W3C Pointer Events Gains Further Web Momentum with Patch For Mozilla Firefox

Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., (MS Open Tech) has made another contribution towards interoperable support for Pointer Events across Web platforms by publishing an early open source prototype of the W3C Pointer Events Candidate Recommendation for Mozilla Firefox. This patch contribution advances the momentum around use of Pointer Events to build interoperable web sites that work with mouse, touch, and pen.

The W3C Pointer Events emerging standard makes it easier to support many browsers and devices by saving Web developers from writing unique code for each input type. Pointer Events unifies how you code for point, click and touch across multiple devices.

Previously, MS Open Tech announced further interoperable support for Pointer Events in Blink by submitting a formal Intent to Implement to enable our engineering team to actively collaborate and work toward a positive adoption of Pointer Events by the Blink developer community. Earlier this year, MS Open Tech published Pointer Events prototypes for WebKit on HTML5 Labs and submitted patches to the WebKit developer forum. Our previous Blogs have discussed Pointer Events adoption in Internet Explorer, Chrome/Blink, and in JavaScript libraries such as jQuery, and Dojo. This initial open source patch for Mozilla Firefox adds to the Web community convergence around the Pointer Events specification and we plan to continue our collaboration with the Blink, WebKit and Mozilla communities.

MS Open Tech and the Microsoft Internet Explorer teams will continue to work with our colleagues across the industry, engaging developers to test and provide feedback on the specification to W3C.

Contribute to the New Pointer Events Functionality in Firefox

We encourage interested developers to participate in the community process and provide feedback to ensure that Mozilla Firefox will enable a great Pointer Events implementation. As you start building, migrating, or testing your Web apps using Pointer Events, you should check out the resources available on the Pointer Events Wiki at Web Platform Docs:

Jump in, have fun with the demos, join the discussion at #PointerEvents and update your site with the cool capabilities of Pointer Events. Point. Click. Touch.

Asir Vedamuthu Selvasingh, Principal Program Manager
Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

Adalberto Foresti, Principal Program Manager
Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.

Oleg Romashin, Senior Engineer, Microsoft Open Technologies Hub


10 thoughts on “W3C Pointer Events Gains Further Web Momentum with Patch For Mozilla Firefox

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  4. Just out of interest, I wanted to ask if Mozilla/Webkit/Blink are intending to support both touch events and pointer events, and if so what the plan is for when the simulated mouse events are being fired? Currently the two event models are incompatible on this point: touch events send them all at once after touchend, while the pointer events model sends them “inline” after their respective pointer event. Any thoughts/indications?

    • Patrick, thanks for your comment. Our expectation is that browsers which currently support touch events will continue to do so. In addition, we advocate the implementation of Pointer Events, which is a great way for developers to unify code for point, click and touch across multiple devices.

      Regarding your question on compatibility – we are actively working with the Blink community to enable these two interfaces to coexist transparently, and we look forward to doing the same with Mozilla now that we’ve proposed an initial patch supporting Pointer Events.

  5. Mark, thanks for the answer, but it’s a bit hand-wavey and not really getting to the core of my question: how can the two models coexist if they fire off synthetic mouse events at different times? for instance, when tapping a button element (from my touch/pointer tests http://patrickhlauke.github.io/touch/)

    touchstart > touchmove > touchend > [potential 300ms delay to wait if there's a double-tap coming] mouseover > mousemove > mousedown > mouseup > click

    versus pointer events which fire the synthetic mouse events inline

    pointerover > mouseover > pointerdown > mousedown > pointermove > mousemove > pointerup > mouseup > pointerout > mouseout > click

    To be clear, I’m all for browser supporting both, just wondered if this aspect has been discussed yet? And wonder if the result will have to be some form of heuristic that, depending on whether a site tries to listen for classic touch events or new pointer events, the browsers will have to fire synthetic mouse events differently (and also listen for preventDefault which works on touch, but not on pointer events which instead use the touch-action CSS rule)

    • >> And wonder if the result will have to be some form of heuristic that, depending on whether a site tries to listen for classic touch events or new pointer events, the browsers will have to fire synthetic mouse events differently…

      Patrick, yes this is also our expectation. We expect each browser will continue to surface compatibility mouse events in the same way they do in the event stream as they do currently. You’ll note the Pointer Events spec is neutral in the exact way compatibility mouse events are implemented.

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