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Changing default 'Gesture' setting?

Jason Gerecke
As brought up in [1], there is a growing amount of support for XI2
multitouch by desktop environments and applications. It might be a
good idea to take a closer look at the current state of the desktop
and determine if/when we want to change the driver's default from
'Gesture on' (where it intercepts multitouch events to do its own
processing) to 'Gesture off' (where it passes multitouch events
through to the desktop environment and applications).

I've done a little bit of searching for information and come up with
the following. If there are errors or omissions, it would be good to
know...

In the "native support" camp:

    * Qt ~=4.8 (since 2011) [2]
    * Ubuntu 14.04's Unity desktop (since 2014) [3]
    * GNOME / GTK 3.14 (since 2014) [4]
        * Core GNOME applications (e.g. gnome-shell, nautilus, eog, gedit, etc.)
    * Browsers based on Google Chrome (e.g. Chromium, Opera) (since ????)

In the "no support" camp:

    * KDE Plasma
    * Most other DEs (e.g. Cinnamon, XFCE, MATE)
    * Firefox
    * Numerous other applications (including Qt and GTK-based ones)

Especially because of the "numerous other applications" item in the
"no support" group, I'm a little hesitant to say that the default
should be changed. Personally, I think I'd like xf86-input-wacom to
continue using the traditional "Gesture" "on" default, and to have
Wayland be the environment where compositors and applications use raw
touches.

That said, I'm not sure that other touchscreen vendors offer any kind
of X driver gestures like we do. It may be that users of devices with
e.g. Atmel touchscreens get XI2 events by default, and are happy with
the level of gesture support provided by the toolkits...

It would be interesting to know what others think and what kinds of
experience they have with XI2 events (either from our driver with
gestures disabled or from other touchscreens). Feel free to speak up
:)


[1]: https://sourceforge.net/p/linuxwacom/bugs/335/
[2]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Multitouch
[3]: https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.14/touchscreen-gestures.html.en

Jason
---
Now instead of four in the eights place /
you’ve got three, ‘Cause you added one  /
(That is to say, eight) to the two,     /
But you can’t take seven from three,    /
So you look at the sixty-fours....

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Re: Changing default 'Gesture' setting?

Peter Hutterer-3
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 03:40:23PM -0700, Jason Gerecke wrote:
> As brought up in [1], there is a growing amount of support for XI2
> multitouch by desktop environments and applications. It might be a
> good idea to take a closer look at the current state of the desktop
> and determine if/when we want to change the driver's default from
> 'Gesture on' (where it intercepts multitouch events to do its own
> processing) to 'Gesture off' (where it passes multitouch events
> through to the desktop environment and applications).

just a note: there are two types of multitouch, touchscreens (direct touch)
and touchpads (indirect touch). For the latter, the answer is a categoric
"no, leave it on" because we can't forward multitouch events sensibly from
touchpads. That's why libinput does gesture recognition on touchpads. For
the rest, let's assume we're only talking about touchscreens like the bug
does.

> I've done a little bit of searching for information and come up with
> the following. If there are errors or omissions, it would be good to
> know...
>
> In the "native support" camp:
>
>     * Qt ~=4.8 (since 2011) [2]
>     * Ubuntu 14.04's Unity desktop (since 2014) [3]
>     * GNOME / GTK 3.14 (since 2014) [4]
>         * Core GNOME applications (e.g. gnome-shell, nautilus, eog, gedit, etc.)
>     * Browsers based on Google Chrome (e.g. Chromium, Opera) (since ????)
>
> In the "no support" camp:
>
>     * KDE Plasma
>     * Most other DEs (e.g. Cinnamon, XFCE, MATE)

Cinnammon is based on GTK3, right? and MATE recently got updated to GTK3, so
I suspect they may start supporting touch gestures at some point. But both
move rather slowly, so we may be talking about 2018 here... [1]

>     * Firefox
>     * Numerous other applications (including Qt and GTK-based ones)
>
> Especially because of the "numerous other applications" item in the
> "no support" group, I'm a little hesitant to say that the default
> should be changed. Personally, I think I'd like xf86-input-wacom to
> continue using the traditional "Gesture" "on" default, and to have
> Wayland be the environment where compositors and applications use raw
> touches.
>
> That said, I'm not sure that other touchscreen vendors offer any kind
> of X driver gestures like we do. It may be that users of devices with
> e.g. Atmel touchscreens get XI2 events by default, and are happy with
> the level of gesture support provided by the toolkits...

