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Virtual keyboard: Number "keys" on vkb's letter page – context sensitive

asked 2014-01-23 18:27:39 +0300

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updated 2016-08-17 16:29:18 +0300

jiit gravatar image

Request: Each time a new word starts, do not show any rather random selection of words in the upper line of the virtual keyboard but the figures from 0 to 9 and, because there is still some space left, special characters such as @, +, -, /, (, ) or even such characters not accessible via the vkb such as en-dash/–. In addition, when the last character typed has been a figure or if the "word" typed does not make sense (e.g. complex passwords), let stay the set of figures and special characters.

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Reasons: This would reasonably reduce the number of times, the letter/numbers switcher has to be used, i.e. typing speed would be enhanced, complex passwords would be easier to type.

Realisation: This should be possible within the current design concept and with little interference with the current code: Just adjust the way, how the words in the top line of the virtual keyboard are chosen from the predictive dictionary, and add the figures and special characters to the predictive dictionary. Because the prediction line is scrollable, it does not matter if initially a few of the special characters are out of the screen -- you can pull them in.

Possible improvement: To the left of the visible predicted words are numbers and special characters always, i.e. with a right pull on the prediction line you bring the numbers and characters into the window. A right pull is still faster than a switch to the number keyboard page and back to letter keyboard page. In addition, because the letters do not disappear, you do not loose orientation on the letter keyboard through switching.

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+1 to this.

"You should know that we will have an account is going out in your mouth on this blog are going for me but it's ok I'm gonna try again I was like you don't need anything let him out the shower then they have been on here are my favorite flag record is to find something."

I just wrote that without typing a letter, just tapping randomly on the word suggestions. :)

ssahla ( 2014-01-28 08:41:15 +0300 )edit

I think we should leave the main of the suggestion field for the prediction. I imagine it getting smarter to be able to predict full words and numbers from context. I agree though that entering numbers without switching the whole keyboard would be nice. [to be continued]

tuxlig ( 2014-01-28 11:14:44 +0300 )edit

Either add numbers to secondary mapping (long press on letter in top row) which might not work well and consistently for non-qwerty keyboard layouts. Another way would be to swipe from suggestion row upwards to change it to number row and same to get back (swipe down would be too close to 'close keyboard).

tuxlig ( 2014-01-28 11:23:19 +0300 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2014-01-23 23:42:46 +0300

Mohjive gravatar image

I think this qualifies as an answer, even if it doesn't answer the request, but the need expressed in the request.

You can swipe from the letter/number switcher to the symbol/number you want to type and then release, to type the number you want, and when you release the number will be typed and you'll have the "normal" letter keyboard ready (actually I learned this from IOS, and just guessed that function on jolla).

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Thanks for noting, did not yet know this. It relieves the problem partly, however just typing is still faster than having to swipe in between (swipe: is this the correct term within the Jolla universum for this gesture? swipe already has another meaning). But maybe one day we get the "swipe board" known from other OSes already, where you do not hit keys but swipe from one to the next one?

jgr ( 2014-01-23 23:52:15 +0300 )edit

Maybe we should use swype in this context, as that's what that keyboard technology is called. Or maybe that's a registered trademark? Though getting that for Jolla would be great, miss it from my N9.

Mohjive ( 2014-01-23 23:59:53 +0300 )edit

answered 2014-01-31 11:54:55 +0300

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This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

updated 2014-01-31 11:54:55 +0300

jgr gravatar image

See https://together.jolla.com/question/21510/howto-adapt-sailfish-virtual-keyboard-vkb-layout/ for how to adapt the keyboard yourself, e.g. adding figures to the tap-and-hold set of a letter. (Still slower than if the figures would be available directly.)

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the swype solution is still a lot quicker still, for me, than trying to activate "accent" of a key and selecting that.

But great that there's a way to modify the layout.

Mohjive ( 2014-01-31 14:06:32 +0300 )edit

@Mohjive: I do not disagree. However, for example into the 2nd symbol level you cannot swype -- or did I miss something?

jgr ( 2014-01-31 18:35:40 +0300 )edit

@Mohjive: "swype ... still quicker" -- well, I managed to reduce the time until the accented characters appear, I changed it from 800 to 100 ms: Now I am not sure which method is the faster one. (The timer is located in /usr/share/maliit/plugins/com/jolla/Popper.qml.)

jgr ( 2014-02-02 03:31:17 +0300 )edit

@jgr: great tip! Have you added it to the how-to? It would fit nice there.

Mohjive ( 2014-02-02 12:15:34 +0300 )edit


jgr ( 2014-02-03 00:57:00 +0300 )edit
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Asked: 2014-01-23 18:27:39 +0300

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Last updated: Feb 08 '14