OLPC has announced its software goals for the next-generation XO Laptop. While the group isn’t ready to launch an XO tablet yet, the XO-1.75 Laptop will have a touchscreen display, and the software developers are working on adding support for multitouch gestures — which will also come into play when the tablet is ready for release.

As part of the effort, a team member has ported the multi-lingual virtual keyboard from MeeGo to work with the XO Laptop’s Sugar OS. You can check out a demo video of the on-screen keyboard in action.

One of the biggest challenges to developing Sugar OS for the XO 1.75 is that the team has decided to continue using Fedora as the base Linux distribution — and Fedora doesn’t currently fully support ARM processors like the one used by the new laptop. So OLPC is working Fedora to port the operating system to work with ARM-based chips.

via OLPC News

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12 replies on “OLPC XO 1.75 Laptop to support multi-touch”

  1. One interesting thing that I get confused with is, that the Bangla text keyboard would be a touch?

    It could mean that we can expect the next version with touch facilities.

      1. I don’t doubt it. That sound you hear is a bunch of Fedora users and developers on that mailing list scratching their heads. 😉

        That doesn’t mean there isn’t likely work to do to switch to the ARM distro on their specific machine and software stack, drivers and such, but that sounds like that’s not what they said.

      2. OK, looks like it’s not *fully* supported yet, and there’s no Fedora 13 ARM port at all yet. If I’m reading correctly. I’ve slightly tweaked the language in this post.

        1. I’m still not sure that’s a Fedora thing, though. I think it has more to do with ARM support on upstream packages. Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian all appear to have excellent support.

          1. I don’t mean to quibble, but Ubuntu and Debian have objectively better ARM support than Fedora, in that an ARM build of the latest release of both Debian and Ubuntu is available, and an ARM build of the latest release of Fedora is not available.

            – Chris.

    1. Hi! I wrote the OLPC post, and said that ARM isn’t a release architecture in Fedora, which is true. I didn’t mean to imply that Fedora has *no* ARM support, which is untrue, but I think it’s fair to say that there’s a fair bit of work to be done to make ARM a first-class citizen in the Fedora world (like creating Fedora 13 and Fedora Rawhide builds for ARM, which currently don’t exist at all), and we’ll be helping with that at OLPC.

      Sorry for the confusion!

      – Chris.

      1. No worries. I think what you wrote was technically true — I only garbled it because of my relatively limited understanding of how Linux development works.

        Thanks for weighing in!

      2. Chris, would you characterize this as different from the situation on, say, Ubuntu?

        I guess it’s a glass half full / half empty situation; I’ve been impressed on both Ubuntu and Fedora how much work *is* done, given these art distros explicitly targeting the platform and are usually thought of as desktop distros! 😉

        By the way, multitouch support – fantastic. There’s some really great progress there.

        1. Yes. I can download Ubuntu Lucid for ARM, but I can not download Fedora 13 for ARM, because it doesn’t exist. That’s why the situation is different.

          I’m not trying to disparage Fedora when I say that — it’s just a statement of reality. I’m also not being pessimistic; I hope that we’ll be able to help make Fedora 13 exist for ARM very soon, and I’m sure that it would even happen without OLPC’s help, just perhaps not as quickly.


          – Chris.

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