New Rasterman Image...

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Thu Oct 2 05:11:21 CEST 2008

On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 22:57:10 -0400 Joel Newkirk <freerunner at> babbled:

> On Wed, 1 Oct 2008 20:32:34 -0600, "Ori Pessach" <opessach at>
> wrote:
> > I have a question about the "predictive" keyboard shown in one of those
> > movies - what on earth is the justification for providing the following
> > predictions - User input is on the left, prediction is on the left:
> > 
> > w - a
> > wo - so
> > wor - wot
> > worl - work
> > world - ? (I'm not sure what was the prediction, but at this point it's
> > moot... It was probably wrong, anyway.)
> > 
> > The qtopia keyboards do the same braindead thing. They're perfectly
> > unusable
> > as a result. The handwriting recognition engine appears to be wired into
> > the
> > same "prediction" engine, resulting in letters that were recognized
> > correctly to be randomly replaced with incorrect letters.
> > 
> > Is this a bug, or is that the intended behavior?
> > 
> > --Ori Pessach
> Intended, you just have to understand what it's doing.  
> Unlike T9 and other predictive inputs that are familiar from cellphones,
> the keyboard predictive process looks at neighboring keys, 'predicting'
> that periodically you may hit the wrong one.  (if you're using your finger
> that's pretty likely, especially if they're as wide as mine)  
> If you pay close attention, the actual user input is "helko worlc", and yes
> it suggests 'hello' and 'world' as the prime suspects.
> As a developer and hacker I hate it.  For text messaging it seems it would
> be useful, presuming that the user won't always have (or choose to use) a
> stylus.

bingo. thus the terminal keyboard layout exists - it doesnt correct/predict or
suggest. you get what you press, no more, no less, and immediately. so i'm
trying to conquer both worlds. i have actually been using the corrective
keyboard for testing - the freerunenr has a 2.8" screen. in practice thanks to
the bevels on the sides its effective usable area is about 2.5". and on that
tiny surface area i can usably type in full english sentences with very few
mistakes WHILE walking down the street. thats much better than i can do with a
stylus and a "non-corrective" keyboard on windows ce/mobile/pocketpc, on
qtopia's "stylus" keyboard on my roker e6 and on the matchbox qwerty keyboard
etc. etc.

for entering sms/email/"human stuff" its great. if the word is not in your dict
- it will be listed always at the top of the long-suggestions list (tap the
top-left arrow). it will then be added to your dict. as you use words their
"Frequency count" goes up and is stored. it learns what words you use a lot and
tends to offer them as predicted corrections much more accurately once you have
been using it for a bit.

it is guessing what you meant to type based on the "you probably pressed the
key you wanted or somewhere near it - maybe a key or 2 away, per letter in the
word, so let me search a dictionary and look to see what you likely may have
meant". as you type its looking these up and suggesting words. it won't suggest
a word other than one in the dictionary file OR one in your personal dictionary
(one it's learnt), or EXACTLY what u pressed. depending on how many things match
you may get more in that list than can be displayed above the keyboard, so the
top-left arrow brings up a full scrollable list of all matches in that case.

what the qtopia keyboard does (i can't comment as well as the illume one) and
illume do (which was heavily inspired by qtopia's keyboard - and kudos to the
tolls for it. of course some things i really dont like about it and i've tried
to address them in illume's keyboard - but qtopia's is very good!) is expect
you to be entering "english text" (eg an email, sms, some notes etc.) and
correct. both have modes to FORCE a letter to be used (in illume press and hold
for 0.25 sec and the zoom box pops up - qtopia has a similar thing). in illume
any letters you zoomed in on will not be "corrected". they will be taken as
explicit selections and thus reduce the search space. illume provides multiple
layouts as FILES - so you can extend them and provide more of your own for yoru
langauge or personal preferences. the terminal layout just makes the illume
keyboard be a "dumb stylus keyboard" where 1 press on 1 key == exactly that key
stroke sent to the app. nothing more or less.

------------- Codito, ergo sum - "I code, therefore I am" --------------
The Rasterman (Carsten Haitzler)    raster at

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