Message #1271

From: Melinda Green <>
Subject: Re: [MC4D] Re: Announcing MC4D for Android
Date: Sat, 27 Nov 2010 15:03:04 -0800


Android does give you all the low-level events for any number of
simultaneous fingers, though at present only up to two are supported. It
is difficult to use that data and really needs to be wrapped in an
utility service, but the data is there. I had to implement the
pinch-zooming from scratch which seemed odd.

That is a good idea to use the extra finger data to somehow implement 4D
rotations but I think that people are too used to pinch-zooming for me
to do much else with multi-finger gestures. I would like to allow Z
rotations at in addition to zooming, however, and I could even imagine
applying that sort of rotation gesture applied to individual faces,
which would definitely be cool, if a bit tricky to implement.


On 11/27/2010 8:41 AM, Roice Nelson wrote:
> Hi Melinda,
> One nice feature I’ve seen on laptop touchpads is the use of
> multi-touch dragging to control browser panning. If Android can
> distinguish between normal single-finger dragging and multi-touch
> dragging (and it seems like it might since it has pinching), the
> latter might be a viable way to support a 4D rotation mode.
> On my laptop, browser panning (both horizontal and vertical) is
> controlled by single-finger dragging along the edges of the touchpad,
> so that could be another option.
> Take Care,
> Roice
> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 10:29 PM, Melinda Green
> < <>> wrote:
> Andrey,
> I’m glad that you got it installed and have been playing with it.
> There
> are certainly several big usability problems with the first
> version and
> I intend to address some of them but it is really not meant to be
> anything but a toy to fool with and show off. I would feel somewhat
> horrified if anyone attempted a real solution with it, especially as
> there is no way to save and load log files. I don’t want to encourage
> that and almost didn’t include a "full" scramble option for that
> reason.
> Still, I would like it to be somewhat useful as a portable practice
> tool. I don’t want to add a control panel or menu modes for this
> reason.
> The one mode I would love to support is the 4D shift-dragging
> which is a
> wonderful way to show off the 4D nature of the puzzle and to get
> at the
> invisible face. I just don’t see a good way to do any of these things.
> Note too that there is no control, shift, or other modifier keys
> supported since there is no natural way to do that in Android that
> I can
> see. I implemented counter-clockwise twists as long taps, so if
> you hold
> your finger down for more than a quarter second before releasing,
> it is
> supposed to twist CCW, but obviously that’s difficult to do without
> triggering 3D rotation.
> I definitely want to tune the autorotation threshold which I agree is
> too sensitive. It makes me crazy too.
> I also need to not perform scrambling twists on the outer face because
> there is no way for the user to deal with them.
> I’m considering just turning this into a 2^4 puzzle because it is so
> hard to accurately select from such tiny stickers, even with
> pinch-zooming, and it’s very hard to twist on the central face because
> of this and the difficulty of reaching between the other faces. I
> would
> appreciate anyone’s opinion on the choice of puzzle because I would be
> sad to not offer the full 3^4 but it may just be too un-fun.
> The tablet platform seems like another thing altogether. Large puzzles
> may be usable there, and a large, high resolution plus a multi-touch
> interface may provide a much more direct experience with the
> puzzle than
> our current desktop applications. When I went back to the desktop
> app I
> found that I missed that sort of direct, tactile connection with the
> puzzle. I definitely need to think about the possibilities for this
> platform a lot more.
> One nice thing is that I have gotten the better part of 1,000
> downloads
> in less than 48 hours, so it is generating a good bit of interest.
> Much
> more so than my other apps so there is certainly some interest out
> there
> which I hope will lead more people to try the full-featured app and to
> join our nice little community of hyper-puzzlers!
> Thanks for testing and for your suggestions,
> -Melinda