Basic tablet friendliness

Registered by Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff

Ship some non-intrusive tweaks that make elementary OS usable on a tablet (sane multitouch gesture setup that eleminates hovering, etc)

We probably cant' undertake big stuff like on-screen keyboard this cycle.

Blueprint information

Not started
Fabian Thoma
Series goal:
Accepted for future
Milestone target:
milestone icon juno-beta1


How would the dock be managed on a tablet? You don't want it showing all the time due to space constraints but it is not necessarily easy to hit the border of the screen without a mouse. I came up with five suggestions:
1 - Keep the system as it is. Have it so that clicking on empty areas of the wingpanel brings the dock up. Clicking again hides it.

2 - Clicking on empty areas of wingpanel hides all windows (think "Show desktop"), thus if the dock is hidden, it would show up.

Issue with both methods is drag and dropping into the dock when there are a bunch of windows open.

3 - "incorporate" the dock within wingpanel - I did a quick mockup here:
Obviously non ideal.

4 - Increase the area for the dock to show. Plank has no hiding currently and Docky only shows when the mouse cursos is 1px or at the border. Maybe increasing it to 4px or so would allow a "nail" touch on the bottom to show the dock. Downside would be it showing up when it is not actually wanted.

5 - Have a thin, maybe 4 pixels or so bar at the bottom - same bg color as wingpanel. Clicking on it or hovering over it with a file brings up the dock. Probably in panel mode. Seems like the best idea so far.

ottorobba: this part was obvious for me - it's multitouch gestures for switching windows and a gesture to show wingpanel, slingshot and dock - all at once. --shnatsel

Shnatsel: I was also thinking of tablet computers (such as 2730p, tm2, x201, etc...) that do not have multi-touch - only the pen input to screen. --ottorobba

ottorobba: yeah, I know, I own 2 such devices. Monotouch gestures are possible too with easystroke and gesstik. I'm not sure if we should provide them by default. --shnatsel

Maybe showing dock by dragging (single finger) from bottom slightly up is a good idea? And hiding dock by dragging it down.

That works great on my Nokia N900, not sure about my stylus-driven HP tc4200 though. --shnatsel

On-screen keyboard: is an on-screen keyboard from GNOME. That page says that the keyboard is not usable as a primary input device, but GNOME Shell 3.2 ships an on-screen keyboard that uses Caribou as a backends. - a virtual keyboard integrated with GNOME and used by e.g. GhostBSD

OnBoard - very simple and rather clumsy virtual keyboard used in Ubuntu

I found a video of said on-screen keyboard - looks pretty good

Also I think we should use Utouch at our applications. ~sheosi

I was thinking about these:
One finger tap (or pull?) for items in wingpanel
Two finger swipe up/down to show/hide the dock
Two finger hold and drag to move windows
Three finger swipe up/down to show/hide workspace switcher
Three finger swipe left/right to move to right/left workspace
Five finger swipe left/right to move current window to right/left workspace
Five finger pinch to show all windows in workspace


Work Items

Dependency tree

* Blueprints in grey have been implemented.

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