Rockbox Technical Forums

Support and General Use => User Interface and Voice => Topic started by: Chuck McKnight on March 30, 2008, 11:43:48 AM

Title: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chuck McKnight on March 30, 2008, 11:43:48 AM
I love the fact that Rockbox has a text editor, but it's not exactly the easiest thing to use. The idea is right, but IMO the layout could be better. My proposal:

Only four lines of characters needed at the top:
Code: [Select]
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ[ENTER]
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz[SPACE]
,.;:?!'"-+=*/\()[]<>@#$%&_|
1234567890

These characters represent the ones on a standard keyboard most commonly used. The rest would be accessible from the menu. Comparable to inserting a symbol in Word.

The scroll-wheel would move sideways instead of up and down which the up and down buttons would do.

When the cursor moves down to the number row, it would jump to "0" if it was past the "j."

The overall idea is to minimize the amount of movement needed to get to the characters to allow for faster typing.

Opinions?



Edit: Another possible layout:
Code: [Select]
ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
`1234567890-=[]\;',./[SPACE]
~!@#$%^&*()_+{}|:"<>?[ENTER]
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on March 30, 2008, 12:54:11 PM
You can load your own custom keyboard layouts.  See here: LoadableKeyboardLayouts (http://www.rockbox.org/twiki/bin/view/Main/LoadableKeyboardLayouts)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chuck McKnight on March 30, 2008, 12:57:33 PM
Ah, sweet. ;D Thanks for the link!

I wonder why my searches didn't find that? ???
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on March 30, 2008, 02:36:42 PM
Eh, sometimes I find I need to try a couple of different keyword combinations.  I first searched for custom keyboard, but that didn't give me the link.  Searching for keyboard layout returned the result that I wanted.  

Glad to be of service.   :)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Alfox on April 08, 2008, 10:02:26 PM
Thanks for this tip. The very small default font on the text editor is hardly visible to me and made it practically unusable.
I was wondering if all Rockbox users have 20/20 vision. :)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: pixelma on April 12, 2008, 05:39:26 AM
Remember that the size you see a 8 pixels high font (like the default) is also dependent on the actual display's pixel size and the displays of the first Rockbox targets had larger pixels. And the developers were younger... :P
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 13, 2008, 02:22:42 AM
I had what is probably a bad idea, as it would probably limit the kinds of characters one could conveniently use (pretend for a moment, unrealisticly, that we're simply talking english characters and basic symbols), not to mention my idea only applies to the ipod models as far as I've thought it out, but I figured EVERYONE would be SUPER PUMPED to hear it anyway! :P

My idea (thinking out loud in type on the internet, I like to call it) would work similarly to entering your initials in an old arcade game. I picture all of the letters/numbers/symbols in one continuous loop at the top of the screen, that can be scrolled through by using the scroll wheel. There's a little arrow or something in the center of the screen, showing which letter you're on. The text in question is below this, and has its own line cursor that you can move forward or backward at any time with the next/prev arrows on the scroll wheel (this would be useful in not having to switch from letter choosing to cursor moving as it happens in the current setup). A short press of select could enter a letter, and a long press could delete a letter. Play and menu could work as they currently do, ending and saving and just ending, respectively.

In my admittedly port and language-specific model, with efficient scrolling, I think this could potentially be faster than the morse code method. Possibly. Others would probably want to try it out first. Being the super helpful guy who can't code to save his life (else I'd make a sample patch), I drew a handy-dandy picture...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/dancemasterglenn/CrappyExample.jpg)

I am the greatest artist ALIVE.

I'd honestly like to know if this is a stupid idea or not. I do realize it's limited in the sense that it's ipod specific in terms of conrols, and that the more letters it has, the longer it will take to scroll around, but excluding those VERY LARGE factors, is it still a silly concept?

EDIT: I do also realize this might be better as a flyspray post, but since this topic was open and active I figured I'd go for it. If someone does think it's a good idea, to flyspray it will certainly go.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 13, 2008, 02:25:41 AM
What exactly would be the point of excluding those factors when you yourself admit they're quite large?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 13, 2008, 02:33:56 AM
I suppose I figured that certain targets do have port-specific features (sometimes related to available buttons, as this would be), as far as the port aspect goes. As far as limiting the amount of characters to a basic alphabet, numbers and characters, the morse code method seems to do something similar. In fact, using just the characters provided in morse code input in my model would not be much of a scroll at all, especially considering the loop letting you go backwards as well as forwards.

But of course, in the end I was mostly looking for your honest opinion. Do you think it would necessarily be a bad idea?

