Multiple Pointers in X

After having read Brice Goglin’s post about what to expect in X for Lenny [1] the thing that seemed most exciting is the support for Multi-Pointer X [2]. This allows multiple keyboards and mouses with a separate keyboard focus for each. So you can have two people typing two different things on the one desktop.

This should be good for training related to GUI programs and will also have some interesting possibilities for large displays. I wonder if the concept of Pair Programming [3] could benefit from having two keyboards and mouses. The idea is that one person isn’t actively coding, but following what the active coder is doing may require reviewing other code that is not visible on screen.

Another interesting feature is XACE [4] the X Access Control Extension. Among other things this is used for Security Enhanced X. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time to work on SE-X in Debian before Lenny is released.

2 comments to Multiple Pointers in X

  • Gobby[0] was invented exactly because two keyboards and mouses are actually helpful in pair programming even though one programmer is probably less active than the other and checks the modifications of the other. It actually enables him to correct the changes on his own (especially if those are simple typos the other doesn’t need to go back).

    But this solution still needs two screens/two keyboards/two computers… (or with multiple cursor X one screen / two keyboards / two gobby to provide two distinct cursors)


  • The plural “mouses” seems to be something that some old computer magazines tried and couldn’t get to stick. The xorg site and docs, as well as the Linux /Documentation directory, use “mice”.