Windows 8 input changes and improvements discussed

Microsoft is making a big bet on Windows 8, particularly on its Metro touch screen interface. Now the company is giving some information to app developers about how it has developed the input features for the operating system and how developers can use them to make better Windows 8 apps.

In a new post on the Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft goes into some very technical details on how the company has created the different input layers for the OS. It states:

At the bottom are the Windows Runtime Input APIs – providing the most power and flexibility. Built on top of those are the gesture and pointer events in the HTML and XAML frameworks, which provide common gesture and raw data events for apps. Finally, the app templates and controls provide basic functionality that that you can use in a variety of situations.

Microsoft said it has tried to unify all of the different types of input methods for Windows 8 (mouse, touch, pen, touchpads) into one API surface it calls "pointer". Using it should allow app developers to more easily create input programming for their apps, instead of trying to develop separate input programming for each input method.

The blog post also goes into detail, with example programming code, on how Windows 8 apps can handle touch gestures, along with other topics.

Source: Windows 8 app developer blog

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13 Comments

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mutualcore said,
What I want to know is if Windows 8 will come with a system dictionary like OS X.

Yes. It's been in there since the DP

Edit: Wait. Nevermind, I was thinking of spellcheck for some reason...

Edited by x9_, Jul 4 2012, 5:01am :

x9_ said,

Yes. It's been in there since the DP

Edit: Wait. Nevermind, I was thinking of spellcheck for some reason...

Since it has spellcheck on the whole OS, then it should use a dictionary otherwise how would it even work?

GP007 said,

Since it has spellcheck on the whole OS, then it should use a dictionary otherwise how would it even work?

Yeah it does, its embedded in the language files but there's no interface to use it

SierraSonic said,
Windows 8 desperately needs a global back button.

Who needs buttons... I hate buttons and I rather use gestures to nativate instead of clicking on buttons to navigate. =D

SierraSonic said,
Windows 8 desperately needs a global back button.
Backspace works (like web browser).
Also, if you use a mouse with a physical previous button it works too.

SierraSonic said,
Windows 8 desperately needs a global back button.

Windows 8 has a global back button...well, sort of. Just point to the upper left-hand corner of the screen and click, ta-da!

One API for four very different input methods? By definition, it will have to be a series of compromises, serving no one method very well.

TsarNikky said,
One API for four very different input methods? By definition, it will have to be a series of compromises, serving no one method very well.

That depends on how the actual physical input methods themselves are constructed. If you build the input method using the API as a sort of "spec" then no I wouldn't think there to be any compromise at all.

TsarNikky said,
One API for four very different input methods? By definition, it will have to be a series of compromises, serving no one method very well.

Mouse click = touch tap

Mouse right click = touch tap-and-hold

Mouse scroll = touch panning up/down

Mouse double click = touch double tap

It's really not too tough to group them into one single set.

TsarNikky said,
One API for four very different input methods? By definition, it will have to be a series of compromises, serving no one method very well.

If you were to actually read the blog post rather than your usual "Win8 is evil" meme, you would see the reasons why multiple event types are wrong, and how grouping different input type events into one makes it easier for developers.

nohone said,

If you were to actually read the blog post rather than your usual "Win8 is evil" meme, you would see the reasons why multiple event types are wrong, and how grouping different input type events into one makes it easier for developers.

Leave him with his bowl of hate, hes happy!