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Ubuntu 10.10 – First official multitouch details from Mark Shuttleworth

In his latest blog post, Canonical's ex-CEO, Mark Shuttleworth, has revealed the first solid details of the multitouch and gesture recognition features in Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat)...

“Multitouch is just as useful on a desktop as it is on a phone or tablet, so I’m delighted that the first cut of Canonical’s UTouch framework has landed in Maverick Meerkat and will be there for its release on 10.10.10,” announced ex-Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth in a blog post today.

According to the blog, Canonical are currently targetting the Dell XT2 as a development environment, so anyone with that machine will get the best results from the Ubuntu 10.10 builds currently in circulation. Shuttleworth was quick to point out, though, that the multitoch and gesture-based functionality of Ubuntu 10.10 will work with ‘a range of devices from major manufactures, and with addons like Apple’s Magic Trackpad’ come Maverick Meerkat’s release on the 10th October this year.

“The design team has lead the way, developing a “touch language” which goes beyond the work that we’ve seen elsewhere,” continues Shuttleworth. “Rather than single, magic gestures, we’re making it possible for basic gestures to be chained, or composed, into more sophisticated “sentences”. The basic gestures, or primitives, are like individual verbs, and stringing them together allows for richer interactions. It’s not quite the difference between banging rocks together and conducting a symphony orchestra, but it feels like a good step in the right direction.”

You can learn more about this exciting development (including insights into post-10.10 development) on Shuttleworth’s blog here, or the official Canonical blog post here.

You can find more Ubuntu 10.10 news and opinion here.

Is this the future of Linux? Let us know your thoughts in the comments thread below…