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Re: Proposal: switch default desktop to xfce

On Sat, Oct 26, 2013 at 2:15 AM, Joey Hess wrote:

> I do wish that some of the .. energy .. seen in these threads could be
> used for something more interesting. For example, find a way to detect
> touch screen systems, on which xfce is *not* pleasant, and don't install
> a desktop task there, but a separate task with whichever UI is currently
> best suited for tablets.

The situation with touch screen systems is a bit more complicated than
just "install a tablet UI".

By way of example; my primary computer is a Lenovo Thinkpad X201
Tablet. This is a normal Thinkpad laptop with a touchscreen where the
screen can be rotated and therefore hide the keyboard with or without
the touchscreen being hidden. Right now I'm using it as a desktop
though, with external monitor, keyboard and mouse. For this particular
machine, installing a normal desktop is the probably right way to go.
Unfortunately none of them appear to have sane touch interaction; the
touchscreen selects text instead of scrolling or buttons are tiny. I
rarely use this device in tablet mode but I imagine the many artists
using it would do that quite often.

I seem to remember that with Windows 8 coming out and having pervasive
support for touchscreens, there are even external monitors with touch
support. Clearly on tower machines with a touch-screen monitor you
aren't going to want a tablet OS.

Another example; a while ago I installed Debian on a Samsung Galaxy S
smartphone. While at the time the touchscreen didn't work in Debian
due to Linux and Xorg driver issues, installing a tablet UI is clearly
not the right choice there either; you need something with big buttons
that is finger-friendly, at the time enlightenment had a UI that was
designed for smartphones. I also have had an OpenMoko with Debian on
it. For OpenMoko devices the enlightenment UI has issues due to the
OpenMoko's screen inset meaning that UI elements close to the edge are
unusable. The QtMoko UI however avoids that issue but isn't in Debian


My conclusion is that the right UI to choose is quite machine-specific
and also user-specific.



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