Suggestion: Enable mouse gestures by default

chris at deadhand.com chris at deadhand.com
Wed Nov 7 12:27:03 GMT 2007


Hello all,

KDE has had a great feature for some time now that has been notoriously 
underestimated and underused - talking about mouse gestures via KHotkeys.

Currently in Kubuntu this nice little feature can be configured in:
System Settings -> Accessibility -> Input Actions
There you can enable some pre-defined gestures for Konqueror or create your 
own. Problem is that hardly any user knows about this.


The integration of mouse gestures into the desktop environment in such 
a way is something that only KDE has to offer - similar to KIO slaves, this 
is one of the most outstanding features we have, but users just don't know 
about it - I'd suggest to change that for the next release!


Therefor I suggest, to activate mouse gestures by default - for a clearly 
defined set of applications and simple actions.
I'm not talking about writing complicated symbols on your screen to launch an 
application - that kind of gestures is possible but shouldn't be the focus.
Instead I suggest enabling the basic operations within the most used 
applications via mouse gestures. Think about navigating (back, forward, up) 
with the file- and webbrowser  and working with tabs - similar to what the 
default set of example gestures in KHotkeys already does.



My suggestion for a good set of default gestures is attached as a khotkeysrc 
configuration file. That file goes to ~/.kde/config/. Careful to back up your 
original khotkeysrc in case you made any changes yourself or want to preserve 
the original configuration.

The configuration consists of the 'action group' "Mouse Gestures" with groups 
for some of the most used applications, where gestures make sense:

Akregator
Dolphin
Firefox
Konqueror
Konsole

The general settings for the gestures are:

[Gestures]
Disabled=false
MouseButton=3
Timeout=300

So, the right mouse button is used to start the gestures, and works very well 
for me without getting in the way for users that don't use gestures.


The gestures are based on the original "Konqueror gestures" example with a few 
changes that I'd be glad to discuss if anybody is interested.

Just let me know what you think and if there's any chance mouse gestures 
(those attached or something similar) have a chance of makin it into hardy 
heron.

My idea would be to have an illustrated documentation page regarding the 
default gestures and how to invoke them - in the official docs as well as on 
the "what's new" release page. If there's any chance for inclusion I'd be 
glad to work out something.


Chris
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