For some time now, am thinking how to best use the touch screen, which is readily available on new laptops, to make the Math-o-mir easier to use. Obviously, because not all laptops have the touch screen, I should design no fundamental feature that exclusively depends on the touch screen. But real questions are:

  • should one be able to use the touch-screen as the complete replacement for the mouse
  • is simultaneous mouse-and-touch-screen usage at all practical?

There are some reasons why it would be difficult to completely replace the mouse with the touch screen in the Math-o-mir case:

  • the touch screen, unless it is used with stylus, is not precise enough for all actions required by Math-o-mir. Human fingers are too fat to aim between math elements in a single equation.
  • a touch  screen misses the left-and-right button. In Math-o-mir I am heavily using both buttons. [I wish that one day one will came up with a touch screen that can recognize what finger are you using when you touching it].

In addition, if too much touch screen usage is required, the ‘gorilla arm’ syndrome will emerge. Finally, some actions are simply easier done with a mouse: the wheel zoom, for example.

At the moment, following touch screen actions seem useful to me: scrolling, toolbox access, object selecting and moving, freehand drawing. If you know Math-o-mir, you might want to express your thoughts about how to implement the touch-screen interface. I will be glad to hear. Note that your suggestions do not have to be conventional. The Math-o-mir was never about conventionality.

There is very short, but nice new article about Math-o-mir by Guillermo Bautista: