ASU software - pre-pre-release impressions

Ian Darwin ian at
Tue May 20 17:36:30 CEST 2008

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) wrote:
> On Mon, 19 May 2008 10:27:25 -0400 Ian Darwin <ian at> babbled:
>> 2) The ASU software features a qwerty-keyboard. It is switchable between
>> alphabetics and numerics; unfortunately the gesture  needed to do this
>> (a triangle drawn counter-clockwise from lower left) is a bit hard to
> it is? the gesture is just "slide finger up". no triangle :) not sure how you
> got the triangle thing :) (place finger at kbd bottom, slide, lift finger)

Ah, the benefits of documentation :-)  There was no doc, so I looked at 
QTopia's doc, and was mislead for my efforts. Thank you for correcting this.

There is no triangle, and no spoon. There is only the finger, sliding up 
and down.

>> the current version of ASU uses QTopia's input manager, offering what
>> looks like a predictive style but is  actually doing a dictionary
> actually - it doesn't - i wrote one from scratch :) the code is ugly - but it
> works. 

That's impressive!  And again, I presumed incorrectly. Sorry.

> it does use standard linux dict files though for the dictionary - the
> one we ship is an abbreviated one with only 5000 words - but they also have
> extended frequency counts. have a dig around the illume package files and see -
> it's just a text file. :) it also maintains a user dictionary for personal
> words you added in ~/.e/e/ :) same format.
>> lookup; I find this very distracting compared to a plain do-what-I-type
>> keyboard, and would welcome an easy way to turn this off

I'd still very much like to see a way to turn it off, so it works the 
same for letters as for numbers. It's annoying 90% of the time because 
most of the person or street names I need to enter into Contacts are not 
going to be listed.  I promise not to write my next 850-page book on my 
Neo, so word lookup is of limited use.  I suspect that Contacts, Todo 
and Calendar is the most common use case for most people, and that 
writing normal text is the least common for most people.

>> 3) It's easy to accidentally start an application (thus slowing down
>> what you're trying to really do) while scrolling the home screen in icon
>> grid mode.
> there is an adjustment for this - its in the interaction dialog, yes its ugly -
> i know. i keep fiddling with it every now and again to see if i can't make it
> behave a bit more like i "intend". :)

Ah, thanks.

>> 4) The Preferences that are in the top slide-down panel's Wrench icon
>> should presumably be merged with the Preferences App.
> currently those are preferences for enlightenment - and thus it has its own
> settings dialog/panel like all applications anywhere on any desktop do :)

Logically I agree with you, but for the hypothetical end-user, who 
doesn't know that there is such a concept as a window manager, there is 
an un-necessarily fine distinction between "what belongs to E (which 
applies window behavior to the phone as a whole)" and "what belongs to 
the phone as a whole".  I think it's going to be confusing.

>> 5) The shutdown dialog does not have a cancel or Back button.
>> And, it often doesn't actually shutdown.
> that may actually go - that's just qtopia's default dialog - the # of app icons
> will likely reduce by a lot as we trim out things we don't really need.

Great. Speaking of the app icons, I'd love to see a way to hide ones I'm 
not using, and move ones I use frequently to a non-default order (my 
five-year-old Blackberry has this feature, for one). This is probably 
there and I don't know how, or something Carsten can do with a bit of 
EFL code, right? :-)

Thanks again Carsten for the code and the information.

Ian Darwin

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