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whenders0n
Feb 12, 2008, 12:29 PM
I've been working on an application to allow people to customize the multi-touch trackpad on their Macbook airs. It is a preference pane that allows you to pick and app and a gesture (zoom in, zoom out, swipe left, swipe right, etc) and make it perform a custom keyboard shortcut. See the attached screenshot for an idea. I'm hoping to release the app soon but I was hoping I could find a couple eager testers first. A good tester would know how to use Console.app to watch the log, be able to submit bugs or crash reports, and (obviously) own a MBA. Please email me at william.c.henderson (at the host) reed.edu if interested. Thanks,

William
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2097/2261153926_d07dc17321.jpg?v=0

Update: Public beta now available at http://wcrawford.org/



whenders0n
Feb 12, 2008, 01:33 PM
Reminder: this app will NOT enable gestures on any computer other than the MBA (and presumably the MBP if it ever gets updated). The purpose is to allow you to customize the behavior of gestures when your computer recognizes them, NOT to enable your computer to recognize them in the first place. Thanks for asking,

.wc

thesdx
Feb 12, 2008, 02:27 PM
Wow, I can't wait until this officially comes out. I would test it if I had my MBA, but I'm still saving up for it. :D I like how you can tell it to perform keyboard shortcuts for individual apps. It gives you a lot of flexibility.

ccclapp
Feb 12, 2008, 05:24 PM
...if you can make it work in Boot Camp, Ill be happy to test

jman2003
Feb 12, 2008, 05:52 PM
cool, I want to but i dont want to ruin my shiney, new macbook air!

whenders0n
Feb 12, 2008, 06:04 PM
cool, I want to but i dont want to ruin my shiney, new macbook air!

It's just a preference pane and an input manager. Beta yes but totally un-hacky. Worst case scenario you uninstall them and your back to a clean machine. Best,
wc

whenders0n
Feb 12, 2008, 06:21 PM
...if you can make it work in Boot Camp, Ill be happy to test
Sorry - since its a Cocoa (software-only) solution, I'd have to write separate Windows drivers from the ground up (which isn't going to happen). It's possible that I may be able to get it to work in Parallels, though.

xparaparafreakx
Feb 12, 2008, 06:47 PM
Ill be happy to test it. I want to try it with lots of apps.

Jimmie Geddes
Feb 12, 2008, 07:12 PM
I'd be happy to test it as well.

whenders0n
Feb 13, 2008, 02:27 PM
Thanks guys. I will have a solid beta ready by the end of the week.

whenders0n
Feb 13, 2008, 06:30 PM
Also looking for names. I'm thinking Multiclutch. Anyone?

R.Youden
Feb 13, 2008, 06:36 PM
Also looking for names. I'm thinking Multiclutch. Anyone?

Sounds like a pretty damn good name that.

I would like to have a play, but unfortunately I have no MBA so I can just guess what it will be like. Now if you want an icon and a basic website thrown together for it let me know, I want a little project to work on.

netdog
Feb 13, 2008, 06:55 PM
Put me on the beta-tester list

whenders0n
Feb 13, 2008, 06:56 PM
The website needs to be on my wordpress server but I'd love it if you want to do some design for it. And of course and icon would be welcomed. At this point Multiclutch is the theme.

Jimmie Geddes
Feb 13, 2008, 08:48 PM
Also looking for names. I'm thinking Multiclutch. Anyone?

Great name!!! I'm looking forward to testing, and congrats on being the 1st known 3rd party to incorporate the MBA's multi-touch into other apps:) Best of luck, can't wait to use it and talk about it on my site.

designed
Feb 14, 2008, 05:19 AM
Hey, this is brilliant! I thought about something like this when I visioned that I'd probably like my MBA to switch Spaces with the three-finger swipe instead of navigating Safari or whatnot.

