2008.08 - First Impressions

Dale Maggee antisol at internode.on.net
Sat Aug 9 14:13:25 CEST 2008

>> The graphical installer is great! I really like this, although I agree 
>> with the opinion stated elsewhere that the text is too big, and I'd 
>> really like to see the 'description' text on the package details screen, 
>> so that I know what the package is (names aren't always that informative).
> So you don't think it should be usable without a stylus?
Not really, I don't see a need - Installing software is not something 
you're going to be doing five times a day while on the train on the way 
to work. Sure, you _might_ use it once a day, but i think for that one 
time you can fumble around and find your stylus. And even if you are 
installing software 5 times a day, on the train and have lost your 
stylus, you can always use your keys ;)

The letters on the keyboard are smaller than the text in the installer, 
and they're pressable with fingers. I didn't say the text should be 
small, just not so enormous!

>> * keyboard
>>     - Predictive text is annoying as hell.
> Agreed.
> There seem to be some kind of "interface nazism" (to quote Thorvalds) 
> going on.
> Apart from the predictive keyboard being *really* annoying - especially 
> if you are typing URL's, shell commands or a non-english language!! then 
> I don't understand this idea that there can't be a bring-up-the-keyboard 
> button. (yes I know I can install a qwerty-button).
> For me the correct way is like qtopia:
> * Have a bring-up-the-keyboard button
> * Have change-input-method option
> * Have a set of different keyboards (multitap,full 
> qwerty,handwriting,om2008-like) to toggle between.
> * Be able to turn predictive keyboard OFF
> ... and for goods sake... don't make a keyboard without a delete key.
Yeah, well put. It's not just the predictive text either when typing 
URLs. for example, typing in my mail server was *horrible* -
- i type 'mail', then tap the word 'mail' to insert it into the textbox
- then I stroke down until I get to the screen with the period, then i 
press that, then i tap the period at the top to put it in the textbox.
- this inserts a space after "mail.", so i have to position the cursor 
after the space and stroke left for backspace, then reposition the 
cursor at the end of the line.
- then I stroke up a couple of times to get back to qwerty
- then I type internode, but internode isn't in the dictionary so I have 
to type and tap on 'inter' 
- then I repeat the space erasure procedure.
- then I type type 'node', click on 'node'
- then I repeat space erasure procedure.
- then I have to type 'on.net' using this same painfull process.

and these are all dictionary words! multiply the annoyance by 2 seconds 
for each keypress if your mailserver / URL isn't made up of dictionary 
words! :O

compare this with 21 stylus taps using the matchbox keyboard. and this 
isn't even a particularly difficult thing to be typing!

I think the real solution to make everybody happy will be a set of 
different keyboards: a multitap-type keypad like on a phone, a 
stylus-friendly full qwerty keyboard like matchbox keyboard, and a 
finger-friendly, multi-mode qwerty keyboard like the one we have (with 
an option to turn off the predictive text), aimed primarily at 
finger-friendly texting.

>>     - I'd like to see letters on the numeric keypad screen. For example, 
>> the PIN on my sim card is a word typed using the numbers on my phone 
>> keypad, not a number - I have no idea what the numbers in my PIN are! in 
>> order to enter my pin using this numpad, I have to get out my nokia and 
>> look at it's keypad and then type in the numbers. 
> Arhh... go write it down, then.
So, just to be clear, you're telling me that I should totally void any 
security which this pin provides by writing it down? If I'm going to do 
that, I might as well just disable the PIN.

I did say 'I'd like to see', not "OMFG THIS IS THE WORST!".

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