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I was told on the Linux stack exchange that this was a better place to post this question.

For use in extreme programming environments, the idea of single display groupware has become rather interesting.

I understand that applications need to be retooled in order to function as single display groupware in themselves. However, there is another idea that is worth considering, and I was wondering how feasible this would be in different Linux distributions or if something like this already exists.

  1. Applications themselves do not need to be tooled to operate as single display groupware
  2. Multiple mice and multiple keyboards are to be plugged into USB drives
  3. Each mouse is internally paired with a keyboard by the OS to coordinate the relationship of a separate user with their mouse and keyboard
  4. Each mouse is given a unique colored cursor on the screen in the OS desktop environment
  5. Each mouse/keyboard/cursor is associated with a separate human being that we will call a "user" (does NOT have to be a "system" user, but it can)
  6. When a user clicks on an application window, that user "steals" focus for that application
  7. When a user has focus for an application, the OS channels that user's mouse and keyboard as the input controls for that application
  8. Focus can be "stolen" by any user at any time for an application by simply clicking on that application window
  9. The desktop environment can be extended to multiple displays (as is typical for multi-screen setups), and this ability for users to "steal" application focus should continue to work across these multiple displays

I have no Linux development experience, but was wondering what might be involved to see something like this become a reality for a Linux OS. I personally lean toward Linux Mint Cinnamon, but I am open to this on any distribution.

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closed as off topic by Jimmy Breck-McKye, JonW Dec 23 '12 at 16:12

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Really interesting ideas. Aside from technical hurdles that are beyond the user experience scope of this site, what kind of more concrete usability and user experience problems are you concerned with? What is your question here? – kontur Dec 22 '12 at 22:07
My question involves how I might be able to get 1-9 working on a Linux platform. (What would be involved to make it happen.) I guess they misunderstood my intentions on the Linux stack exchange. The question probably is better suited over there. – FriendlyDev Dec 22 '12 at 23:07
@FriendlyDev - yeah, UX.SE is for design questions rather than implementation. That being said, I don't think the Linux distro will be important so much as the windowing manager. That'll be the hurdle, I think. The underlying distro would probably just be some well-supported Debian variant like Ubuntu, with a heavily modified XORG running on top. – Jimmy Breck-McKye Dec 23 '12 at 1:08
I like your idea. Rings bells of some remote-access/assistance solutions that allow simultaneous access to the desktop by the local and remote user. Gonna be fun to see the focus-stealing-wars. – Marjan Venema Dec 23 '12 at 10:53
If you have questions about whether any of these options are advisable from a UX point of view those are the questions that work well here. However asking how to implement it in a specific language / OS / technology then that's not really what this site is for I'm afraid. UX is technology-agnostic, so for questions on specific technologies you are better of asking on those particular sites. Change the focus to something specifically answerable though, currently it's quite a broad question covering lots of elements making it hard for anyone to give an accurate answer. – JonW Dec 23 '12 at 16:10