Will join when I finally get my MBA...

chickenninja
Feb 14, 2008, 05:48 AM
once you get your basic left right swipping down you should try and rig it so that it can record a sequence of moves. so you could say draw a smilie face and BAMB! you get a smilie icon, dont forget the corners of the trackpad and how they could be used for expos'e. as far as a name i dont like multiclutch because the word clutch is out of place, the sound is nice..
call it "tips" or "tipZ" and have a zorro swipe that you can use to open the app.
"Glide"
"brush"
"air slide"
if you ever program into it a firmness controll you should have the levels of strength have names like "feather" "breeze" "rain" "scratch"
if i had an air id help a out

nagromme
Feb 14, 2008, 06:03 AM
Cool! And if you could add support for scroll-up and scroll-down (and maybe left and right) - the two finger gesture, I mean - that would be great for some apps that have no use for conventional wheel scrolling.

Wish I had an Air to help. I don't.... yet :)

I'd use this in games for sure.

whenders0n
Feb 14, 2008, 01:29 PM
Hey, this is brilliant! I thought about something like this when I visioned that I'd probably like my MBA to switch Spaces with the three-finger swipe instead of navigating Safari or whatnot.

Will join when I finally get my MBA...

That's a good idea. I just added 'Global' app settings, but unfortunately the current version posts events to a given app (not globally) so Spaces won't catch it. I could rewrite the key-posting layer a bit and make it work. I'm not sure if its a good idea though because in Carbon apps it's never going to work. What do you guys think?

shreddog
Feb 14, 2008, 09:07 PM
Sounds interesting. I'm in.

maximilianblue
Feb 14, 2008, 09:25 PM
count me in :D

whenders0n
Feb 16, 2008, 02:02 AM
Thanks to all who emailed. Beta 1 just went out and things are coming along really nicely. I've been using it for several days for swipe-tabbing in Safari, pinch-minimizing globally, and zooming to open and close emails in Mail. You can even define some sequential gestures (ie a Pinch In, Pinch out in a continuous motion). I've attached a screenshot of how it's coming along and the beta testers should feel free to chime in on their experience. Again, if you'd like to be on the beta list please EMAIL me (william dot c dot henderson at the server reed dot edu) and I will put you on it. For everyone else, I'm hoping to have a semi-public beta within a week or two if things keep going well. Best,

wchttp://farm3.static.flickr.com/2215/2268696570_aa1a816048.jpg?v=0

Jimmie Geddes
Feb 16, 2008, 06:00 PM
Just sent you an email to ask if I could beta test. It looks like it's coming along great.

whenders0n
Feb 19, 2008, 01:08 PM
The second beta is available. This beta is very stable and has no known issues. I'm hoping that the general release will be available sometime in the next week or two.

dahcheet
Feb 19, 2008, 03:27 PM
Did you see what Apple sent in to the Patent Office?

http://www.engadget.com/2008/02/19/apple-patent-hints-at-advanced-multitouch-features-iphone-cop/

jaykk
Feb 19, 2008, 03:48 PM
I am getting my MBA tonight, I will be interested in this beta as well.

whenders0n
Feb 21, 2008, 11:50 PM
Feedback has been good thus far, and I am pleased to announce that I am now releasing the current version as a public beta!

Please Read the following Carefully before Downloading:

It should go without saying that a Macbook Air running Leopard is required to run it. It also goes without saying that even though MultiClutch is a simple tool that does not manipulate your data in any way, you should have a backup before you install it just incase something goes horribly, horribly wrong. MultiClutch is beta software and I am not responsible for any harm it may cause you, your computer, your data, your pet hamster, your love life, or your favorite sweatshirt.

Installation
When you double click the preference pane, it will offer to install it. Once you do that, it will ask you to install the input manager that actually handles the input from the trackpad. The auto install method uses a secure helper app to install the input manager in (root)/Library/Input Managers and set the correct permissions for it. After you type in your password and the input manger is installed, System Preferences will launch and you will have to select the MultiClutch pref pane (in the future I may make this selection automatic). Please note that the input manger will not be available in applications until they are restarted.

