HW keyboard was: Re: How to bring forward the community?

arne anka openmoko at ginguppin.de
Wed Feb 29 20:44:18 CET 2012

i too own a n900 and i too are looking for devices with a hwardware  
keyboard included.
i used to be a big fan of graffiti (v1), but after using the n900 with its  
keyboard for two years now i have to say, it's no match.
writing is much faster, using a shell for complex tasks was not really an  
option with an onscreen keyboard and best of all, it does not use up  
precious screen space.

a bt keyboard is not really an option:
- it's just another piece of stuff you have to carry and remember
- using bt needs power (i know, the builtin hw keyboard does too, but as  
- keyboard needs power
- it's not necessarily reliable (there's a recent report of failure and i  
remember others)
- how do you hold both phone and keyboard in, say, a bus or the train?  
with the builtin keyboard it's just one piece and holding and typing is  

while i understand your points, it doesn't really address the request but  
just stresses GTA04's limitations ;-)


>> Hi,
>> Am 27. Februar 2012 11:51 schrieb Nikita V. Youshchenko  
>> <yoush at debian.org>:
>>>> 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!
> Nikolaus
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Dieter Bohlen ist der Preis der Freiheit."
                                                    Heinz Rudolf Kunze

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