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  1. pml
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       #1  
    Hi everybody,

    although running LXDE or XFCE in a Ubuntu or Debian chroot is a neat thing, I feel there should be better desktop environments (DE) which are more optimized for touchscreens.

    Hot candidates in my eyes are: Unity/Unity-2d, gnome-shell, enlightenment e17 and KDE plasma active.

    First a question in advance: Did anyone of you succeed in running 3D accelerated DEs, such as unity (3d) or gnome-shell, on the touchpad?

    Let me introduce the DEs and tell you about the pros and cons:

    1) Unity / Unity-2d: Unity | Unity
    Unity is the default DE of Ubuntu. With its large icons, the dash search and economic use of screen real-estate it seems to be developing towards touchscreen usage.
    I managed to get unity-2d running, but for some reason the on-screen keyboard (OSK) "onboard" layout got messed up. Additionally, it seems, that you cannot get a OSK in the dash overlay mode, which renders the dash pretty useless.
    More resources:
    Ubuntu 10.10's multitouch Unity UI demoed on Dell, makes multitasking look easy (video) -- Engadget
    uTouch

    2) Gnome-shell: GnomeShell - GNOME Live!
    If you like webOS's cards metaphor, you'll probably like gnome-shell's concept of window management as well. It is really useful and intuitive. Like unity, it has a sort of dash, which resembles the Just-type feature of webOS. The OSKs "caribou" and "maliit" is supposed to be very sophisticated; future plans of gnome3 are definitely pointing towards tablet use.
    I didn't try to run gnome-shell yet, as I was afraid, it wouldn't run, because it requires OpenGL...
    More resources:



    3) Enlightenment e17: Enlightenment - Beauty at your fingertips
    e17 is a fresh-looking, yet very resource-conservative DE. Its profiles "illume" and "illume-home" are designed for tablet or smartphone use. It is really fast and highly configurable (and therefore a bit confusing...). The integrated OSK is pretty good; it slides up from the bottom, just as we are used to.
    I tried it myself and it runs nicely. I encountered an issue, though: for some reason, the color space is changed: while white, black and green match, red and blue are swapped. Pretty weird and I'm still looking for a solution or workaround. Any help or ideas are welcome!
    More resources:

    Qole's Law: Thinly Sliced Cabbage: E17 Illume on N800



    4) KDE plasma active: Plasma Active One
    Plasma active is a very new project for creating a tablet compatible interface for KDE. About this I have the lowest knowledge so far, but it sounded interesting to me, anyway.
    More resources:




    Although I favor gnome-shell on my desktop, I don't have a favorite for running it on my touchpad. Any working solution is welcome, as long as we get the best user experience, especially regarding the integration of the on-screen keyboard (auto-reveal fro input fields would be perfect...).

    I would be happy if some of you would like to join me on the quest for the best DE on the touchpad. Please post your experiences and results...

    [My personal motivation/goal: running remote desktop sessions (RDP or VNC) with a client that supports ssh tunneling (here: remmina) in fullscreen mode and still being able to get a local on-screen-keyboard (as otherwise I cannot escape the viewer any more...).]
    MINKIN2, beckmint and cml21 like this.
  2. #2  
    The next version of the autoconfig script will include an option to use Netbook Launcher. This is similar to Unity2d and seems to work reasonably well. I hope to have it up today. Beyond that, gnome-shell sounds nice, I will see how it runs...
  3. pml
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       #3  
    The next version of the autoconfig script will include an option to use Netbook Launcher. This is similar to Unity2d and seems to work reasonably well. I hope to have it up today. Beyond that, gnome-shell sounds nice, I will see how it runs...
    Great, I think gnome shell is really developing into the right direction in the near future. Would be perfect to adopt it...
  4. #4  
    So I have been reading about some of these other options, and while Plasma Active and Gnome-Shell are very pretty, I have to throw my support to Enlightenment. It is a much more mature platform and is already in the Ubuntu ARM repos. I have found it to be very responsive and looks good.

    The problem you mentioned about the color space seems to be caused by the illume-home profile. If you try the illume profile the colors are fine and the interface is a bit nicer. It also has a very nice built in keyboard. This will certainly be in the next update to my script as the new default.
  5. pml
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       #5  
    So I have been reading about some of these other options, and while Plasma Active and Gnome-Shell are very pretty, I have to throw my support to Enlightenment. It is a much more mature platform and is already in the Ubuntu ARM repos. I have found it to be very responsive and looks good.