Use
When you first use MultiClutch, 4 gestures (Rotate Left, Swipe Left, Swipe Right, Zoom in) will be defined for 'Global'. Global should be thought of as the default behavior in any application if that application doesn't have another shortcut defined for the given gesture. To define gestures for individual applications, click the left most plus icon and add a Cocoa application. You can then select an Application or Global and give it gestures by clicking the right most plus button, selecting a gesture (or typing it in) with the combo box and giving it a shortcut. When you double click a shortcut, it will allow you to set the shortcut directly by performing it. It will not set keystrokes that are not shortcuts. Gestures that you define should be immediately available in their respective apps (assuming you restarted them after installing the input manager).
In applications that already support gestures (Preview, Safari, etc), if no gesture is given for them specifically or in Global then the default implementation will still work. For example, rotate will have its original functionality in Preview if nothing else is defined - even if zooming or swiping is defined for preview.
If you are curious or having issues, please use Console.app (in your Utilities folder) to track console messages. MultiClutch does a lot of logging in its beta form so that you can see what its doing if you are having issues. Also, you can check out the preferences file, com.wonderboots.MultiClutchBindings.plist, which is intentionally a human readable format that might help debugging with bindings-related issues.

Known Issues
-MultiClutch currently has issues sending some kinds of keystrokes that are handled on a system-wide basis - for example Spaces or Application switching. Future updates will address this issue.
-Input managers are not supported (and hence MultiClutch) in Carbon Apps (iTunes, MS Office, Finder). This will almost certainly not change.

Download
Phew! I bet your ready to use it! Please send feedback to me at this address, and if its a bug report try to include details such as exact steps taken, system setup, what the log is doing, and perhaps your preferences file if it is related to your gesture bindings.

Download URL:

http://people.reed.edu/~hendersw/MultiClutch_%20beta2.prefPane.zip
(http://people.reed.edu/~hendersw/MultiClutch_%20beta2.prefPane.zip)
Enjoy!

riyadc2
Feb 22, 2008, 02:46 AM
Anyone know how I can close the current tab in Safari with this program? I tried Command+W and it closes the entire window instead of the current tab.

edwardjung
Feb 23, 2008, 12:12 AM
William, nice work. By any chance are you the w.henderson who worked on NeXT applications long ago?

whenders0n
Feb 23, 2008, 02:51 AM
William, nice work. By any chance are you the w.henderson who worked on NeXT applications long ago?

that's pretty awesome that a guy a NeXT was also w.henderson, but it wasn't me!

macsimonwoo
Feb 24, 2008, 01:43 AM
i was testing this with firefox Command+[ for navigation back, seems like it does not work..maybe firefox is not an cocoa application??

whenders0n
Feb 25, 2008, 01:28 AM
Firefox isn't Cocoa =(. You might try Camino (or Safari!). I've heard there are some nightly builds of a 'cocoa' Firefox - but I'm not sure that if it's a true Cocoa app or not. I'd be curious to find out if you do try it...

macsimonwoo
Feb 25, 2008, 09:05 AM
i am currently running Camino....

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 10:01 AM
Update: I've got non-application shortcuts (ie Spaces) working and I'm going to be releasing a (real) public beta very soon, in honor of the new Macbook Pros. Watch this space or my blog (wcrawford.org) for the link. Best,

wc

wordy
Feb 27, 2008, 01:17 PM
Can someone that's running this please try to bind any gesture in Safari to command+L please. When performed, the action should take you to the location bar. I can't seem to get it to work.

Also, I noticed that when an action is bound to Cmd-opt-B ("Show all bookmarks") it performs cmd-option-shift-B, which (with Saft) opens the side bar.

In console, it IS sending the right command.

This has real potential, thanks to the developer!

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 01:24 PM
Can someone that's running this please try to bind any gesture in Safari to command+L please. When performed, the action should take you to the location bar. I can't seem to get it to work.

Also, I noticed that when an action is bound to Cmd-opt-B ("Show all bookmarks") it performs cmd-option-shift-B, which (with Saft) opens the side bar.

In console, it IS sending the right command.

This has real potential, thanks to the developer!

Strange. I'm now running the new (aforementioned) version and I have no trouble binding either of these. I'm thinking the way that the new version handles input will take care of your issues, but please let me know if not. I'll be posting the new version tonight.

wordy
Feb 27, 2008, 01:34 PM
Hi William, thanks for your fast response.

