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Surface pro pressure pen support in Qt?

  • Windows surface pro tablets include a pressure sensitive pen. Does Qt support pen pressure access on a surface pro running windows 8?
    What Qt api would be used to access it?
    We use QTabletEvent right now for wacom pen and tablet support.
    If QTabletEvent does not support the surface pro pressure pen, will that support be included in a future Qt release?
    Or would QTouchEvent support it, since it includes pressure() in a touch point?

    Many intel based windows 8 tablets include integrated pens. So we'd like to know how to code our existing Qt based graphics applications to support these new windows pen and tablet computer.

  • Pressure dynamics is supported in general, I don't see a reason for this to not be true in the case of something else than a wacom. Plus I am pretty sure the stylus on surface is wacom based.

    Anyway, the best way to be sure is for someone to try it, but considering surface just got into retail and is basically an ugly and terribly overpriced piece of junk, who knows when something like that will fall into the hands of a developer to test it out.

    I consider getting myself a windows 8 tablet soon, but it surely won't be a surface, I'd rather go for a samsung or asus built device, so I will be able to check for pen pressure support for it in a month or so.

  • Wacom tablets use a wintab tablet driver. Surface pro does not ship with this driver. So if QTabletEvent just works off of wintab events, then it would not work with the surface pro pen.

    We will test this in our Qt based application as soon as we can actually get a surface pro to run the test.

    It appears that software that supports the windows ink api (as opposed to wintab) is working with the pressure pen on surface pro. Also, there is the issue of some other windows pen based computers that use N-Trig technology not having wintab drivers (but apparently working with ink api).

    Windows 8 also has a new pointer input message that supports pen pressure and tilt. These messages apparently integrate both touch and pen input.

    So part of what i'm asking with this question is how much of this is currently supported by Qt. Is the only pressure modulation support in Qt on windows based on the wintab driver (which is how you would talk to an external wacom tablet)? Or is their also support internally in Qt for the ink api, or the new pointer input messages?

  • Well, the odds of a developer who has worked on the API to come into this forum and see this message are pretty slim. Just as the odds of someone who already got a surface pro and tested it out. I am also somewhat interested in pen input, so I'll be watching for an eventual answer here.

  • What forum would be better to post this question and get a response from someone who is actually working on the api?

    It's very unclear if Qt is (or is going to be supporting) all of the api changes occurring in windows 8.

  • No forum, but Qt developers seem to be more active in the mailing lists and IRC channels they use. Also, if you are sure there is no support for the surface pro stylus, you can add a feature request at "JIRA":

    As the most major provider of operating systems, you can pretty much be sure that eventually Windows 8 will be supported.

    As for the actual surface pro - it might not be that much of a priority, mostly because it doesn't look like it will be a market success. It seems that other pen enabled windows 8 products use the good old drivers, at least from the images of the control panel I've seen in reviews.

    Since Qt5 uses QPA I guess it won't be all that hard to implement support for it, if it is lacking. Just create a wrapper around the new input API, I suppose MS have documented it.

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