Thoughts on mouse buttons

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Sun Sep 19 05:07:57 UTC 2004

On Sun, Sep 19, 2004 at 01:51:47PM +0900, Jan Morén wrote:

> On lör, 2004-09-18 at 21:27 -0700, Matt Zimmerman wrote:
> > I've thought about this myself.  The middle mouse button isn't needed for
> > any critical actions in our desktop UI as far as I know, so even if the user
> > had a two-button mouse, they would be OK without emulation.  If middle mouse
> > button actions are important to someone, they're likely to have a three
> > button mouse.
> Open link in a new window/tab. I use it constantly.

So do I.  It's nothing that you can't accomplish without the middle mouse
button, however.  Most inexperienced users I have observed do this with
menus (drop-down and context).

> > Of course, this is configurable, and it's only a matter of what to choose by
> > default.  The question is, which is more common among (potential) users?
> > Games of this type, or two-button mice?  And which group should have the
> > burden of changing the default?
> Many (most?) laptops have only two buttons. They are also becoming
> steadily more common as primary machines for people. And bringing along
> an external mouse is a surprisingly big hassle - and sometimes, such as
> during travel, not an option at all. 

Good point; I'm spoiled by a laptop with a three-button pointing device. :-)

> >From my admittedly limited sample of distributions, it seems emulation
> is the norm. 
> Actually, looking at the mouse configuration dialog, I am surprised that
> this option is not covered there. It probably should be.

This option is currently set in the X server configuration, and so is not
currently configurable on a per-user basis.

 - mdz

More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list