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Mouse support

Summary

The Oberon TUI and GUI can be controlled at best with a 3-button mouse as originally designed. However, many potential Oberon users have systems fitted with 2-button mice and are not ready to acquire another mouse in spite of the low cost. The 2-button support is particularly welcomed by users liking track balls.

Oberon can be controlled:

  1. with a 3-button mouse as originally designed. The mouse buttons are, by convention, named from left to right ML, MM and MR.

  2. with a 2-button mouse (ML, MR), substituting the missing MM button by the keyboard Ctrl-key (left and right).

  3. with a 2-button mouse (ML, MR), replacing a MM click by a succession of two ML clicks. The first ML click sets the caret as is usual. The second ML click, at the same mouse focus, is interpreted like a MM click. The second click may occur any time after setting the caret, on the condition that the mouse focus is not changed. Or else, the caret is moved. This basic rule should be easily mastered by expert 3-button mouse users. Of course, this device was introduced at the cost of some loss of comfort as is documented in the subsequent tables.

When Oberon is started, it is ready to be controlled with a 2-button mouse according to 3., irrespective of the mouse type. If the mouse has effectively 2 buttons, hitting the F8-key switches the mode of operation to 2. But, if on hitting the F8-key Oberon recognizes the signals of a 3-button mouse, it will switch the mode of operation to 1. The change of mode is made apparent by the tiny double-arrow icon at the left of the NamePlate of open documents in the GUI and by an equivalent icon in the menu bar of documents in the TUI.

With a 3-button mouse installed, one can practice the modes 2. and 3. by simply ignoring the middle button, though the button retains its functionality and a mixed mode operation is always possible.

Note 1: Track balls are usually fitted with 2 buttons and it is becoming increasingly difficult to acquire a 3-button track ball. A 4-button track ball represents a mediocre alternative since it requires to use the index finger for the ML and MM clicks, which makes a ML + MM interclick difficult to execute.

Note 2: "+" denotes an interclick, as in MR + ML meaning: press MR, hold it down and press ML before releasing both buttons. "&" denotes the concatenation of ML clicks.

Note 3: A right-handed mouse is assumed, but a left-handed mouse is also supported (see below).

How to install a mouse driver

Oberon can support a wide range of mouse types of all commonly used brands. The most widespread is the PS/2-compatible mouse, or bus mouse, attached to a 6-pin miniature DIN connector. All others mice connect to serial ports, either built-in or on expansion cards. Each machine is allowed up 4 serial ports.

How to select the correct mouse driver

As from this version, a mouse can easily be replaced by another of a different type and with a different interface. More than one mouse may be connected to a machine: the system can detect them and the user can select the best one. The next three commands have been designed specifically to let the system sort out mice, instead of letting the user question which parameter is appropriate, as is required for the third command. Previously, the mouse driver was chosen interactively during the installation.

A mouse driver for a different is installed in these ways: To to select the correct mouse driver at each system start do: