SHR - Keyboard

clare johnstone claregj at
Thu Dec 18 22:55:42 CET 2008

Al thank you for the detailed reply;  very encouraging.

On Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 2:49 PM, Al Johnson
<openmoko at> wrote:
> On Thursday 18 December 2008, clare johnstone wrote:
>> On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 8:28 PM, Paul <paultsai at> wrote:
>> > Is there a way to make the keyboard pop up on demand, say for the
>> > terminal?
>> Or did you just mean: press the tiny little mark at centre top of the
>> screen. A curtain 1/3 the size of the screen will wander down. At its top
>> right corner is the word "qwerty". if you press that a keyboard will
>> appear.
>> Later you can repeat to make the keyboard disappear.
> Yes, it is now frustratingly longwinded. The keyboard icon on the matchbox
> panel is much better in my opinion. Even better would be a keyboard icon that
> brought up the default keyboard if tapped, but if held would pop up a list of
> available keyboards or layouts.
>> The keyboard has a sign in some oriental language at its top right
>> which causes changes in it. Basically 3 possibles, of which the third
>> can be quite useful if you can get it to respond.
> It is "ABC" with the characters overlapping slightly. It needn't be 3 choices
> either - you can add or remove keyboard layouts as you wish. You could remove
> all but the terminal layout if that's the only one you want. People have
> produced alternative layouts better suited to other languages too.
> The top left lets you pick the dictionary to be used for the corrective input,
> so you could have multiple languages available.
>>  It has the habit of enlarging its characters
>> when they are pressed which may be helpful when trying to use fingers
>> to type on it but slows it.
> It can be a little distracting, but it doesn't seem to compromise performance.
> It seems to keep up with ~4 characters per second - as fast as I can hit
> characters in short bursts anyway. Sometimes I get characters from a long way
> from where I tapped, but I suspect that's the touchscreen driver causing
> problems since I have the same problem with the matchbox keyboard.
>> It also at times develops a habit known as predictive.
> Corrective would be more accurate, and whether it is enabled depends on the
> keyboard layout. The icon in the top left will give you the full list of
> potentially matching words, with the exact string you entered always at the
> top.
> The quality of correction is heavily dependant on the dictionary, at least out
> of the box. The default english dictionary works well, but some have reported
> problems with german for example. To some extent this should be offset if you
> persevere as it adds spellings and word frequencies to your personal
> dictionary,
>> I have actually been shown how this can be made to work on a mobile
>> phone where it may have some value.
> Agreed. With the corrective layout I can enter text reasonably reliably one
> handed while walking. I wouldn't have a hope of doing this with the terminal
> layout, or with the matchbox keyboard.
>> Compared with ordinary "tab completion" in linux commands it is not
>> even a starter, and again is a distraction..
> But for linux commands surely you would use the terminal layout, which doesn't
> have the corrective feature enabled, and use tab completion.
>> clare (who really likes the matchbox keyboard - remember that?. It is
>> used in the new "hackable";
>> and with apologies to Rasterman; but I do feel strongly on these points.)
> Input method preferences are highly personal. Happily we have a choice of
> input methods, and Rasterman included the facility to use them. If you
> install the matchbox keyboard, or any other for that matter, it should appear
> in the list of selectable keyboards in the illume config (spanner icon).
> I suspect part of the reason people tend to dislike the qtopia and default
> illume keyboards is that by default they don't do what we expect, and it
> isn't obvious what they are doing. The matchbox keyboard is just an onscreen
> representation of a familiar keyboard, and behaves as we expect. It doesn't
> require any extra knowledge to get it to do what we want. The same could be
> said of the illume terminal layout, but that isn't the default.
> The qtopia and illume keyboards try to be better, as does the iPhone keyboard,
> but all require a bit of hidden knowledge to get them to work. Once you know
> their secrets they are as good as or better than the matchbox keyboard, but
> if you don't know the secrets then they are incredibly frustrating.
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