rotate button sucks on the XO

david at david at
Sun Mar 1 18:58:02 EST 2009

On Sun, 1 Mar 2009, Eben Eliason wrote:

> 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).

why should you make that assumption?

> 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.

how do you decide which controls are 'basic' and need to be mapped to the 
buttons? what do you do if there are more 'basic controls' than you have 

> 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.

even when only 'consuming content' you may need to zoom in on the page or 
things like that.

>>> 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
> on.

and how are you going to get all software in the world to comply with your 

especially with the recent changes in direction, XO's are not the driving 
force, and you can't even count on Sugar being a driving force. they re 
just one choice among many.

David Lang

> - 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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