Usable Keyboard

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Sat Aug 9 12:08:13 CEST 2008

On Sat, 9 Aug 2008 11:44:36 +0200 Tobias Kündig <tobias.kuendig at>

> Hello everyone!
> I flashed OM2008.8 yesterday. It's really awesome what great software the 
> developers created! Thank you all for this!
> But there are some small things I don't like on it:
> * I. E. there is no real home screen.
> * I cannot receive SMS - or lets say «not all SMS».
> * I'm still missing configuration tools
> * etc.
> But all this things aren't too bad and I know that they'll be fixed soon(er
> or later). 
> There is only one thing that makes the Freerunner nearly unusable: The 
> keyboard.
> With this crazy «dictionary-thing» I'm not able to write a message in (Swiss) 
> German or any other language than English. Even a simple «Hallo» ends up 
> in «Hello». And as long I'm not able to write a word that is not in the 
> dictionary it's pretty useless for me. There are also keys missing to make it 
> usable for the terminal.
> I think I am talking for a lot of people who want to have a _nice and usable_ 
> keyboard - for any language and any app.
> The keyboard has to be finger friendly and not too small. It should contain 
> all usual letters and special characters. 
> I made a little mockup (it's no design masterpiece... ;-)) of a keyboard. I 
> think something in this direction would be really cool:
> (Modified Screenshot from the wiki)
> The buttons measure 40x40 Pixels. Unfortunately there is not too much space 
> between them, so I have no idea how it would be to type on it.
> Does anyone got an idea how difficult it would be to create a keyboard _like 
> this_? 

please check the mail list archives about terminal and asu, and check the
keyboard in FSO. the keyboard in ASU is the qtopia keyboard. for better or
worse. illume has it's own internal keyboard that does give you all these
things, but it was decided that this was not what was wanted. i've participated
in long threads on the topic of the keyboard in ASU. :) you're repeating what a
lot of people keep saying.

as i've said before - i intend to fork and do my own ui (as opposed to the ASU
you see) that actually has a lot of the things everyone is clamouring for
(more configuration, different/better/more configurable keyboard, different
launcher setup etc.). a lot of these features already lurk under the hood in
the code and are simply configured to be off and/or inaccessible. unfortunately
- this is going to have to sit on a backburner and await whatever spare time i
find for it as i have resigned from openmoko (effective end of august). i'll do
what i can over time, but my priorities will be to keep myself fed and housed :)

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at>

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