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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Programming
The MOUSE as used in Puppy
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PostPosted: Fri 22 Nov 2013, 22:55    Post subject:  The MOUSE as used in Puppy  

This is a place holder for discussing the role of the mouse in Puppy Linux system use.

This THREAD intends to discuss the use of the mouse from its traditional understanding in Puppyland to what a simple change by TaZoC has done to advance that understanding in his LIghtHouse64 distro and what is done with the mouse, per se, in the big3; Apple, Touch based systems, and Android .

If you are unfamiliar with LH64 it will be covered. If you are unfamiliar with the differences between a "click" and "long-pause/long-click"; it too, will be discussed.

And what is hoped is a consistent understanding that developers can begin to evaluate for user benefit as we march into the future of users system hardware and Puppy Linux's desktop.

The Mouse
Here is a brief on the traditional mouse. There are actually 2 that can be considered traditional; namely IBM's/Microsoft's 2-3 button versions and Apple's 1 button.

They address how a user can interact with windows on screen and what each "click" means.

Along with this is a "Standards" group's definition of mouse behavior as it interacts with a windows on a desktop.

From a user perspective in 32bit Puppyland, several of the distros have the desktop architected such that if you click a mouse button on an empty part of the desktop, there may/may not be a response to your click. In most, if you left-click on an empty spot, nothing will happen, yet if you right-click the desktop will present the taskbar's system menu on-screen. This is pretty much how most all PUPs work.

Lighthouse's developer, TaZoC, saw an expanded role in the services that a mouse could deliver. His implementation departs from the Puppy standard way to a new way of mouse service to the user when one clicks on the desktop. The first (and I view this as the most important - more on this later) change was to reverse the left-clck right-click functions so that a left-click now presents the user with the system's menu whenever the user clicks an open spot on the desktop. He furthers uses the middle-click right-click for other users services. Now why is left-click that important: BECAUSE ANY USER CAN NAVIGATE THE SYSTEM MENU!!! at any time by left clicking an open spot to navigate. This makes the menu available from almost anytime needed. In a touch monitor system, the user does NOT have to squeeze his finger into the tiny little icon in the bottom right corner, but can merely touch the screen for a menu to navigate system application for their needs. This simple move, though subtle is very important in a general system's use where a user can have a non-touch monitor as well as a touch monitor and have equivalent left-mouse functionality. Currently, we all know, that touch monitor laptops and PC have been around for years. And, as the 2014 landscape becomes apparent, systems are already in the marketplace bringing more and more touch systems into the hands of users across the world.

Touch based systems
In order to understand this, we must back up for a moment to visualize how prior touch OSes used the finger to what has matured to use of the finger in xPhone/xTab use today. The xPhone/xTab market (it doesn't matter if its iPhone or AndroidPhones) there is a concept of click and "long-pause click"(really hold the window/icon for 1-2 seconds). With the click in means the same as in traditional use of left-click with a mouse. Long click, though, is being wrestled with in the xSmart device industry on how best to implement. In many cases, the actual developer gets to decide how long-pause is to deliver user functions. Some provide a help functions, some provide other user services via long-pause. This click and long pause is the "new" standard that we are all witnessing in Microsoft and xSmart vendors across the board. So no matter if we look at Windows8 on Surface/all-in-one PC/tablet/phone this concept is here to stay not just with them, but across the landscape of Apple and Google as well.

So if we perceive this with any validity, what would be a good approach that would bring a good and consistent use of the mouse in Puppy. Should TaZoC's model, as simple as it seems, be looked at for practical user use? Are there other models which a "general purpose system" can bring to bear no matter what architecture PC, monitor, or device the user would choose to run Puppy on?

There are many things Puppy will see. This is one of the rather subtle ones. And as subtle as it seems it has some importance in how we present useful operations to users of Puppy Linux.

Ideas presented for your review and helpful comments as Puppy moves into 2014.

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