[SHR] illume predictive keyboard is too slow

Helge Hafting helge.hafting at hist.no
Thu Jan 29 14:32:48 CET 2009

Carsten Haitzler (The Rasterman) wrote:

> i was hoping to be able to keep a SIMPLE ascii qwerty keyboard for as 
> much as
> possible - so you can just type and it will work and offer the selections as
> it's trying to guess anyway - it can present the multiple accented versions
> too. this limits the need for special keyboards - doesn't obviate it, but
> allows more functionality out of the box. in the event users explicitly 
> select
> an accented char - ie a non-ascii character, it should not "decimate". it
> should try match exactly that char.
We will still need to select the correct dictionary for the language 
somewhere. It is no more work if this also selects a keyboard layout 
adapted to that language.

I can see why you want a simple keyboard with fewer keys - the keys can 
be bigger and so there will be fewer finger-misses. I don't see any 
reason why it should be limited to ascii though - that division does not 
seem natural to me.

An example from the Norwegian laguage: The letter ô is rarely used, and 
  everybody thinks about it as an "o" with a "hat" on it. So this one 
fits your scheme - type "o" and "ô" will be suggested in the few cases 
where it is appropriate.  But the three vowels "æøå" is different. They 
are letters of their own, they are not seen as "modifications of a/o", 
even if that may be historically correct. These three have their own 
names and their own places in the alphabet (after z). An "å" is not 
merely an "a with ring", no more than the "E" is an "F" with an extra 
line attached. The "ø" is not merely an "o" with a slash either. Many 
people don't know that "æ" originated as an "ae" ligature. "æ" and "ae" 
can both occur in words, but the pronunciation is different and they are 
not interchangeable.

So when Norwegians type, they expect to see the 29 letters of their 
alphabet: abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzæøå. "ô" and "é" are sometimes 
useful too, but these are just "o" and "e" with modifications. "æøå" 
however, are parts of the base alphabet. Just like "abc". A keyboard 
without "æøå" is assumed not to support Norwegian.

I hope things like this will be possible, if a new dictionary format is 
realized. It is ok if typing "for" suggests "fôr" as an alternative, but 
"før" should not come up unless the user types "f" "ø" "r". In which 
case "o" must not be suggested...

Helge Hafting

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