We are pleased to announce further progress in touchpad gestures improvements arena. Since our previous update, our developer Povilas implemented touchpad gesture support in LibreOffice and significantly improved it in GIMP. We think that we've reached the point where we should ask the community for feedback and further direction - please participate in a this poll to help define our direction.
If you're satisfied with the progress we're making, would you consider joining our Github Sponsors Linux Touchpad Like a Mac project? The most affordable tier is just $5/month, which is the best price in town on Linux touchpad development 😉
The number of people keeping this project going is tiny (currently just 91 supporters), but this small group of passionate Linux users are creating meaningful forward progress to improve the touchpad ecosystem for hundreds of thousands of Linux touchpad users. For those who don't want to rely on a future beholden to Apple, we hope that you'll consider supporting us? We could be getting more done if we had 200 supporters. 📈
At present, the Linux ecosystem has pretty good touchpad gesture support where bleeding-edge distribution versions are being used. Touchpad gestures are present in many Wayland display servers, X server, XWayland, and popular widget toolkits such as Gtk and Qt. What remains is the last part - implementing touchpad gesture support in the applications themselves.
The following is a list of applications that we've worked on or considered. We prioritized the work according to a poll that we've ran on October 2020 to gather information on what applications are the most important. There got a total of 125 submissions with at least one application and converted that to 317 votes.
We have implemented touchpad gesture support in several popular applications in which the amount of required effort was not excessive. The remaining applications are either not that popular or the effort would be excessive by our calculation. Of course, if the community decides that we should continue working on application-level touchpad gesture support, we will do exactly that. 😅
Pinch zoom works already, on X server MOZ_USE_XINPUT2=1 environment variable needs to be enabled (some distributions enable this by default).
We became aware of plans to migrate Mutter to GTK4 which now supports touchpad gestures on X server too. Therefore we have decided to not work on improving mutter as our contribution is likely to be thrown away soon.
Implementing support for X server is not complicated.
Implementing support for X server is doable, but will involve significant effort.
We have implemented zooming for canvas, gradient editor and icons in the treeview and rotations for canvas
Evince/ Gnome doc viewer
Works fine already.
An initial draft implementation already exists.
We have implemented canvas zooming across whole application suite.
We would like to ask you to complete a poll which will determine what we will work on next. This will decide the direction of the initiative for the next year or two.
While gestures were the most popular request among those spoke up during our last poll, we wonder if the biggest opportunity to improve Linux touchpads is to adapt their acceleration curve to better match the profile of a macOS touchpad? How do you feel about the acceleration and precision that your Linux touchpad offers?
So far we've received more than 1,000 votes on our survey, thanks so much to everyone who has participated so far! Here is the initial data we've collected and Bill's thoughts on it.