For those planning to use Ubuntu 10.10 on touch screen devices, there is excellent news – Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat will support multi-touch.
Earlier Mark Shuttleworth said that they are not developing Ubuntu for tablet devices. They are not developing a tablet specific version, but Canonical has officially announced that they are adding multi-touch and gesture support in Ubuntu Netbook Edition.
Canonical is pleased to announce the release of uTouch 1.0, Ubuntu’s multi-touch and gesture stack. With Ubuntu 10.10 (the Maverick Meerkat), users and developers will have an end-to-end touch-screen framework â€” from the kernel all the way through to applications.
The Canonical UTouch Framework is what will be supporting muti-touch and gestures in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. It consists of several components:
- Gesture Engine Interface and Support
- Gesture Recognition And Instantiation Library
- Gesture Test
You can see more technical details at the mailing list.
The UTouch framework will also use a four-finger language, which again is developed by Canonical. With this four-finger gesture language, users can go beyond simple gestures and chain together different gestures to make more sophisticated commands. You can read more about this gesture language here.
The UTouch Framework will be included by default in the Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10. In UNE, windows management support gestures. You can minimize, maximize etc. using gestures. Desktop users will need to install Unity to see this in action.
A PPA has been setup for testing. It is not recommended that you install these unless you can bear with some problems it may cause. However, if you want to test, it execute the following (Maverick only) :
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:utouch-team/utouch
sudo apt-get update