It's strange because I've tried binding to almost all the "plain vanilla" key combinations (i.e. command-X, where x is any letter) and they work as expected.

An earlier post mentioned that cmd+w was being interpreted as cmd-shift-w (specifically for safari this closes the whole window rather than the single tab). I've tried this binding and once again console shows correctly that it is sending cmd-w.

Looking forward to the new version!

lofight
Feb 27, 2008, 01:35 PM
very nice software idea!! many people would love this!! Why don't i have a MBA now :(

wordy
Feb 27, 2008, 01:40 PM
Shift-cmd-H in Safari (go to homepage) is sent correctly according to console, but interpreted as Cmd-H (hide window).

I think it has something to do with how it handles capital letters?

Someone other than the dev try these out and respond if you can duplicate the problems please :)

riyadc2
Feb 27, 2008, 01:51 PM
Shift-cmd-H in Safari (go to homepage) is sent correctly according to console, but interpreted as Cmd-H (hide window).

I think it has something to do with how it handles capital letters?

Someone other than the dev try these out and respond if you can duplicate the problems please :)

i have a similar problem, it sends Shift+cmd+W (which is close window) when i want it to send cmd+w (which is close tab) in Safari.

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 02:49 PM
For those of you who are comfortable, please try the following (unfinished) beta:
http://people.reed.edu/~hendersw/MultiClutch_beta3.prefPane.zip
It should FIX the issues you guys are having with keyboard shortcuts not behaving as expected. Notice, though, that this beta doesn't have the finished formatter for the bindings columns in the pref pane. Thus, you will see things like '55,4' instead of 'apple-h' because it's just displaying the raw keycodes. This will be finished tonight, but I figured it would make sense to have a couple of you verify that the new input handler does fix these issues before I release the beta more widely. Thanks!

NOTE: This beta is not as well tested as the last two and should be considered for the intrepid only. It's likely to have a few strange kinks (nothing threatening, but still).

wordy
Feb 27, 2008, 03:09 PM
No luck with the key codes for me. I think it is sending them, for example, if I swipe up right now (multiple times), this is what happens: 55,1355,1355,1355,1355,1355,13 (I have swipe up set to Cmd+W in safari)

Guess I'll just have to wait for the version tonight :D

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 03:17 PM
No luck with the key codes for me. I think it is sending them, for example, if I swipe up right now (multiple times), this is what happens: 55,1355,1355,1355,1355,1355,13 (I have swipe up set to Cmd+W in safari)

Guess I'll just have to wait for the version tonight :D

Oh i forgot: important note: :)
You've got to uninstall the old input manager (delete it from [root]/Library/InputManagers) before using this. Guess that's one of the strange kinks.

And you might want to delete your prefs for good measure. It should be fine if you just redfine all the bindings but the new version uses a totally new format so all the old bindings WILL NOT WORK.

riyadc2
Feb 27, 2008, 03:32 PM
How do I delete the prefs? Just manually remove the bindings?

wordy
Feb 27, 2008, 03:33 PM
It works wonderfully now! I can't find a bind (in Safari at least) that DOESN'T work.

Deleted the following before installing new version:
~/Library/PreferencePanes/MultiClutch.prefpane
~/Library/Preferences/com.wonderboots.MultiClutchBindings.plist
/Library/InputManagers/MultiClutchInputManager

I had the installer set for current user only, if you did a global install the first two above probably won't apply.

designed
Feb 27, 2008, 06:30 PM
Finally got my MBA today and I installed MultiClutch. Concept seems to work, the only problem is that I configured MC to do a global ctrl-left/right on swipe left/right to change Spaces and now it does the swipe right once and then just dies until I go mess with either Spaces or MC prefpane. Seems like the swipes don't work unless I have the MC prefpane active.

But it's getting there...

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 10:05 PM
Finally got my MBA today and I installed MultiClutch. Concept seems to work, the only problem is that I configured MC to do a global ctrl-left/right on swipe left/right to change Spaces and now it does the swipe right once and then just dies until I go mess with either Spaces or MC prefpane. Seems like the swipes don't work unless I have the MC prefpane active.

