[squeak-dev] Squeak/Pharo on touchscreen: requesting opinions

Stefan Marr squeak at stefan-marr.de
Thu Aug 18 19:06:23 UTC 2011

Hi Dimitry:

On 18 Aug 2011, at 20:40, Dimitry Golubovsky wrote:

> A mouse pointer is displayed as part of the activity interface (maybe
> even done entirely in Java, so mouse movement itself will not put any
> load on the interpreter). Finger movements on the screen move the
> pointer, but new position is reported (with button mask 0) only when
> the screen tap is released. So mouse over becomes possible: just leave
> the pointer where needed. The hardware buttons are used as before (one
> becomes Red, another Blue, and a chord would be Yellow), but clicks
> only are reported when those buttons are pressed or released*. To drag
> a Morph, one would have to hold one of the hardware buttons, and slide
> their finger/stylus on the screen.

For the old MVC image we are using for the RoarVM, we actually display a circular morph to be able to see where to click. (That is for our iOS port: https://github.com/smarr/RoarVM/tree/integrate-ipad-code)
The morph, basically is a traditional mouse pointer and can be dragged around, positioned, and then clicking works with one or multiple fingers.

I haven't actually used it myself on hardware, only on the simulator but it 'works'.
At least you know where you are going to click, and the MVC image size buttons/menus are not made
for fingers...

However, I feel that that is really just a work around. Even in the simulator it feels not natural.

An in general, for instance for tool-tips, the UI designer need to find a better solution.
I think for usability, it would be better to find a good touch-UI instead of trying to make the existing UI fit with it.
Until then, an artificial optional 'mouse-pointer' might be a choice.

Best regards

PS: we do not use hardware buttons, but the different click types, single finger tap, double finger tap, etc.

Stefan Marr
Software Languages Lab
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2 / B-1050 Brussels / Belgium
Phone: +32 2 629 2974
Fax:   +32 2 629 3525

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