EDIT: That last bit is directed toward anyone who would like to share their thoughts, and not necessarily specific to Llorean (though I do want his opinion).
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: j8048188 on April 14, 2008, 08:35:23 AM
I like the idea of the scrollable line.  it could work on the sansa e200 with the scroll wheel.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: shotofadds on April 15, 2008, 03:32:01 PM
Personally I think there's a reasonable case for the on-screen keyboard to differ between targets. For something useful like the keyboard, it makes sense to implement it in a way that makes best use of the available hardware. If the scrollwheel's a good way to achieve that, so be it.

Similarly, keeping the current on-screen keyboard would be madness on the upcoming touchscreen targets.

But as always, it takes someone with an interest and the free time to imlpement such things.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 16, 2008, 01:47:35 AM
Personally I think there's a reasonable case for the on-screen keyboard to differ between targets. For something useful like the keyboard, it makes sense to implement it in a way that makes best use of the available hardware. If the scrollwheel's a good way to achieve that, so be it.

Similarly, keeping the current on-screen keyboard would be madness on the upcoming touchscreen targets.

But as always, it takes someone with an interest and the free time to imlpement such things.

This is essentially what I was thinking when I posted before. When I stated that it was a strictly ipod change, it was mainly because that's all I have in my hand to conceptualize. If j8048188 also believes it could be workable on the e200, I'd be glad to hear it. The methods of text input as-is are workable, but since they can be slow to work with I find myself only using them when absolutely necessary. While it would be a lot of work to go through each target and decide whether a more appropriate editor would be useful given that player's button layout, it would be a project that would make rockbox that much more accessible to newer people (not unlike the update to the cabbie theme).

I'm still useless for actually making a patch, but I thought I'd throw out an idea or two anyway. The albums in pictureflow respond to the scrollwheel similarly to the way I imagine the letters working in my picture above (though it would obviously be less flashy). If the plugin loaded letters/numbers/symbols instead of album covers, that would at least be a decent way to see how one likes scrolling in that manner.

In terms of the D2, and other potential touch targets... has anyone played smash brothers brawl (probably a stupid question...)? I think the way you input text in the game would work really well on a touch target...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v71/dancemasterglenn/brawltextinput.jpg)

Essentially works like a phone keypad. each button could be touchable, and there could be a button that switches the letter buttons to number buttons. The actual text area would need to be bigger, but there would definitely be enough screen space on the D2 to handle it.

Just an idea. Ignore me if I'm making a fool of myself.

Anyway, the biggest hurdle to any of this (besides the obvious need of a motivated coder) is how to make it available for multiple languages. I'm still working that one out. But thanks j8048188 and shotofadds for your feedback.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 16, 2008, 07:04:20 AM
I think something in-between the OP's and DancemasterGlenn's (1st) suggestions would be good for the Ipod.

Have separate lines for Capitals, lower-case, numbers and punctuation and move between them with a button press (short menu?). Each individual line would wrap to the start of that same line. FF/Rew to move the caret as suggested. Common punctuation grouped at the start (middle?) of the line (probably start with space, then fullstop etc.).

I'd like to see it anyway. :D
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: psycho_maniac on April 16, 2008, 09:12:01 AM
I think if anything happens to the keyboard layout. one thing that should really be changed is the size of the actual letters. On my gigabeat there freaking small. It would be nice if the font you chose for the wps would be the font for the entire player. Also I like DancemastersGlenn's 1st suggestions also
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: MarcGuay on April 16, 2008, 09:20:14 AM
I think if anything happens to the keyboard layout. one thing that should really be changed is the size of the actual letters. On my gigabeat there freaking small. It would be nice if the font you chose for the wps would be the font for the entire player.

If you set up a custom keyboard layout the font will be changed to the one used in the rest of the UI.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: j8048188 on April 16, 2008, 09:40:29 AM
i like the scrollable text idea, but it would have 3 separate lines that would be switched between using a trigger button.

see attached picture.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 16, 2008, 11:07:50 AM
I think if anything happens to the keyboard layout. one thing that should really be changed is the size of the actual letters.

I see this as a problem that would hopefully be fixed when multifont is implemented. I have no personal problem with the current size on my ipod, but that's mostly because I don't use the editor very much, and never on the go due to it being a bit time consuming. the text sizes in my picture weren't any kind of scale (using text in gimp doesn't seem to be very editable yet...), but I'd say it's definitely readable. Ideally it would also be prettier, at least having the normal backdrop and font color (but that's why it's a rough sketch). It's my opinion that while these potential text editors might not act the same on all targets, it would make sense for them to at least be themed similarly in terms of any colors used (just an example, if any colors are in fact needed). In that way it would be kept at least somewhat uniform.