But it's getting there...

I think probably what is happening is either you haven't relaunched the app that is activating when you switch spaces (and thus the input manager isn't loaded) or it is a Carbon app. The latter, sadly, greatly diminished the usefulness of using swipes to switch spaces. As far as I know, there is no way of getting bindings implemented in Carbon apps short of rewriting the driver for the trackpad.

whenders0n
Feb 27, 2008, 11:27 PM
Ok here is the release. Please get back to me with feedback, as I'm hoping this is the one that I can post for the general public. Thanks!
http://people.reed.edu/~hendersw/MultiClutch.prefPane_beta4.zip

wordy
Feb 28, 2008, 12:23 AM
beta4 seems to work fine in Safari, but I too get the Spaces problem. Regardless of which action, it doesn't seem to work unless you're in the main space. In console, no commands are being sent (or at least none are being logged) when in a space other than the primary one.

I've noticed after you perform the one change, the spaces "icon" which graphically shows which space you're in seems to hang (same behavior if you push ctrl+ --> and then continue to hold ctrl down). You have to press a button or move the cursor for it to disappear. Not sure if that implies the action is based on a release of the trigger key, or if it's just that the gestures won't work in a space other than the primary one.

Also, had to set gesture as a global bind, as it wouldn't work when specified for the Spaces app only (this makes sense, but just mentioning for people trying to replicate the problem).

riyadc2
Feb 28, 2008, 12:26 AM
From where do I download the latest release?

whenders0n
Feb 28, 2008, 12:27 AM
beta4 seems to work fine in Safari, but I too get the Spaces problem. Regardless of which action, it doesn't seem to work unless you're in the main space. In console, no commands are being sent (or at least none are being logged) when in a space other than the primary one.

I've noticed after you perform the one change, the spaces "icon" which graphically shows which space you're in seems to hang (same behavior if you push ctrl+ --> and then continue to hold ctrl down). You have to press a button or move the cursor for it to disappear. Not sure if that implies the action is based on a release of the trigger key, or if it's just that the gestures won't work in a space other than the primary one.

Also, had to set gesture as a global bind, as it wouldn't work when specified for the Spaces app only (this makes sense, but just mentioning for people trying to replicate the problem).
The logging should be totally disabled now. Sounds like you may still have some apps running the old input manager. It's important to restart all apps after installing the new input manager. Better yet, log out and back in. Please let me know if switching spaces while in a Cocoa app doesn't work. Best,

wc

wordy
Feb 28, 2008, 12:48 AM
Ahh, ok, if I put a Safari window in each space it does work as expected. Stupid carbon Finder. Would it be possible to just write some basic cocoa app that would run in the background to catch the global actions?

I don't even use Spaces, so to me the Safari capabilities make this worth it already! :)

One suggestion: would it be possible to put a delay on the interpretation of input? This would allow you to introduce more functionality, with say, rotate right + pinch, or rotate left +swipe down. Basically extending the zoom in + zoom out idea.

I think this is ready for general release.

designed
Feb 28, 2008, 08:53 AM
Ahh, ok, if I put a Safari window in each space it does work as expected. Stupid carbon Finder. Would it be possible to just write some basic cocoa app that would run in the background to catch the global actions?


Oh yeah, forgot that Finder is a Carbon app. Nevermind then.

sWaltuo
Feb 28, 2008, 11:19 AM
Hey, this is brilliant! I thought about something like this when I visioned that I'd probably like my MBA to switch Spaces with the three-finger swipe instead of navigating Safari or whatnot.

Will join when I finally get my MBA...

I was thinking this exact same thing earlier this morning. It would be an awesome addition to Leopard's Spaces!!

The possibilities are endless .. [EXCITEMENT]

whenders0n
Feb 28, 2008, 02:58 PM
MultiClutch public beta is out.

see wcrawford.org
and Dig it (http://digg.com/apple/New_App_Lets_You_Customize_Multitouch_on_Macbook_Air_Pro)

mcvaughan
Feb 28, 2008, 03:03 PM
Nice work, Will.