no other vendor provides gestures because you guys are the only ones working
on an X driver. All others are used with evdev/libinput and thus make use of
whatever the desktop supports based on XI2. I've been getting irregular
complaints about gestures not being supported and I've always punted them to
the desktop environments. Now that some apps support things people are
getting happier, but I'd say there's still a long road to pure bliss :)
especially with the spotty support for gestures between apps. If I were to
guess, I'd say that people have largely just given up on gestures and are
then pleasantly suprised if the odd one works after all.

the benefit you'd get from disabling gestures on touchscreens is consistency
with other vendors, at the cost of breaking some long-term setups. Given
that the long-term plan is to switch away from wacom towards libinput, I'm
not sure that's worth it and we may be better off just leaving things as-is
and instead nudging people towards libinput for wacom touchscreens in the
future.

Cheers,
   Peter
 

> It would be interesting to know what others think and what kinds of
> experience they have with XI2 events (either from our driver with
> gestures disabled or from other touchscreens). Feel free to speak up
> :)
>
>
> [1]: https://sourceforge.net/p/linuxwacom/bugs/335/
> [2]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Multitouch
> [3]: https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.14/touchscreen-gestures.html.en
>
> Jason

[1] The surgeon general recommends not to hold your breath for longer than a
year to avoid negative healtht effects

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Re: Changing default 'Gesture' setting?

Ping Cheng-2
On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 4:32 PM, Peter Hutterer
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 20, 2017 at 03:40:23PM -0700, Jason Gerecke wrote:
>> As brought up in [1], there is a growing amount of support for XI2
>> multitouch by desktop environments and applications. It might be a
>> good idea to take a closer look at the current state of the desktop
>> and determine if/when we want to change the driver's default from
>> 'Gesture on' (where it intercepts multitouch events to do its own
>> processing) to 'Gesture off' (where it passes multitouch events
>> through to the desktop environment and applications).
>
> just a note: there are two types of multitouch, touchscreens (direct touch)
> and touchpads (indirect touch). For the latter, the answer is a categoric
> "no, leave it on" because we can't forward multitouch events sensibly from
> touchpads. That's why libinput does gesture recognition on touchpads. For
> the rest, let's assume we're only talking about touchscreens like the bug
> does.
>
>> I've done a little bit of searching for information and come up with
>> the following. If there are errors or omissions, it would be good to
>> know...
>>
>> In the "native support" camp:
>>
>>     * Qt ~=4.8 (since 2011) [2]
>>     * Ubuntu 14.04's Unity desktop (since 2014) [3]
>>     * GNOME / GTK 3.14 (since 2014) [4]
>>         * Core GNOME applications (e.g. gnome-shell, nautilus, eog, gedit, etc.)
>>     * Browsers based on Google Chrome (e.g. Chromium, Opera) (since ????)
>>
>> In the "no support" camp:
>>
>>     * KDE Plasma
>>     * Most other DEs (e.g. Cinnamon, XFCE, MATE)
>
> Cinnammon is based on GTK3, right? and MATE recently got updated to GTK3, so
> I suspect they may start supporting touch gestures at some point. But both
> move rather slowly, so we may be talking about 2018 here... [1]
>
>>     * Firefox
>>     * Numerous other applications (including Qt and GTK-based ones)
>>
>> Especially because of the "numerous other applications" item in the
>> "no support" group, I'm a little hesitant to say that the default
>> should be changed. Personally, I think I'd like xf86-input-wacom to
>> continue using the traditional "Gesture" "on" default, and to have
>> Wayland be the environment where compositors and applications use raw
>> touches.
>>
>> That said, I'm not sure that other touchscreen vendors offer any kind
>> of X driver gestures like we do. It may be that users of devices with
>> e.g. Atmel touchscreens get XI2 events by default, and are happy with
>> the level of gesture support provided by the toolkits...
>
> no other vendor provides gestures because you guys are the only ones working
> on an X driver. All others are used with evdev/libinput and thus make use of
> whatever the desktop supports based on XI2. I've been getting irregular
> complaints about gestures not being supported and I've always punted them to
> the desktop environments. Now that some apps support things people are
> getting happier, but I'd say there's still a long road to pure bliss :)
> especially with the spotty support for gestures between apps. If I were to
> guess, I'd say that people have largely just given up on gestures and are
> then pleasantly suprised if the odd one works after all.
>
> the benefit you'd get from disabling gestures on touchscreens is consistency
> with other vendors, at the cost of breaking some long-term setups. Given
> that the long-term plan is to switch away from wacom towards libinput, I'm
> not sure that's worth it and we may be better off just leaving things as-is
> and instead nudging people towards libinput for wacom touchscreens in the
> future.

