one thing that would be very handy would be if the XO could disable the
> mouse buttons when it detects that it is in e-book mode, as-is it's possible
> to press a mouse button accidently when holding the machine by that side in
> e-book mode.

Good idea.

- Eben

> David Lang
>> - Eben
>>> david Lang
>>>> 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.
>>>> - Eben
>>>> 2009/3/1 NoiseEHC <NoiseEHC at>:
>>>>> Aaron Konstam wrote:
>>>>> On Sun, 2009-03-01 at 17:06 +0100, NoiseEHC wrote:
>>>>> Hello!
>>>>> Just today I have noticed some things about the rotate button (which is
>>>>> below the directional buttons on the display part):
>>>>> 1. When the screen is rotated the mouse does not so if I turn the XO to
>>>>> be able to read letters, I cannot navigate with the mouse.
>>>>> You can navigate but in a sense sideways. Movng the arrow up makes it
>>>>> go
>>>>> up. But relative to the text it is wrong.
>>>>> Yeah, just if I turn the laptop to read the text then it is a little
>>>>> bit
>>>>> impossible to hit anything with the cursor...
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