Cinnamon 2.6 and touch screens

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Cinnamon 2.6 and touch screens

Post by simonbrown » Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:15 pm

Cinnamon may not be designed as a touchscreen interface, but it does actually handle touch pretty well for a large number of touch events. If you happen to be using it on a touchscreen laptop there are a number of touchscreen facilities that are worth being aware of as additional means of controlling your desktop. On my modest Acer aspire V13 Touch I find it is a useful additional tool, particularly useful while travelling in cramped airline style seats for simple stuff like internet browsing.

Capabilities may vary according to the exact version of GTK3 and underlying kernel/ubuntu/debian components that Cinnamon is using, on LMDE2 (GTK 3.14) with Cinnamon 2.6 with a standard theme, panel scale and fonts set for my normal use with keyboard and touchpad, (and without installing packages such as touchegg) I can with ease use the touchscreen for
  • Launching programs from the menu
    Using all the settings programs. The switches and controls work well. Single finger scroll up and down on the background of the main systems settings window is easy.
    Drag and drop of windows by hitting the header bar. Tiling by dragging to screen edge is straightforward.
    Internet browsing using firefox (38). menu items and links work fine. scrolling up and down a page appears to be mapped to swiping in from the right at the top or bottom of the screen, swipe in and hold triggers rapid scroll. The grab and drag extension can be used to give single finger scroll up and down but only where there is blank background to use on a website page, the scroll bar works all the time.
    Scrolling or panning within PDF files using a single finger. Pinch to zoom on the touchscreen works very well
    data entry with the on-screen keyboard
    using programs designed with buttons such as calculator
    dragging windows around between workspaces in expo once it has been launched feels very natural
    file drag and drop in nemo
    nemo scale slider
    slider and scroll bars in general
More challenging:
  • triggering launchers, applets, and using the minimise/maximise/close buttons of windows. Without scaling up the panel size quite a bit, or using a theme with deliberately large window controls, it demands awkward precision with a finger. So triggering expo from an applet is awkward, for instance.
    Moving windows between workspaces outside expo. Starting drag and drop by touch is easy, but you then have to also use the arrow keys with the other hand to switch workspaces.
    Opening programs in nemo using a double touch. The press and hold facilities (secondary click) in accessibility settings do not seem to be functional (certainly on LMDE2)
    Small buttons such as the tree-view expand/hide in nemo
    It is not currently feasible to write a theme (and I have tried) that comes up with buttons and icons of an appropriate size throughout. Only the applets respond to icon size css, the launchers, window list and icons that are non-applet such as the update manager do not respond. The general panel scale up works fine, but this means that you have to scale up after installing a theme
Not feasible
  • Opening directories in nemo
    Anything that needs right click
Nothing happens
  • swipe ins on the desktop, there are no sidebar facilities programmed in

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