How to bring forward the community?

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at
Wed Feb 29 09:27:29 CET 2012

Am 29.02.2012 um 09:05 schrieb Andreas Pokorny:

> Hi,
> Am 27. Februar 2012 11:51 schrieb Nikita V. Youshchenko <yoush at>:
>>> So I would like to encourage to share what you are working on
>>> (kernel? driver? user space?) and what you think would bring forward
>>> the Openmoko community a small or big step.. Any idea is welcome
>>> (even if you think we already know about it).
>> If anything is welcome then...
>> I've left OpenMoko commutiny long ago, but I'm really disapponted by
>> today's devices and I want to return. Unfortunately N900 changed my mind
>> and now I consider hardware qwerty keyboard not an option but a must.
>> I will immediately order any GTA04 successor that will have qwerty
>> keyboard.
> I was about to write the same thing. I own a HP Pre3 with a keyboard, and
> I dont want to miss one on my next phone. But today, the phone droped on

May I ask why you need a (mechanical) keyboard?

The reason why we don't cry "hurray, we add one in the next release"
is that it is *very* complicated to get one that works well (you most likely
don't want a bad one just to have it).

The first aspect is mechanics. A keyboard should be sliding in and out or
otherwise the device becomes much bigger than dictated by the display
(which should also become bigger).

Next thing is: what is a really good keyboard? How much pressure, which
button size, etc.

Then, we have to define a keyboard layout. QWERTY or ABCDEF. Add
numeric keys or make them Num+QWERTY to save one row of keys.

And to unsimplify, we need a US, a UK, a German, a French, an Italian
layout and maybe Chinese, Japanese etc. This is doable by exchanging
keycaps or keymats - but we have to stock and provide several different ones.

Finally, designing a really good and working keyboard is almost as expensive
as designing a new injection mould...

Compare this with readily available small bluetooth keyboards in the 25-50 EUR
range... So we simply recommend to purchase such a thing because we never
can get one such cheap.

All this could be so simple if we have a software keyboard on the LCD :)
Just choose what you want by software. Choose between different input
methods. No hardware changes needed. Robust against water, and keycap
wear off.

This is why we try to avoid making any keyboard.

So let us understand what the issues are with a onscreen keyboard and
try to improve that. Let's join forces of this community and develop the best
and really useable on-screen keyboard in the world!


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