[Sugar-devel] prevent screen rotation in a sugar activity?

Bakhtiar Mikhak mikhak at mediamods.com
Fri Dec 10 17:50:54 EST 2010

On Dec 10, 2010, at 5:14 PM, James Cameron wrote:

> On Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 04:29:31PM -0500, Erik Blankinship wrote:
>> It is sometimes a designer's prerogative to present their work in one format.  
>> Numerous examples are available on the iPhone and android markets.
> It is sometimes a platform designer's perogative to enforce human
> interface guidelines and require applications to support certain
> behaviours.
>> Is it possible to override or be notified of a rotation signal?
> No, not without taking control of components outside the scope of a
> Sugar activity.  You're welcome to try that, but the problems that occur
> are:
> 0.  installation will require root access, which is not available to
> some users due to deployment team policy,
> 1.  the API will keep changing, instead of remaining relatively static
> in the case of the Sugar Activity API,
> 2.  there are multiple build versions to test against,
> 3.  there is a higher risk of breaking something later.

If I am reading the current version of HIG correctly, it is not a requirement for developers to implement a portrait layout for their activity:
Screen Rotation
While in Hand-held mode, the laptops support screen rotation; by pressing a small button on the bezel of the display, the interface will rotate 90 degrees to provide a portrait layout of the currently active activity. Just as any activity can implement Hand-held mode, those which can benefit from a vertical aspect ratio may also implement this feature, and we encourage developers to take advantage of this functionality. The Read activity serves as a prime example of the usefulness of such a feature, since a vertical layout is well suited to displaying a single page from a book. This is just the type of activity one might want to do in Hand-held mode, and by providing two orientations a greater number of use cases can be covered.
In the current revisions of the laptops, its important to note that the buttons for interacting with Hand-held mode are slightly less accessible when the laptops are held vertically. For this reason, activities that require heavy or frequent use might not be best suited for this mode. However, OLPC is working hard on introducing touch-screen technology in the near future, which will nearly eliminate the dependency on the physical buttons, expanding the possibilities as every activity can take advantage of screen rotation. Therefore, even if screen rotation doesn't make sense for the first version of your activity, please construct your interface in such a way as to allow future adaptation to this new and potentially useful functionality.
I therefore think it is worth considering if the control over if/how one's activity takes advantage of screen rotation should be exposed through the Sugar API.
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