[ubuntu-x] Fwd: Wacom tablets, TabletPC and Xorg support for Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty)

Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 20:08:28 GMT 2008

Bryce Harrington wrote :
> Btw, I've updated Alberto's wacom config tool spec a bit.  If you have a
> chance it would be good to have your review as well:
>   https://wiki.ubuntu.com/X/Blueprints/WacomTabletsUi

I've finished adding my comments. I also added an updated mockup
directly to the page, since the old place didn't seem to be found by
anybody ;)

As a summary, I've got 2 main concerns :

 1. I'm not sure we really want a wizard.

Wizards are common in Windows, where you have to use a wizard even for
changing a simple option. In Linux however, things usually work when
plugging them, and there's almost no time you need one - a wizard might
not integrate well in the desktop.

I can see the need for a wizard when talking about printers, when you
need to configure things for a while till the printer becomes usable,
but there the wizard only serves to output lines in xorg.conf, which is,
for the user, only a selection between tablet models.

If we want to offer fine tweaking for unrecognised tablets, we could
start a wizard if the user selects "none of those models".

However, when a new model of tablet is plugged in (and no relevant
configuration is in xorg.conf) we can pop up a window "Do you want to
configure your tablet?" where an affirmative answer brings the wacom GUI.

Having a selection button in the GUI enable easy enabling/disabling each
model of tablet separately in xorg.conf. Which brings us to the second

 2. How to save options ?

If possible, could the tool comment out the configuration instead of
removing the lines in xorg.conf, then uncomment them if the user wants
to enable that model of tablet again?

There's a few use cases where an user would want to separately
enable/disable tablets :
- users that change tablet models (or lend/give the computer to another
person or department in school/company);
- TabletPC when for a while the user wants to use it only as a laptop;
- people with multiple tablets, that want to only use a few (and for
TabletPC people whose TabletPC wacom device works badly).

In a perfect world there wouldn't be troubles letting the tablets
configured in xorg.conf. However, if there was a reason to remove
default lines in xorg.conf in Ubuntu releases, then people will find
value in selectively enabling/disabling their tablets.

Thus, having an box to check to enable/disable the model of tablet
selected by the user can be a good idea. Preferably the settings in
xorg.conf are set at the time the user ticks/unticks the box, since
that's the moment he'll be asked for his password, and the rest of the
GUI is useless when the settings aren't applied.

For preferences (speed, sensitivity, etc...) the most sensible option is
to enable them on the fly (wacomcpl already does that), since only on
the desktop can these parameters be tested (and one can run the program
he wants to check what it really does there). Even when there's a
drawing area in the GUI, it doesn't replace real-time testing in the
application the user wants to use.

The settings can then either be saved when a button "Save" is pressed
or, like it's the case in Gnome for mouse and keyboard, when the GUI
windows is closed.

Alberto said that the GUI would be designed by a Canonical usability
expert, so he'll have better ideas.


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