Quote
Have separate lines for Capitals, lowercase, numbers and punctuation and move between them with a button press (short menu?). Each individual line would wrap to the start of that same line.

My problem with multiple lines (besides clutter) is that we start running out of what I would think of as "sane" button combinations for normal use. If clicking "menu" now exits without saving, it doesn't seem like it would make sense to change that press to switch a line, and (I'm assuming) make quit a long press. I still think that if it scrolls nicely, having all the characters on one line (capital, lowercase, or other) should still be smooth.

Actually, now I'm curious. Do you want to be able to see all three lines at once, or are you talking about using menu to toggle between visible lines? Because that could be nice, actually... no clutter, and it might even be useful for putting other kinds of characters into my model (one could switch into foreign characters in this model, if toggling between formats was customisable with different character sets). In this way we could avoid getting a really huge line in any given situation, and some plugins do use a long menu to exit, if I remember correctly, so it's not that insane. We would lose our long menu going into Morse code, though, and I enjoy that feature (I think it's really smart). I suppose an option could be made to use Morse code, classic, or this potential third option in a text editor preference menu, but you'd lose the ease of switching you have now. Although if the idea worked well enough in practice, it would definitely be more useful on the go...

When I'm less swamped with work, I've been thinking about looking at as many of the targets as I can, to perhaps make more crappy concept drawings. Anyone could do this, really, and it might help if the person doing it actually owns the player, since I would just be looking at pictures/videos of players in action and reading their rockbox manuals. If this is a silly idea, please tell me so.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 16, 2008, 01:02:42 PM
I was thinking of only one line being visible at a time and the line simply changing when you press a button. Text size could be as big as you wanted and the line would simply scroll across the top of the screen if it didn't fit.

Probably superfluous rough ASCII representation:

---------------
|stuvwxyzabcde|  <line scrolls with wheel
|      ^      |   Short menu for next line (numbers)
|             |
| pla|.m3u8   |  <line scrolls to follow caret if name too long
---------------


That's how it's been in my head for the last few months but I haven't really thought about any possible issues it may have. Maybe being able to see multiple lines would be better. I don't know. Should work with multiple targets, even those with tiny screens.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 16, 2008, 03:03:05 PM
Yeah, that's the essential idea. On screens with room there could perhaps be something in the corner displaying which line you have in use ("abc", "ABC", "123", "!@#"), so people know they can toggle.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: bascule on April 17, 2008, 03:13:25 AM
It would be worth reading this: http://www.almaden.ibm.com/u/zhai/papers/ZhaiHunterSmithHCIGalley.pdf

It describes the theory behind the OptiII layout that's on the Wiki (more interesting than you might think) and explains that it is optimised for minimum movement of the cursor i.e., common letters  grouped in the middle, least-used towards the outside.

However, this approach is less useful for the scrollwheel targets and something like that proposed above would be quite cool if done properly. As usual the stumbling block is finding someone both interested and capable of coding it.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 03:28:37 AM
I think the simplest solution would be, for scrollwheel targets, to have it so if you scrolled off the right side of the screen you entered the next side one line down. Then it would behave similar to the line, but without a complicated new system, just one slight change to the behaviour?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 03:41:19 AM
Quote
It would be worth reading this...

Interesting... I'll check this out, looks like a good read.

But yes, the main reason I looked into it at all was the fact that using the scroll wheel to move up and down felt very unintuitive. I'm sure that on targets with four-directional scrolling have a better time with the current model (such as the gigabeat? I've never even held one, but it looks like it's got four directionals...). If the implementation of my idea was even slightly like using the pictureflow plugin, or entering one's name in an arcade game, it seems like it would make it pretty fun to do, as well :)

Quote
I think the simplest solution would be, for scrollwheel targets, to have it so if you scrolled off the right side of the screen you entered the next side one line down. Then it would behave similar to the line, but without a complicated new system, just one slight change to the behaviour?

That alone would be a nice change in the current behaviour... one of the weirder aspects is having all the empty space be treated as lots and lots of usable blank characters.

