GTA03 case should incorporate stylus holder

Lally Singh lally.singh at
Fri Jun 6 00:10:41 CEST 2008

On Thu, Jun 5, 2008 at 5:14 PM, Stroller <linux.luser at> wrote:
>> That doesn't mean that we will not write all our apps finger-
>> compatible (we
>> also hate stylii),
> I think what you're saying there is that 1st-party apps will be
> finger-compatible, but that "ported" applications are not sure to be
> optimised for finger use.
>> _but_ being an open device, we should not lock out people
>> who _need_ to have lots of tiny stuff on their screen hence need to
>> operate
>> with a stylus.
> If the Openmoko dream is a beautiful, consistent interface that
> doesn't need a stylus, then including a slot for one is kinda an
> admission of defeat.
> Surely most end-users are - in the long-term future of Openmoko -
> going to use mostly the preinstalled applications, or the "core
> distro" and only add one or two extra applications. Sure, developers
> of those additional apps are going to need stylii, as they compile
> Thunderbird   for ARM architecture and the buttons are really tiny,
> but the aim of applications coming-on-board to Openmoko should surely
> to be finger-capable.
> Including a stylus holder just allows developers to say, "oh, fingers
> don't matter".
> There are a dozen "smartphones" out there that I can buy now with
> tiny little touchscreens that need a stylus, but these are used only
> by geeks. The majority of people buy still buy phones with a number
> pad and some kind of navigating aid (a tiny wheel, or joystick nub,
> or up-down-left-right arrow buttons). Why is this? Probably because
> people like using their fingers to access their phone. I know this is
> an old, and perhaps divisive, debate, where never the twain will
> meet, but Openmoko has a great opportunity here to make a phone that
> combines power with ease-of-use. Enable anyone to install extra apps
> on their phone, and *anyone* to use it. A fiddly stylus just makes
> the device less accessible.

I'm no fan of the "You can only have it my way, not your way, and not
both" idea.  Especially for open devices.

But, for the topic at hand:  My Treo 650 has a stylus, and I pull it
out for certain apps (Bejeweled and several other games come to mind).
 My day-to-day applications don't require one at all.

Certain mobile apps are worth pulling out a stylus for, and they're
better for it.

There's no need to ban an input device in fear of abuse on an open
system. Any decent app that people like, that mistakenly requires a
stylus, will get patched pretty quick.

H. Lally Singh
Ph.D. Candidate, Computer Science
Virginia Tech

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