I'm with Peter. Just leave it as is ;-).

Cheers,
Ping

>
> Cheers,
>    Peter
>
>> It would be interesting to know what others think and what kinds of
>> experience they have with XI2 events (either from our driver with
>> gestures disabled or from other touchscreens). Feel free to speak up
>> :)
>>
>>
>> [1]: https://sourceforge.net/p/linuxwacom/bugs/335/
>> [2]: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Multitouch
>> [3]: https://help.gnome.org/misc/release-notes/3.14/touchscreen-gestures.html.en
>>
>> Jason
>
> [1] The surgeon general recommends not to hold your breath for longer than a
> year to avoid negative healtht effects

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Re: Changing default 'Gesture' setting?

russianneuromancer
In reply to this post by Peter Hutterer-3
Hello!

> In the "no support" camp:
> Firefox

Like it was with Firefox hardware accelerated rendering for years, there is envvar for enabling XI2 in Firefox: MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1
Not enabled by default because of bugs like this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1170342#c36 (that already resolved by upstream, but need a little bit of time to get delivered to end-user).

> Especially because of the "numerous other applications" item in the "no support" group, I'm a little hesitant to say that the default should be changed.

>From my obvervation of GNU/Linux on tablets discussions people usually tend to install on tablets compatible software instead of intentionally choosing something incompatible, so I don't think "no support" camp is on equal terms with "native support" camp. Therefore by installation base on tablets "native support" camp is outweighs "no support" camp.
In cases when user intentionally choose incompatible software - he just have keyboard and mouse on hands (or integrated into device, like with Lenovo Yoga series) and doesn't care about touchscreen gestures at all.

So the question is more like, if people who install software from "native support" list of their tablets with Wacom touchscreen need (or even expect?) Gestures support that integrated into touchscreen driver? The answer, in my opinion, is no.

> the benefit you'd get from disabling gestures on touchscreens is consistency with other vendors, at the cost of breaking some long-term setups.

I will try to explain how this looks like from user point of view. At first, there is no Wacom driver gestures explanation in GUI. To start using it, user should understand that Wacom touchscreen driver is unlike other touchscreen drivers and it have integrated Gestures support, so user should search for more info on that, however there is no suggestions that Wacom touchscreen driver is different, so single suggestion. As you see personally I thought this is just some bug, and it's hard to blame me for that because other touchscreen drivers I have seen just allow XI2 events to be passed to applications by default. If I wouldn't care enough (for example if I bought just Dell 9250 without Dell 5855) - I wouldn't even fill this bugreport and just live with idea that Wacom touchscreen driver is somehow broken. I don't think many people care enough to search more info on that, they just assume that since GNU/Linux on touchscreen devices is in infancy, so they just observe another bug. Obviously, we won't see this people filling reports on bugtracker or even post message about this on some forum - I read and participate GNU/Linux on tablets discussions for a year, and never ever seen anyone mention this feature of Wacom touchscreen driver. I assume that most of userbase (owners of tablets with Wacom touchscreen who run GNU/Linux) is just not aware there is such feature, so as I see situation with GNU/Linux on touchscreen devices - "breaking long-term setups" argument just doesn't work for Wacom touchscreen driver.

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Re: Changing default 'Gesture' setting?

Jason Gerecke
On Fri, Apr 21, 2017 at 12:29 AM,  <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hello!
>
>> In the "no support" camp:
>> Firefox
>
> Like it was with Firefox hardware accelerated rendering for years, there is
> envvar for enabling XI2 in Firefox: MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1
> Not enabled by default because of bugs like this: https://
> bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1170342#c36 (that already resolved by
> upstream, but need a little bit of time to get delivered to end-user).
>

Good to know :)

