Applications and Desktop control

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on UNIX and Linux.

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Applications and Desktop control

Post by arigram » Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:09 pm

I recently switched from Windows to Linux, Ubuntu 7.10 to be exact and I am very happy to have left the Dark Ages behind.

Most people view 3DConnexion's devices as accessories to certain 3D applications, but my perception is broader as I work with it like a second mouse. Or at least I would loved to.

Below, is quoted text I made in the Ubuntu Forums.
I am aware that it has very little value, as someone needs to do the work and certainly someone for every application, but in any case, I thought it would be relevant at the official 3DConnexion Forums.
I hope some day, the device will get the position it deserves and take over the hand from the keyboard.
I got one lately and it has become an important tool in my computer graphics work. Too bad its not very much supported across the system, even though the code is there for all to work with.
Its exactly like having a second mouse, one can even eliminate the keyboard in many cases, or cut down its use to a minimum. Any graphic artist can see the advantage of that.
In general its very much like playing a musical instrument: you use both hands. Imagine trying to play a guitar or piano with just one; possible, but you limit your music. Or for the gamers, like playing an FPS with just one hand...
The Navigator compliments the Mouse and they work at the same time.

I believe that its use could be well defined and embedded in many computer applications and it well become an important tool in one's computer experience, an input device as important as the mouse and the keyboard. Its analog sensitivity, many directions of movement and comfort of use are exactly what one needs to compliment the mouse.

Here's a list of ideas; applications it could have (and not even mentioning 3D apps):

Pan around the desktop, move around filenames, zoom in/out, switch viewports, control the cube, move and resize windows, control cursor in CLI/forms

Word Processor/DTP
Move the cursor/object, zoom in/out, pan view/scroll page(s)

Web Browser
Pan view, zoom in/out, scroll through forms

Image Viewer
Pan larger that screen/window image, zoom in/out, flip through images

Photo/Graphics Editor (bitmap, vector)
Pan view, zoom in/out, move/scale/transform object, control amount of transformation/filter/etc

Music/Video Player
Start/Pause/Stop Buttons, Next/Previous track/video, move position in track/video, control volume

Video Editor
A/B Roll-like Editing controls

Control movement of character (instead of AWSD in FPS), control weapons, pan view, zoom in/out (analog movement in FPS, natural control for arcade/puzzle games, view and control at the same time in RTS, move character and aim their weapons in RTS and RPG, etc)

etc, etc...

The possibilities are endless, the code is out there, it is an important input device, so it HAS to be supported.

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Post by Absum » Thu Nov 08, 2007 9:01 pm

I would say that generally the benefits of this sort of stuff wouldn't quite match up to the work it would require. I would really love to be able to use my spacenavigator more thou.

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Post by marcus » Mon May 05, 2008 2:51 am

It's not *that* much work. I'm working on SXEmacs support for the spacepilot at the moment. After this will come the jack plugin for audio stuff (having it send MIDI events and what not).

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Post by BeWi » Sat May 24, 2008 4:15 pm

Couldn't this device simply emulate the mouse cursor movements ?

I would love to throw my old mouse outside the door. This static SpaceMouse is much more handier and convenient, since you dont have to shrubb the mouse all along.

For example: If an application would not make use of the SpaceMouse, it could be a simple mouse.

If I move the mouse left or right or forth and back, it should be the mouse movement. And the buttons left and right are the left-click and right-click of your (old) mouse.

Wasn't that an idea ?

Best wishes

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Post by Mithodin » Thu May 29, 2008 3:54 am

I agree, that would be a very nice feature, please implement it ;-)

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Post by crobl » Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:04 am


you can control the mouse cursor with our 3D mice, but you'll lack the mouse buttons. This seems to be a limitation of the evdev driver (regarding to its documentation), which just processes buttons that are declared as mouse buttons (via the device firmware). The buttons of our 3D mice aren't declared this way.

For those who still want to try controlling the mouse cursor, please open the xorg.conf and add the following lines in
Section "ServerLayout":

Code: Select all

InputDevice  "3DMouse" "CorePointer"
and create a new InputDevice section for "3DMouse:

Code: Select all

Section "InputDevice"
    Identifier    "3DMouse"
    Driver    "evdev"
    Option    "Name" "3Dconnexion *"
    Option    "Pass" "3"
    Option    "Mode" "Relative"
Now kill and/or restart your XServer with <CTRL><ALT><BACKSPACE> or init 4/init 5 (e.g. Fedora). If you have your SpaceNavigator connected you can now control the mouse cursor.



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Post by arigram » Sat Jul 05, 2008 4:10 am

That's great!
Do you know how can one access the buttons of the Navigator in some other way?
My goal would be to make them accessible through Nautilus in Gnome and/or Compiz.

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Use the mouse via WindowsXP

Post by berndpitrowski » Sat Aug 02, 2008 2:54 am

Where do I find the "xorg.conf" File?

Bernd Pitrowski

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Post by UtaSH » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:16 am

Hi Bernd,

the xorg.conf is in /etc/X11.

Code: Select all

find / -name xorg.conf


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Post by berndpitrowski » Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:53 am

Do I also find this file in WindowsXP?

Sorry but I cannot find any of the listed files. :?:

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Post by colezero » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:56 am

This is only Linux specific. X11 or X Window System is the windowing system for linux.
Without X you can have only a console based linux, no desktop.

MS Windows has its own system.

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