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GNOME GUI Input Devices Software Technology

On-Screen Keyboard Maliit Demoed With Gnome 3 66

Posted by timothy
from the several-layers-of-the-latest dept.
Developer Jon Nordby has posted a video demo of the on-screen keyboard Maliit — intended "to be the input method project for MeeGo and other GNU/Linux-based embedded/mobile platforms" — working on a tablet running Gnome 3 under Fedora. Nordby mentions that Fedora packages are in the works for those who'd like to try it out. The keyboard looks impressively smooth and flexible (including language-specific character sets); I only wish it had the smooth-swiping predictive ability of keyboards like Swype.
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On-Screen Keyboard Maliit Demoed With Gnome 3

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  • by h4rr4r (612664) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @09:33AM (#35984300)

    Try using it to write anything that is not in the dictionary. It totally sucks for everything outside maybe text messaging. On a tablet it would only be worse.

    • Huh? If it's not in the dictionary, you just type it in the normal way, one character at a time. Works fine. But maybe you're right and it's not all that great for tablets.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        One character at a time and you might as well use a better keyboard for that.

        • And miss out on the swype functionality? Hell no. I wouldn't use it for a SSH session, but I wouldn't want to use any virtual keyboard for that

          • by icebike (68054)

            Swype would never work screens much larger than a cell phone or a small tablet. Even on tablets of 10 inch size it takes way more effort sliding your finger, (which due to the screen size requires moving your whole arm) across the screen than simply typing.

            Any time you have real estate approximating a small laptop, swype makes no sense at all.

            Speed comes with better language prediction, as opposed to spelling prediction. Language prediction, like Swiftkey, knows what you are likely to say before you even

            • by Compaqt (1758360)

              Well, if you wanted to use Swype, you could just have a smaller keyboard. I think the HP's touchpad allows you to adjust the keyboard size.

        • by vuke69 (450194)

          And when you type something in manually, it's automatically added to the dictionary for next time.

          • by Goaway (82658)

            What happens when you type something in manually and get it wrong?

          • by icebike (68054)

            And when you type something in manually, it's automatically added to the dictionary for next time.

            So what? Virtually all smart keyboards do that.

      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        I think it learns it after the first time as well. I'm pretty impressed with Swype overall. I don't even use it much and my input speed approaches that of using a proper keyboard, although I'm not the best typist in general. I'd love tp see a Linux tablet with a Swype-style input as an option. I've been thinking about picking up a Dell Inspiron Duo and trying it out with Linux (Tablet/Netbook combo for about $500. Heaver than a tablet, but is actually a 'real' computer as well).
    • Re:swype sucks (Score:5, Interesting)

      by StripedCow (776465) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @09:54AM (#35984398)

      Keyboards should also be sensitive to the application being used.

      For example, if I'm using "vi", i'd like to have a big Escape key, and it should recognize the commands specific for this editor.

      Maybe virtual keyboards should be assimilated by editors.

    • No kidding. Just this morning I was sending an email to my boss, and sure enough it couldn't find "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" in the dictionary. What a piece of junk!

      • by H0p313ss (811249) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @01:56PM (#35985880)

        No kidding. Just this morning I was sending an email to my boss, and sure enough it couldn't find "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" in the dictionary. What a piece of junk!

        That's because the sound of it is something quite atrocious.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          No kidding. Just this morning I was sending an email to my boss, and sure enough it couldn't find "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" in the dictionary. What a piece of junk!

          That's because the sound of it is something quite atrocious.

          Precocious bastard.

        • by sznupi (719324)
          Maybe that's ultimately because people should use other words [youtube.com] when texting.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Try using GNOME 3 to do anything. It totally sucks for everything besides annoying you.

  • But the fact it kept resizing the window instead of overlaying seemed very un-smooth to me. I would think you'd want to determine the location of the text input field and overlap the part of the screen not in use when possible instead of forcing the user to re-maximize their app every time they type something.

    All that said, I can't help but to feel these tablet fanatics are screwing up the UI for laptops and desktops for the sake of touchscreen in pursuit of the misguided goal of a 'unified' UI.

  • I guess the global namespace is getting full, and no more good names are left.

    • My guess is it's from Tagalog (Filipino), where "maliit" means small.

      The Tagalog pronunciation is three syllables ma - lee - eet, with the final 't' barely pronounced - the syllable is ended by touching the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth, with your tongue, and your tongue stays there so there's no final puff of air.

      • by H0p313ss (811249)

        My guess is it's from Tagalog (Filipino), where "maliit" means small.

        The Tagalog pronunciation is three syllables ma - lee - eet, with the final 't' barely pronounced - the syllable is ended by touching the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth, with your tongue, and your tongue stays there so there's no final puff of air.

        And who says you can't learn useful things reading slashdot... I'm gonna go around saying maliit all day now.

  • I prefer to use a mallet to interact with my computer...
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Having to hold it with one hand while hunt-and-peck'ing with the other hand doesn't look comfortable. I'm almost getting cramps in sympathy. Why not just attach a keyboard?

  • by Duncan J Murray (1678632) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @10:03AM (#35984456) Homepage

    I was at a conference recently watching a fantastic speaker who spent his life's work on elucidating the pathogenesis of antiphosholipid syndrome, and next to me was someone attempting to take notes on an ipad. Clearly somewhere in her distant memory were ideas of happiness and bliss, of form and function coalescing on the future of technology that would be her companion for the conference. The reality was somewhat different. The 20 wpm typing speed was particularly hampered by the visual presentations, which frequently interrupted her fervered hunt and pecking of the keys and word suggestions. I dare say all the effort involved precluded any understanding of the speaker, but I can't besure of this. I can be sure that it proved finally to all who noticed that data input will never be a strong talent of a tablet.

    • by molnarcs (675885)
      I bought the EP121 - the thing with the pen - on screen keyboard sucks of course, though not as bad as the ipad. However, character recognition works wonders - I mean I have a terrible handwriting, and it still gets most things rights. You can also select text from an existing document and correct mistakes with a few gestures. And then there is OneNote, which needs no character recognition (but it maintains a list of possible words for each word you wrote, so your handwritten notes I searchable!) - I think
    • I've had the same experience trying to take notes with a laptop. There are too many equations, graphs, diagrams, and characters not on my keyboard for me to possibly keep up with just a keyboard. I have ended up going back to pencil and paper every time.

      Which is what really makes me shake my head about these new tablets. They completely ignore all the potential strong points of the tablet form factor. I would love to have something lightweight that I could take free-form notes on that were at least somewhat

    • <p>What tablet keyboards <b>really</b> suck at is writing <i>Slashdot</i> comments in HTML.</p>

      (< and > are two shifts away on the iPad...)

  • This is the most disappointing virtual keyboard I have seen in ages. It's not even big enough to let you hold your fingers over the home row.

  • Maliit is the Tagalog (Filipino) word for small. Do I win a prize?

  • Im thinking it could be a bit slow but if you got good at it you might come close to typing on a touch screen. I don't have the phone tablet to test it?

  • I can purchase a mother board and build my own system, which by the way I do. I would like to eventually buy a nude generic tablet onto which I install my own OPSYS and applications. When do you think this hardware is going to be marketed and with good availability. There is a large desire for roll-your-own devices.

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