Pukey
Mar 1, 2008, 02:14 AM
Hey, great idea whenders0n! It's great to see people making really helpful apps like this. Do you foresee this working with many different programs? One I would be curious about is would it work in Flash? It would be really handy to use a swipe to flip through frames.
Keep up the good work!

whenders0n
Mar 1, 2008, 04:56 PM
Hey, great idea whenders0n! It's great to see people making really helpful apps like this. Do you foresee this working with many different programs? One I would be curious about is would it work in Flash? It would be really handy to use a swipe to flip through frames.
Keep up the good work!

I currently will work with any cocoa app. Not sure if Flash is cocoa or not - anyone?

Pukey
Mar 1, 2008, 06:21 PM
I currently will work with any cocoa app. Not sure if Flash is cocoa or not - anyone?

I thought it would be easy enough to find the language that was used to program Flash on the information superhighway, but I was wrong. Haven't been able to find it yet.

whenders0n
Mar 3, 2008, 01:04 AM
I thought it would be easy enough to find the language that was used to program Flash on the information superhighway, but I was wrong. Haven't been able to find it yet.

Sadly, my guess is it probably isn't. Most cross-platform apps are written in Carbon or Java.

dhartung02
Mar 7, 2008, 02:41 PM
Where can i get a copy of this to try and test out?

nagromme
Mar 10, 2008, 12:51 AM
Here:

http://wcrawford.org/2008/02/28/everytime-i-think-about-you-i-touch-my-cell/

(Still awaiting my Air--but I look forward to giving this a try!)

MacNutty
Mar 10, 2008, 10:12 PM
Sign me up!

higgalls
Mar 22, 2008, 09:39 PM
Hey,

Please excuse my ignorance. I am new to the Mac world (I bought a Macbook Pro a few days ago).

What are Cocoa and Carbon apps? Why won't Multiclutch work with Carbon apps?

Also, any idea when the next version will be available?

Cheers,
Chris :)

nagromme
Mar 24, 2008, 12:37 AM
What are Cocoa and Carbon apps? Why won't Multiclutch work with Carbon apps?

Oversimpified, approximate answer:

Carbon apps are generally apps that existed before OS X, and use APIs from the Classic Mac OS heritage. Cocoa apps are generally newer apps, using NeXT-derived APIs (NeXTstep being a predecessor of OS X).

Carbon apps are generally just as good as Cocoa apps, but they do have certain limitations.

james.b
Apr 5, 2008, 10:53 AM
Ok, so apparently it doesnt work with CS3 because it is carbon, not cocoa.

However it did work or me, rather intermittently. FYI I have a penryn 2.5 with wacom intuos 3 tablet 6 x 11.

Does anyone know the conditions it does work in, because I had to restart and it suddenly stopped working. I am getting annoyed as it as working so sweeet.

Regards

James

nagromme
Apr 6, 2008, 11:35 PM
Just read about your laptop theft, whenders0n. Wow--that's terrible! Sorry to hear about that. I hope you didn't lose the only copy of any important data. What a pain having to change passwords etc.--my friend had a laptop stolen last year and it was a nightmare. She lost all her personal photos, all her Word docs, and her music collection.

I think if you report the theft to Apple they will add your serial number (which they can find from your order or registration) to a database. Then if anyone ever brings the thing in for service to Apple, the authorities can be notified. Not sure where I heard that, but it's worth checking on.

I got my Air, so I'm sure I'll be giving your app a shot soon!

higgalls
Apr 9, 2008, 07:29 AM
Hey,

What is the link to the most current version of Multiclutch?

I downloaded one from the website, but it doesn't set up any default ones in the global at all (the developer says there should be 4 default ones, aren't there?).

Has anyone else picked up development of this also, since the source code is available? Any idea when the next version will be available?

Sorry for all the questions.

Cheers,
Chris

InSaNeCyAnUr
Oct 25, 2008, 02:51 PM
Is this project still alive and did it get tested with the new MBP (4 fingers gestures)??