[etoys-dev] Touch Interface thoughts

kharness at illinois.edu kharness at illinois.edu
Fri Jun 24 08:31:51 EDT 2011

Hi Steve,
I am glad to see this topic being discussed!

With so many tablets coming out and so many people expecting to be able to touch their screens it seems like we really need to figure out how to add touch features to Etoys. It is will appeal to children's enthusiasm for touching the things they are curious about. 

Last year in Wilmington Bert had a start on an adaptation for the iPad. I know he was not satisfied that he had solved all the problems. Did you try it? I didn't try it but Avigail did and liked the idea. 

One of the problem areas for young users of Etoys is the size of the little green arrows, up,down, add functions etc. They are small and even though they get larger under the cursor they do present difficulties that will just be made worse if fingertips are at work. I have wondered if it would be a good idea to have sets of tiles be enlarged when the cursor is any place inside that area. If the cursor moved to another category of tiles, the first category would shrink back to the size it is now and the new area would increase to the larger size. 

This spring my students made Catch as Catch Can games and some of them included scripted magnifiers and round glass mags.Magnifiers make things under the cursor very readable and I think they would be large enough to be touched with a fingertip. 

The description of the Bamboo hover/click sounds interesting.

I wish I could be more help to the developers; but so far the best help I can provide is to avoid asking for new features. The core developers team does an amazing job of moving ideas forward for releases. Thanks to everyone!

---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2011 04:01:20 -0400
>From: Steve Thomas <sthomas1 at gosargon.com>  
>Subject: [etoys-dev] Touch Interface thoughts  
>To: etoys-dev <etoys-dev at squeakland.org>
>   How will we handle multi-touch in Etoys? 
>   1) Multiple Mice:
>     When you touch the screen with multiple fingers
>     you get "many mice"  So, how can I get the mouseX
>     and mouseY for each "mouse"?  Thinking about this
>     for my version of Slice it. So I can imagine one
>     way would be a collection of mice, one could
>     iterate through.
>   2) No Mouse Fat Fingers problem:
>     A while back I had a conversation with an expert
>     (some 17 or 18 year old kid who had built a
>     Theremin remote control for his TV) and the idea
>     came to me, I asked him about the power
>     consumption, costs and if there were any
>     interference issues and from the discussion it
>     would seem this may be doable within XO-3
>     constraints.  It would operate similar to the
>     Bamboo Fun tablet which detects the stylus when it
>     hovers over the tablet and you can move the mouse
>     without touching the tablet, then it clicks when
>     you touch the tablet.
>     One issues I can foresee would be when you
>     "hover" your finger over the screen if the mouse
>     pointer is right under your finger, it would block
>     the view of the pointer, so you would have to
>     position the pointer "above" the finger.  But
>     then when you touch you are not "clicking" where
>     you touch.
>   Of course part of my problem my be I am thinking
>   like a mouse ;)
>   Stephen
>etoys-dev mailing list
>etoys-dev at squeakland.org

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