Illume multitap keyboard

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) raster at
Tue Aug 5 00:27:19 CEST 2008

On Mon, 4 Aug 2008 19:42:35 +0200 "Michael 'Mickey' Lauer"
<mickey at> babbled:

> Am Montag 04 August 2008 17:54:03 schrieb Simon Kagstrom:
> > Hello!
> >
> > I'm browsing the source code for illume and I have some alternative
> > keyboard layouts that I'd like to test. In particular, some phones have
> > a 5x4 keyboard layout which basically maps to keys "in pairs" (i.e.,
> > QW, ER, ...). I'd like to experiment with this layout for the
> > freerunner.
> >
> > Creating the wanted keyboard layout was very simple - just editing a
> > configuration file. However, one thing I'm wondering about is multitap
> > support in illume, which I'd need at first at least. I don't see
> > anything like this in the current sources. Is this in the plans to add?
> I think support for multitap-style keyboards would be interesting in illume. 
> Raster, what do you think?

i'd definitely have to change:

1. config file parser
2. how it handles input for 1 key, internal data structures etc.

i had completely tried to avoid this multitap thing as (just imho) it's a bit
of legacy FROM a 3x4 numberpad being transported to a touchscreen that is
capable of much more accuracy.

as such - with fuzzy matching (dictionary lookup), if you have this:
[A B] [C D] [E F]
[G H] [I J] [K L]

on a touchscreen - it is in fact inferior to:
[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F]
[G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L]

why? well if you press your finger exactly in the middle between A and B - the
dictionary lookup (think of it as t-9, but it's not) covers both A and B as
possibilities. in fact it covers A, B, C, G, H and maybe I. depending on size
of keyboard and fuzziness factor (search area). so other than "if you press it
multiple times is cycles thought letters" it's no different.

now for a physical button keyboard where you literally ONLY have N buttons and
you HAVE to cram multiple keys on 1 - there is little choice, but on a
touchscreen... you don't have to carry the burden of this limitation with you.

so... i'm not saying "no" - i'm saying, i see little value in the effort put
into it :( (of course i am ASSUMING dictionary lookup and correction here for
regular typing - for terminals and stuff that dictionaries will not help with
or be hard, it MAY be of some use... but then thats what press and hold then
drag to get a zoom box are for... :)).

as this can be put in without any breaks and would just be a matter of config
parsing and data structures to hold a set of alternative letters to cycle AND
then the ui code to do that, it's all perfectly feasible to do. i am just
doubting the return for effort. :)

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) <raster at>

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