Subject: Re: wsmouse/wsmux, trackballs, X11
To: Urban Boquist <>
From: Richard Rauch <>
List: tech-x11
Date: 11/03/2002 11:25:47
> Richard> Wheel events, and the outermost 2 buttons generate
> Richard> nothing.  Any ideas on how I might get X to use this?
> For the wheel you can use something like this:
>         Option      "Buttons" "5"
>         Option      "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

Thanks.  I set up XFree86 with this about 5 years ago and forgot all about
it since then.  (^&  Would it be an overall win if the XFree86
configuration tools would add in ZAxisMapping options by default?  I don't
know how commonly they are needed, but it would certainly be easier to
find and remove/change a bogus option than to figure out what to add to
get it to work.

An obvious adaptation for the situation I described makes this actually

  Option "Buttons" "7"
  Option "ZAxisMapping" "6 7"

I still wish that I could adjust the sensitivity of the trackball
independantly from the touch-pad built into the laptop.  This is more of a
NetBSD kernel/mouse/mux issue, but still (within NetBSD) seems mostly
x11-related.  (^&

It seems odd that there's no way for XFree86 to understand "this is a
wheel" and to report it as such to applications.  Ah well...

> which will make it generate button4/5 events. It used to also be the
> case that you needed to "teach" all applications what to do for those
> events. See example below for xterm. At least this was the case a
> couple of years ago when wheel mice started to show up. But maybe the
> mapping to button4/5 events have become so "standard" nowadays that
> applications do the right thing by themselves, I haven't checked.

I never used the wheel-button much in applications like xterm or emacs.
Mostly, I suspect, this is because my old MS "Intellimouse" has such a
stiff wheel that in order to spin it, I end up having to push the button.
In xterm/emacs, of course, that amounts to pasting whatever's in the
cut-and-paste text buffer.  (^&

The trackball's wheel is loose enough that I might start to think about
using it in such places, though.  I'll consider doing something to my
xterm config, etc.


  ``I probably don't know what I'm talking about.''