    The problem you mentioned about the color space seems to be caused by the illume-home profile. If you try the illume profile the colors are fine and the interface is a bit nicer. It also has a very nice built in keyboard. This will certainly be in the next update to my script as the new default.
    Well, right, in the illume profile the colors were correct. At first. But after some switching back and forth, zhe colors are messed up for me in both profile settings.

    Generally I feel illume-home is a better concept, as it is less confusing...
    Another issue might be, that so far there is no right-click support, but even e17 itself needs it, e.g. For deleting items from the launcher (and there are quite some with missing icon).

    About the color issue, I filed a bug at bugs.enlightenment.org, but can't post a direct link here, as the site is down at the moment.

    How about gnome-shell? Were you able to start it on the TP?
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by pml View Post
    How about gnome-shell? Were you able to start it on the TP?
    I have not tried it yet. I feel it will take a substantial amount of work to get it running though. For now I am tweaking the interface for e17 and adding it to my script first. Then I will explore gnome shell.
  7. #7  
    where will you put your script zane ? Do you have an ETA for this?

    I tried to put enlightenment on ubuntu chroot through the easy_e17 script, but was stuck with one package that couldn't be found :/

    I wanted to try Gnome-Shell, but didn't find a repo for it.

    I also tried KDE-Netbook, but it said that some config files where missing, and couldn't find out how to solve this.

    All in all, I ended up with XFCE since it works fine right now.

    I'm really looking forward to have those DE's mentioned above up and working. Especially E17 and KDE Plasma Active.

    I really really think that either Unity 3D or Gnome-Shell will suck too much ressources to be usable on a touchpad's chroot. Unity 2D was already really slow on my overclocked TP compared to LXDE or XFCE. It was usable, but laggy.
    Proud Veer and Touchpad owner
  8. MINKIN2's Avatar
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    #8  
    I may have to have a play with gnome on the touchpad. It has always been a little dream of mine to see Hildon DE running on the TP and there has been some good progress in getting it running on other platforms



    http://live.gnome.org/Hildon/Building


    One of the greater advantages of Hildon is that has been built to run on hardware with much less powerful than the touchpad (even though the N900 is still a beast).

    I will most likely fail at the first attempt to get it running but heck, I am bored and wanna play with something.
  9. #9  
    Gnome-shell is the best desktop environment for touchpad, especially The builtin onscreen keyboard. Though I am still waiting a native ubuntu to install on my touchpad.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by grasshoper View Post
    where will you put your script zane ? Do you have an ETA for this?

    It will be incorporated as options in my Easy Autoconfiguration over in the webOS Development forum. I hope to have it out this week or next...
  11. pml
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       #11  
    The recent developments in KDE's plasma active are neat:

    KDE Plasma Active Two Sees Release
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  12. #12  
    The recent developments in KDE's plasma active are neat:

    KDE Plasma Active Two Sees Release



    I am going to give thd kubuntu active ppa a try ppa:kubuntu-active/ppa

    Will report back

    Edit: I have Kubuntu 11.10 on the TP. Will try to add the plasma active interface, which requires 11.10.

    Update2: need kde 4.8. Am updating to kubuntu 12.04. If this doesn't work (very alpha) will wipe and try kubuntu 11.10 w/ kde 4.8 and plasma active.

    Update3: update2 was wrong. Plasma active ppa only for x86 and amd64. Will need to build from source :-(

    Update4: went back to my gnome-lxde-netbooklauncher ******* lovechild :-P
    Last edited by Willard; 01/30/2012 at 07:15 PM.
  13. #13  
    @Willard: Can you post any screenshot with your gnome-lxde-netbooklauncher? I have mine with xfce4...
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  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by HiddenStones View Post
    @Willard: Can you post any screenshot with your gnome-lxde-netbooklauncher? I have mine with xfce4...
    You betcha ;-)

    I am using the window picker applet instead of dockbarx + window buttons because I just reinstalled and accidently deleted the window button applet I compiled. Had mint menu, but found it superfluous with the netbook launcher (hence the vestigial linux mint icon). Removed the window decoration on some maximized windows in the openbox conf file.
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    Last edited by Willard; 02/01/2012 at 01:03 PM.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Willard View Post
    I am using the window picker applet instead of dockbarx + window buttons because I just reinstalled and accidently deleted the window button applet I compiled. Had mint menu, but found it superfluous with the netbook launcher (hence the vestigial linux mint icon). Removed the window decoration on some maximized windows in the openbox conf file.
    That looks really good. I am gonna try it tonight...

    Do you know if multi-touch supported in this Ubuntu? Is there anyway to test this?
  16. #16  
    I think utouch is the package, but it is designed for use with unity. I haven't tried to get it to work.

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