I'm not throwing out ideas simply to shake things up and cause a stir or anything (hopefully you don't think so)... I'm just off in my own little world brainstorming. Your suggestion would be great for the current model, but I'm still hoping someone with some actual skill (i.e. not me) will take enough of an interest in the idea to at least make a simple plugin for people to test out. I have a feeling this would be really fun in practice, and maybe being able to try it out would make more people take interest. And finally, you probably didn't mean this when you said complicated, but at least in my first picture I drew, wouldn't you agree that one line to navigate should potentially be less complicated to navigate?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 03:53:31 AM
"Complicated" as in "Adding yet another text input method, causing there to be a yet more code of debatable merit." There would be no practical difference between having scrolling increment/decrement at line end, just a visual difference that would require new code. With my suggestion, existing custom .kbd files would still be entirely usable with it, and a user can usually see all the letters to know whether forward or backward is the shortest path to them (possibly important with non-alphabetical characters such as those in other languages, or symbols, which are not always placed predictably).
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 17, 2008, 04:47:54 AM
Having all characters on screen at once puts severe limitations on the potential size of the text. Something which I have a particular interest in. :)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: shotofadds on April 17, 2008, 04:48:58 AM
Out of interest, why does the default keyboard use the system font, when a Loadable Keyboard uses the UI font?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 06:00:52 AM
@Definebyte: It's not "all characters" but "each page of characters" since I believe the current method allows toggling between pages. Would being unable to tell if you need to scroll 10 characters to the left or 400 to the right be more or less useful than being able to skip between fully visible pages until you get to the one that has your character, then quickly scroll left or right to it depending on which end it's nearer?

@shotofadds: I think so the default one is *always* usable (visible on the screen, etc).
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 17, 2008, 07:10:53 AM
I don't know where 400 characters comes into it. I was talking about four lines (maybe three would be fine) of around 30 characters. Maybe I'm not understanding you.

Currently you can't 'scroll' left or right anyway, you have to use FF/Rew, which is much slower. Surely you can't think two separate input methods for horizontal and vertical scrolling is a good thing either (which both the default and opti2 layouts demand)?

The current method needs more buttons, is over-complicated and quite slow. If extra/target specific code is deemed undesirable to deal with that then there's not much else to say.

This is all from the perspective of an Ipod Video user of course.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on April 17, 2008, 11:19:27 AM
I also find the asymmetry between horizontal motion and vertical motion a bit troublesome at times (with a Sansa).  Maybe a good first step would be just to switch the scroll wheel action to horizontal and allow the scrolling to line wrap like Llorean suggested.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: bascule on April 17, 2008, 12:58:33 PM
Agreed. Flyspray feature request raised:

http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/8904
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 01:42:59 PM
I still like my idea a lot, but I think that the flyspray suggestion (using the scrollwheel to go through the wrapped letters in their current layout) is a really solid step in the right direction, with the least new code needing to be written. I'd be happy with this, for sure.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on April 17, 2008, 01:58:59 PM
You'll notice that I said "first step".  You are welcome to continue to discuss other interface ideas.   :)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 02:00:54 PM
And you know I will, haha  :P
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 02:35:30 PM
My point with "400 characters" was that any future solutions should take into account loadable layouts that aren't restricted to the alphabet we use in English. A long linear strip of characters is pretty much the worse possible way to move through a very long list of characters, especially since you can't see them all. Having it display as many characters as possible, and with the ability to move forward/backward a page at a time too, improves this problem greatly.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 17, 2008, 02:57:14 PM
The longest alphabet appears to be 74 characters. Should be able to accommodate that easily with scroll acceleration. I guess Kanji and the like could be split over multiple lines. x)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 03:01:13 PM
Does that count include characters in that alphabet, English letters (for recognizable extensions at least), numbers, and all associated non-alphanumeric symbols?

And again, wouldn't you prefer to SEE which direction to scroll? You don't seem to get this: The controls would be essentially the same as the linear mode suggested, it would just offer the option of OTHER controls and the ability to SEE what you wanted. What exactly is your problem with it? Or perhaps, what advantages does your method offer?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 17, 2008, 03:08:51 PM
Does that count include characters in that alphabet, English letters (for recognizable extensions at least), numbers, and all associated non-alphanumeric symbols?
Why would they be put on the same line?

I'm not sure I have a problem until I try it. The current method, with a few tweaks may well be fine. The most important thing is how the scroll wheel is used.

I think most people know the alphabet so not seeing it shouldn't be a problem. The position of common glyphs on the punctuation line could be easily remembered and you'd see it as you scrolled anyway, as you do with lists in Rockbox now.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 03:11:00 PM
Even if you know the position, paging to it is faster than scrolling to it, and just scrolling within the page...

