Stage of GTA03 development?

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at
Wed Dec 17 16:12:14 CET 2008

Evgeny Karyakin wrote:

>    Dunno... First link propose a case suggesting iPhone look, I think
> we shouldn't follow everything Apple come out with, and I second to
> pill case. When I first saw GTA02 look, I thought it's ugly, but that
> was just because it's unusual; now I like it and like a bottom hole
> around antenna.

The hole is important. You can tie the phone to a string. And it is
easier for the do-it-yourselfers to make brackets for car/bicycle use.

>    With relation to Raster's case, if you're going to get sliding
> number keyboard, we just enter a troublesome field of hardware
> modification difficulties as infamous buzz/echo problem has proved us:
> * It's a moving part and can be broken.
> * Software developers will enforce heavier requirement on users to use
> keyboard; programs can become more difficult to use without it.
* Software will especially be harder to use on the GTA01 and GTA02.
* One more part for condensation/rain to ruin. If you want to waterproof
   GTA02, then you can probably do so with some work. Silicone in the
   case seams, and so on. fill the plugs with something. Now try this
   with a keyboard. The two buttons on GTA02 can be covered, they aren't
   used much so it is ok if they get cumbersome. Not so with a kayboard.

> * Localization issues. Hopefully Openmoko (phones) will be wide-spread
> across the world, but will Openmoko (company) be able to make several
> lingual versions of keyboard?

This is an important point. Other phone makers all fail on this point.
They sell phones with a english keyboard. This is not sufficent in the
rest of Europe, of course. So they think they can paint the keytops
differently, and change the keyboard driver.  This fail, because
there is not enough keys. Other languages using the latin alphabet tends
to have a few letters more than just A-Z. And then you get ugly kludges
where you have almost the local qwerty-layout, but the non-english
stuff is in strange places requiring an extra shift modifier or some
idiocy like that. They tend to be painted in a strange color too, so you
can find them quicker in those unfamiliar places. The Norwegian 
blackberry is one such kludgephone. Well, they aren't all English. I 
have seen German phones too. Most markets are too small though.

For an idea of just how irritating this is - imagine if you had a
mostly english keyboard where "a" and "q" were absent - to be typed
in with "special shift" followed by "1" or "2" respectively.

There is no such problem with on-screen keyboards. I made
a Norwegian terminal keyboard for my GTA02, with all the keys in the 
right places. It has more keys than the english terminal keyboard, but 
that was easy enough - a software fix. I don't think they'll make the 
GTA03 in 30 different keyboard versions - all painted slightly different
and some with different number of keys too. And then some want a
dvorak layout - 60 different layouts then. So they'll cut all the
small-market keyboards - those that want them can re-paint their
keyboards any way they want. :-/

Helge Hafting

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