Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Graphos GNUstep and Tablet interface

I have acquired a Thinkpad X41 Tablet and worked quite a bit on it making it usable and then installing Linux and of course GNUstep on it. The original battery was dead and the compatible replacement I got is bigger, it works very well, but makes the device unbalanced.

Anyway, my interest about it how usable GNUstep applications would be and especially Graphos, its (and my) drawing application.

Using the interface in Tablet mode is different: the stylus is very precise and allows clicking by pointing the tip and a second button is also possible. However, contrary to the mouse use, the keyboard is folded so no keyboard modifiers are possible. Furthermore GNUstep has no on-screen keyboard so typing is not possible.

The classic OpenStep-style Menus work exceedingly well with a touch interface:the menus are easy to click and teared-out they remain like palettes, making toolbars not necessary.
This is a good start!

However, Graphos was not easy to use: aside from typing text, with no keyboard, several components requried typing (e.g. inserting Line Width).
I worked on the interface so that all these elements also had a clickable interface (e.g. Stepper Arrows). Duplicating certain items available in context-menus in regular menus, which can be detached, provided also an enhancements.
Standard items like the color wheel already work very well

Drawing on the screen is definitely very precise and convenient. Stay tuned for the upcoming release!

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