Thone 0.5

Werner Almesberger werner at
Thu Apr 1 02:55:04 CEST 2010

pike wrote:
> And today is a nice day to release what I have

Looks great ! Finally a UI that's friendly also with users who are
hackers ;-)

It would be nice to avoid modal dialogs, like the one in
$TH_MENU_SMSREAD. Why not simply remember the last message read
and have commands "del(ete)", "re(ply)", "n(ext)", "p(rev)", etc.,
that operate on whatever was the last message ? mh worked like
this, and it was quite nice to use.

"sms read" can still print a hint what commands may be useful next,
but without a modal dialog. (As an advanced feature, there could
then be an option for an "expert mode" that turns off the hints.)

If there's an "undo", you also don't need to ask before "dangerous"

By the way, regarding overlay keyboards, in cases where fatfingershell
is too crowded or narrow, perhaps the following approach may be worth

- use a 4 x 6 grid (or similar)

- use the keys on the leftmost column as modifiers, e.g., with the
  following functions:

  - Left: use left half of the keyboard
  - Shift: shift, pressed in combination with Left and Right
  - Right: use right half of the keyboard
  - Fn: special functions/characters

- for the remaining positions, select the layout according to the
  modifier(s) pressed

Typical use would be two-handed. E.g., if we assume a split through
the middle of a regular keyboard, we'd get something like this:

Modif.	Left			Right
------	-----------------	-----------------
Left    1   2   3   4   5       6   7   8   9   0
Shift   Q   W   E   R   T       Y   U   I   O   P
Right   A   S   D   F   G       H   I   J   K   L
Fn	?   Z   X   C   V	B   N   M   ?   ?

"?" is something non-alphanumerical. Space, Enter, and Delete come
to mind. We can use Shift+Number for special characters.

To type "Hello", one could

- hold Right+Shift then tap H
- hold Left and tap E
- hold Right and tap L, then holding Right tap L again
- keep holding Right and tap O

If modifiers are sticky, also single-handed use would be possible,
but slower.

"Right+Shift" could correspond to a location somewhere around
the bottom of the Shift area, or a transition of "in Right" to
"between Right and Shift" (rolling the finger.)

The multi-touch effect would be possible because touching
positions X and Y looks like a touch at a position in the
middle between the two. A sequence like Left-E would then look
like this:

- press somewhere in Left (let's call this vector X, from the
- point moves - without releasing - somewhere near the top of
  W or Q (let's call this vector Y, from the origin)
- we calculate the real second position as X+2*(Y-X)

Just an idea for whichever April 1st is next :-)

- Werner

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