X Multicursor Support

Peter Hutterer mailinglists at who-t.net
Wed Dec 15 04:33:21 EET 2004

Hi list,

I am currently investigating how X could be enabled to support multiple
input devices (N cursors on one machine as first goal, N cursors on M
machines as later goal) and I would like to hear some comments, pointers
to information/sources or just ideas from you guys.

There has been a lot of research in this area, most of it 10 to 15 years
ago. Just to name a few:
SharedX, MMConf, MMM and Pebbles. More recent work includes Dynamo (with
a pretty slick demo video on http://www.dynamo-interactive.com/), a
"Multi-Cursor X Window Manager" by Grant Wallace et al. from Princeton
University or cpnmouse for Windows. The drawback of all of those is that
they either restrict the multiple devices to applications within their
own application, something fairly easy, or that they timeslice the
single system cursor to create an illusion of multiple cursors.

However, there haven't been any attempts to support independent multiple
devices at the basic level (which in my opinion would be X). There is a
page on freedesktop.org for multiple pointers, but not much going on
there (http://freedesktop.org/wiki/MultiplePointers), also, some mails 
to differnt mailinglist can be found on the web pointing out the 
need/desire for this.

My intentions are to implement support for this, but I would appreciate 
any comments on this. I know that there is a whole trail of 
modifications coming with it(such as floor control, support in window 
managers etc) but I'm happy to deal with that.

You guys have any suggestions/comments/ideas?


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