>> Especially because of the "numerous other applications" item in the "no
>> support" group, I'm a little hesitant to say that the default should be
>> changed.
>
> From my obvervation of GNU/Linux on tablets discussions people usually tend
> to install on tablets compatible software instead of intentionally choosing
> something incompatible, so I don't think "no support" camp is on equal
> terms with "native support" camp. Therefore by installation base on tablets
> "native support" camp is outweighs "no support" camp.
> In cases when user intentionally choose incompatible software - he just
> have keyboard and mouse on hands (or integrated into device, like with
> Lenovo Yoga series) and doesn't care about touchscreen gestures at all.
>
> So the question is more like, if people who install software from "native
> support" list of their tablets with Wacom touchscreen need (or even
> expect?) Gestures support that integrated into touchscreen driver? The
> answer, in my opinion, is no.
>
>> the benefit you'd get from disabling gestures on touchscreens is consistency with other vendors, at the cost of breaking some long-term setups.
>
> I will try to explain how this looks like from user point of view. At
> first, there is no Wacom driver gestures explanation in GUI. To start using
> it, user should understand that Wacom touchscreen driver is unlike other
> touchscreen drivers and it have integrated Gestures support, so user should
> search for more info on that, however there is no suggestions that Wacom
> touchscreen driver is different, so single suggestion. As you see
> personally I thought this is just some bug, and it's hard to blame me for
> that because other touchscreen drivers I have seen just allow XI2 events to
> be passed to applications by default. If I wouldn't care enough (for
> example if I bought just Dell 9250 without Dell 5855) - I wouldn't even
> fill this bugreport and just live with idea that Wacom touchscreen driver
> is somehow broken. I don't think many people care enough to search more
> info on that, they just assume that since GNU/Linux on touchscreen devices
> is in infancy, so they just observe another bug. Obviously, we won't see
> this people filling reports on bugtracker or even post message about this
> on some forum - I read and participate GNU/Linux on tablets discussions for
> a year, and never ever seen anyone mention this feature of Wacom
> touchscreen driver. I assume that most of userbase (owners of tablets with
> Wacom touchscreen who run GNU/Linux) is just not aware there is such
> feature, so as I see situation with GNU/Linux on touchscreen devices -
> "breaking long-term setups" argument just doesn't work for Wacom
> touchscreen driver.
>

User expectation depends on prior experience. I'd agree that someone
who'd never used a Wacom touchscreen under Linux would likely be picky
about the applications they use and install -- especially if their
device didn't have a keyboard/touchpad to fall back on. Its not
exactly a secret that the toushcreeen experience on Linux doesn't
match up to other OSes. That said, I'd also argue that most people
who've used one of our touchscreens in the past likely expect gestures
to work in "every" application -- especially if their experience dates
to the pre-XI2 era.

Disabling gesture emulation wouldn't affect the first group of users,
but could easily cause problems for those who are already scrolling,
zooming, and right-clicking in "no support" applications. Imagine if
you'd been using these gestures on multiple devices over the years
(our driver has done gesture emulation for over 7 years) and one day
find out that they mysteriously no longer work after an OS update...

Your point about the expectations of the first group of users is not
lost on me. XI2 gestures (when they're available) are /far/ nicer than
our emulated ones: silky-smooth scroll and zoom with momentum, access
to compositor shortcuts like application/workspace switch, etc. I must
admit that I have gesture emulation disabled on my own workstation. If
that's what you've grown used to from other touchscreens, the jump to
our driver's default can be jarring and unexpected.

We need to figure out the right way to deal with these two camps of
users. Off the top of my head, this could mean doing one or more of:

  * Encouraging people to use Wayland/libinput if they want rich gestures

  * Providing better documentation about gestures in our driver

  * Encouraging people to use tools like "Touchegg"[1] in place of
in-driver gestures

  * Requesting GNOME Control Center (and other control panels) have an
option to toggle in-driver gestures

  * Requesting GNOME (and other touchscreen-friendly desktops) to
disable in-driver gestures

  * Changing our driver default

As maintainers, we need to worry about making sure the changes we make
cause the least amount of pain. I think Peter's take of the situation
is spot on. Distributions are already starting to move to a
Wayland-by-default setup, which is a logical place to "break" the
setups of long-time users since we can't provide gesture emulation
there anyway.

[1]: https://github.com/JoseExposito/touchegg

Jason
---
Now instead of four in the eights place /
you’ve got three, ‘Cause you added one  /
(That is to say, eight) to the two,     /
But you can’t take seven from three,    /
So you look at the sixty-fours....

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