Stylus, the iPhone, and multi touch screens

Thomas Gstädtner thomas at
Thu Jun 28 12:22:30 CEST 2007

Imho the system with pen- and hand-based applications is the most useful
I own a TomTom 5xx-Series, I used TomTom on my Nokia 7710
(only-touchscreen-phone) and I know that it is easy to use without a stylus.
TomTom has a good interface, but the sort of software (navigation) needs
relatively less input, so a stylus is not needed.
But it's something else with office software, terminal-emulation, and what
else you might use the Neo or other OpenMoko-phones in future.
This sort of software cannot be used without a stylus effective. Also
graphics software which needs very exact input also needs a stylus (well,
call me crazy, but I used the graphics software, which is similar to
windows' paint, on my 7710 for making outlines and other drawings).
There will be sooo much software in future and there will be so less
software which can be used by only having the fingers.

2007/6/28, Fabien <fleutot+openmoko at>:
> On 6/28/07, Cailan Halliday <chocolate.usa.chan at> wrote:
> >
> > Does the multi-touch screen make this easier somehow?
> It might help a bit in corner cases, but what really makes or breaks it is
> a proper, global thinking of the user experience (which is generally not the
> same, and even sometimes directly opposed to GFX effects). It requires a lot
> of experiments, an ability to empathize with non-developers... many
> abilities considered non-technicals and boring by most hackers,
> unfortunately. This is *the* skill on which Apple built most of its
> successes, and something open source software tends to have a hard time
> getting right.
> However, user experience is especially important for a phone, so maybe
> openmoko will experience some great improvements over other OSS projects?
> IMO, the best thing technical people can do for openmoko is making it easy
> to script/extend/modify by moderately tech-savvy people: since hardcore
> hackers suck at building usable UIs, the best they can do is offering to
> new, different talents the opportunity to get it right. Or at least better.
> I'd bet on Lua (, because it's tiny, powerful, easy to embed,
> designed for easy interfacing with C and C++, and has a very gentle learning
> curve if you don't use advanced features. Let's provide bindings for UI
> bricks, phone features, and you're set. Look at
> for integration with a multitask, non-trivial C/C++ libraries set (that's
> the debriefing of the of adobe photoshop lightroom's implementation, in
> lua), or about
> non-developers easily getting hands-down with Lua (here, XBox level
> designers). I work for a wireless embedded devices builder, and you can't
> even imagine the kind of productivity boost Lua provides. Attempts with
> Python or Smalltalk never brought that kind of power (and Scheme scares
> everybody).
> Don't forget that easily upgradeable firmwares are not so common on
> phones, and phone builders don't want to modify the UI of shipped products.
> That means they don't have the best user feedbacks possible, whereas that's
> something openmoko will get. Up to us to exploit it efficiently, instead of
> focusing on skins and other mostly useless glitter.
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