GTA03 Touchscreen Capacitive (was Re: OT: iPhone howto)

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at
Fri Feb 27 10:34:06 CET 2009

Friedrich Clausen wrote:

> As far as I can see, the ultimate goal of the OpenMoko project is to
> give everyone the chance to use a phone with a completely free (as in
> freedom) software stack.

> For that to succeed I think a Capacitive
> screen is better since you only need your fingers and no special
> equipment.
Wrong argument.
The resistive screen doesn't need a stylus or other special equipment 
either. You can use the resistive screen with a finger only - no problem!

The resistive screen gives you the _option_ of a stylus, for precision 
work. The capacitive screen doesn't give you the option.

So the resistive screen has all the same options as the capacitive for 
finger-only use - capacitive has no advantage when it comes to fingers.

> And, personal opinions aside, the non-technical users in my
> social circle prefer the stylus free option.
Sure. And that works equally well with either screen.

Nobody want a stylus for simple things like making a call. And no screen 
demands that either.

But even non-techies may like some of the things you can do with a 
stylus. Such as handwriting, or drawing sketches.  Capacitive screens 
won't give you the option.

> But, and this is one of the strengths of the Freerunner (+ future
> models), is the ability to run multiple distributions - we  have
> hacker friendly distros with full keyboards and end-user distros with
> big friendly letters and smart ways to handle imprecision.
> Although the issue with capacitive screens remain - it appears that it
> is not possible to create a really small stylus for use with a small
> keyboard containing many buttons. In my very humble opinion, I believe
> that a worthy sacrifice in order to create more mass appeal for the
> Freerunner (+future models).

If it gave a "mass market appeal". If! But what it the appeal of a 
capacitive screen? Certainly not the stylus-free operation, as the 
current resistive screen also does that just fine.

Capacitive enforce stylus-free operation, resistive allows it too.

Helge Hafting

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