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Re: supporting navigation mouse buttons in Debian

On Sat, Mar 11, 2006 at 10:21:46PM -0500, Michael Gilbert wrote:
> Hello,
> I was recently browsing the web on a windows box and realized that
> over the last 4 years, I had forgotten how nice it is to be able
> browse back/forward with a single button click.  So I set about
> enabling this functionality on my Debian box.  I found this gentoo doc
> (http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Mouse_Nav_Buttons) very helpful.
> Now, my question is, would it be possible to work toward supporting
> nav buttons "out of the box" in Debian?  I know that there are
> probably a lot of issues because there is no hardware standard for the
> nav buttons, but maybe there would be a way to store configuration for
> all the hardware.  The gentoo doc is geared toward enabling
> back/forward nav in mozilla only, so there may need to be some thought
> put into a way to generalize this.
> Is anyone else interested in making nav buttons work "out of the box",
> and would it be worthwhile to work on?  This would likely involve
> (hopefully minor) changes to a lot of parts of the distribution.
> I think this capability is important because I remember when I first
> switched that I was disappointed that the nav buttons didn't work.  I
> stuck with it, but it could be enough to turn away a significant
> number of new users who are stuck in the windows mud.  One of the
> gnome HIG is along the lines of provide an interface that the user
> expects and don't suprise them.  I look forward to any thoughts on
> this matter.

Looking at the doc it seems like the vast majority of the configuration
issues are for the X server. Please feel free to file patches against the
xserver-xorg package's scripts for generating config files, or against the
xserver itself for properly detecting and supporting these buttons. Note
that upstream is currently rewriting the evdev driver to better take
advantage of more advanced setups (and I plan to ship this driver in Debian
as soon as I get a chance) so you should take that in to account. I don't
own a mouse that can take advantage of such a configuration, so I don't
have the ability, let alone the desire, to write such patches myself for
the package, but I'd be happy to look over and potentially apply worthwhile
patches on the issue. Please note that the usual way to do this is by
filing a wishlist bug against the package, and I'd appreciate it if you use
this mechanism so I can keep track of it easily.

 - David Nusinow

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