[LAD] pixmap based knob widgets and theme integration.

Olivier Guilyardi list at samalyse.com
Tue Sep 28 13:35:05 UTC 2010

On 09/28/2010 01:59 PM, Patrick Shirkey wrote:

> There is a couple of things about knobs that don't translate well to a
> mouse and are still fairly cumbersome with multitouch.
> I can't get away from the feeling that knobs on a screen are as bad as
> screws. They just don't translate intuitively.

Well, I recently tried the TouchOSC iPhone app, which allows you to build custom
UIs by assembling knobs, sliders, buttons, etc... and assign them to OSC messages.

The knobs are just brilliant, it's very intuitive I think. It's touch though,
not multi-touch.

> Wouldn't it be more productive to find ways to make sliders more visually
> expressive?

An interface full of sliders can be confusing and ugly. Knobs + sliders, that
brings balance I believe.

> They are perfectly suited to a single point cursor and multi touch.

> For example instead of a knob why not have an inset light strip in the
> shape of a half circle? ie. a curved slider. It will take up as much space
> as a knob but can be easily manipulated with mouse or finger.

Isn't that what Thorwil's designs, already discussed, propose? They precisely
are circular sliders *and* level meters. The exact same thing goes with TouchOSC.

> With a 3d space sliders can be made to do some amazing things. In addition
> there are other control options that become available like pinch, tap,
> swipe and shake gestures.

Pinching... That's interesting. But pinching usually requires a large
widget/element, such as a photo, web page. If the widget is too small, you won't
get as much precision as a single-touch slider, be it circular or linear.

> Why constrain ourselves to a concept we know is a pain for the user if it
> is also gonna be a pain for the developer to implement? If we are going to
> go to all that trouble why not make it something the user will truly
> appreciate and increase their productivity.

Yes, but the productivity of a musician isn't only about tools efficiency. It's
also about inspiration, which isn't necessary rational. That said I agree with
you about innovation, a creative UI might exactly be what a creative person need.

Actually, I work a lot on Android these days, and I reckon there's lot of new
possibilities with touch interfaces. And that's right, do this with a 3D scene,
and now you got something :)


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