Compositor/Window Manager for Multitouch

Kai Wohlfahrt kai.scorpio at
Fri Jun 24 06:16:19 PDT 2011

I have set myself a rather ambitious project to start this summer, and would
like to ask some questions before I get started.
The aim is to write a compositor/window manager that will work well with
multitouch input (a friend of mine is taking care of the hardware setup, the
plan is optical recognition of touch points). I very much like the approach
Wayland is taking, so I'd like your input on whether it would be possible to
build this on Wayland.

First of all, I don't have experience coding anything of this type (most
work I have done has been plugins for other apps, but I'm reasonably
confident with C++), so if I'm in way over my head please let me know now.

The first question is if it is possible to use multitouch input as a main
input. The best bet for processing would be CCV ( which
sends TUIO messages. There are some old discussions regarding TUIO (on X via
evdev), but nothing recent. Does anybody know if Wayland is capable of
handling such input? If not, would it be possible to extend it to do so, or
is this something that must be done at kernel level (probably not something
I'd want to mess with...)?

Secondly, what is the status of using Wayland with Clutter? Again, there
isn't much recent news... Clutter seems very promising as a library to build
on, so I'd like to use it if possible.

Finally, if anybody is interested in joining me on this please do get in
touch. Any help is appreciated!

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