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Virtual Keyboard: Bug when extending autosuggested words

asked 2016-02-01 02:09:03 +0300

G.Ohrner gravatar image

updated 2016-08-17 16:34:52 +0300

jiit gravatar image

I observed a behaviour with the virtual keyboards word completion that I consider to be a bug. Possible it might even cause garbled words to be included in the dictionary, but I'm not sure.

I'm struggling a bit with finding a good example using the English keyboard layout, but the problem becomes pretty obvious in the German language.

I'll give an English example first - we want to type "Automobile" into the Jolla notepad application.

Remember that this is no proper example, but it demonstrates the bug. Maybe some reader might come up with a more realistic scenario in the English language, in German language there are plenty due to the language's property of combining several words into single large ones.

  1. Switch VK to "en".
  2. Enter Au
  3. Auto will be suggested, select it from the suggestion list so the entered text now reads Auto.
  4. As we want to write Automobile, press backspace to get rid of the trailing space and re-enable suggestion mode.
  5. Enter m so the entered Text reads Autom

Now the suggested completions get wired:

  • If I enter Autom directly, without the intermediate completion step described above, the first suggestion on my phone is Auto and all subsequent ones start with the prefix I entered, Automatic, Automatically, Automated and so on.
  • Using the strategy described above, the first suggestion is Any (although the Text reads Autom at this point) and the second suggestion is Aunt, Aim, Amy, ... .

Long story short, what happens is that the word-suggestion behaves exactly as if I had entered Aum in one go - ie. when reenabling the suggestion mode after pressing backspace, it takes the text which I entered before using the completion (which was Au in this case) and appends all newly added letters to it (so the text it works with becomes Aum) instead of to the word which is actually shown in the text (which is Autom).

I hope you could follow... ;)

In German with words like "computeranimierte Fußballspieler" (combined from the words "Computer", "animierte", "Fuß", "Ball" and "Spieler"), the mentioned iterative completion strategie would accelerate text input a lot if it would yield correct results.

The other question is if the garbled words internally used by the VK in this process (like Aumobile instead of Automobile in my example above) might even somehow end up in and pollute the user dictionary...

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Well-described. I can reproduce it with both English and German. Seems it ignores the letters added by selecting the suggested word.

Alen ( 2016-02-01 03:59:46 +0300 )edit

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answered 2016-02-15 11:59:46 +0300

Pekka Vuorela gravatar image

Two things here. First, accepting a word candidate and then removing last space is a problematic way to input compound words. Information on what buttons were clicked for input is lost. Also word database doesn't necessarily have all the combinations of words as a single candidate. For some languages, it might be better if clicking a candidate wouldn't enter the extra space which would allow continue writing next part of the word separately.

But also notice candidates behaving strange in this case. Need to check if there's something going wrong.

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Personally, I prefer to add space when I need it, not automatically after every word I select. This can solve several problems.

Alen ( 2016-02-15 19:54:36 +0300 )edit

Information on what buttons were clicked for input is lost.

Yes, but the result probably often would still be better than having to type everything until the end without being able to use word completion at all until only two or three letters remain to be completed.

Also word database doesn't necessarily have all the combinations of words as a single candidate.

Also right, but actually it often has. The dictionary is quite good, actually.

And if it has not, the dictionary will learn the most commonly used compound words, won't it?

But also notice candidates behaving strange in this case. Need to check if there's something going wrong.

As AliNa wrote in his comment to my original question, the autosuggestion algorithm behaves as if it just does not see the letters which had been added by the previous word completion(s) - it only "sees" the manually entered letters.

G.Ohrner ( 2016-02-16 00:09:53 +0300 )edit

This auto-completion issue apparently had already been mentioned in a user comment in January 2015 - so I'm not the only one who stumbled over this:

Quote from Comment 1 of post 71297: "The keyboard needs some improvement .As there are some ttyping mistake when hit back key for corrections."

G.Ohrner ( 2016-02-22 09:45:59 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2016-02-01 02:09:03 +0300

Seen: 137 times

Last updated: Feb 15 '16