Why should we do a slower method that offers less visual feedback? What advantage does it offer, at all?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 03:48:09 PM
Mostly it would offer the space for larger text and minor aesthetic appeal. As was stated by a couple of people, if a long menu press (as an example) could switch between capitals, lowercase and symbols, it stands to reason that it could also toggle different language sets as well (although this could potentially be slow in transition). Perhaps a setting that lets you check off which languages you want to be able to toggle to in basic use. I agree that it does help to see all the characters at once, but I still think that (and this has been said) with proper acceleration of the scroll wheel, there should be no speed loss. Unfortunately, I can't prove that without a plugin to back up my statements.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on April 17, 2008, 04:49:22 PM
I think larger font is kind of tangential to this discussion.  Wouldn't that be addressed by support for multi-font capability?  As well, if you load a custom keyboard then it should use the user font instead of the system font.

It seems to me that there's no fundamental difference between the ideas of paging and toggling between character sets.  Basically, you're changing the topological structure from being a single LONG ring into a set of disconnected rings.  It's very often much faster to jump to the ring you want and then scroll within the ring than to have to scroll all the way through a long, monolithic ring.  Paging jumps you to a new set of characters that the scroll functionality allows you to traverse.  This is all that the toggling action that DancemasterGlenn has described accomplishes, as well. 

Of course a slight change to the page changing behavior seems necessary to make them more equivalent.  For instance you would want scrolling off of the end character on a page to wrap back to the beginning character on that page and not go to the next page.  I admit that I have never used a multi-page keyboard, so I am not very familiar with how this behaves with various targets.  My understanding is that some targets have a dedicated page turning button while others simply turn to a new page if you scroll off the side of the current page. 

What do people think of this idea?  It combines the basic structure of a set of rings that you traverse with the scroll wheel with visibility of all characters within a given subset.  Subsets can be chosen with the press of a button (i.e. turning to a new page).
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 04:54:57 PM
That's what I suggested, but I'm having a hard time understanding Glenn and Definebyte's objection to it.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on April 17, 2008, 05:09:50 PM
I know.   ;)

I'm just trying to build a bridge.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 06:55:02 PM
I think larger font is kind of tangential to this discussion.  Wouldn't that be addressed by support for multi-font capability?

Yes. I said that earlier, and realize that it will eventually be addressed. Not really a problem for me, but something I was thinking ahead about.

Quote
As well, if you load a custom keyboard then it should use the user font instead of the system font.

Most definitely.

Quote
It seems to me that there's no fundamental difference between the ideas of paging and toggling between character sets.  Basically, you're changing the topological structure from being a single LONG ring into a set of disconnected rings.  It's very often much faster to jump to the ring you want and then scroll within the ring than to have to scroll all the way through a long, monolithic ring.  Paging jumps you to a new set of characters that the scroll functionality allows you to traverse.  This is all that the toggling action that DancemasterGlenn has described accomplishes, as well.

I think I understand?  I definitely don't want all the character sets on one huge line, so yes, I think this is correct.

Also, I think I just actually realized what everyone meant by paging. Let's see if I'm correct: all the capital letters would be on the display at once, and you could scroll through them as they wrap around the screen and all. Then you would press a button (whatever, a long next I guess on an ipod?) and it would display lowercase (turning a page, as it were. This is the paging part, right?). Another click, symbols, another click, numbers (order doesn't matter here, I'm just trying to understand). Is this correct?

Assuming it is, I have no problem whatsoever with this idea. I like my idea fine because in my head it looks pretty, but this sounds like this would be just as easy to use, more visible everything (only having one of these sets on the screen at once frees up more space than the current model of having everything on the screen at once), the idea of having a permanent cursor always on (like my comment in the flyspray task) for moving around with next/prev on an ipod, or deleting something with a long select (examples) still works, and it would even keep the menu button freed up if we wanted to keep using it for morse code. Excellent. Unless I missed something and I'm getting this all wrong.

Quote
That's what I suggested, but I'm having a hard time understanding Glenn and Definebyte's objection to it.

It seems I was not understanding quite what you meant, but I never had an outright objection to anything you said. I already told you, your idea was a good one. And it's even better now that (I think) I understand it completely.

EDIT (classic me...): I also can appreciate how this setup would work better than my original idea for non-english languages.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on April 17, 2008, 07:12:19 PM
Good.  I'm glad my post had some apparent effect in clarifying the situation.

And to confirm, yes, by using pages you could consolidate all capital ASCII letters into one scrollable page, lowercase into another, uppercase Greek into another, etc.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Llorean on April 17, 2008, 07:15:54 PM
And (in my opinion) a significant benefit is that it wouldn't be fundamentally different than the display for non-wheel targets, they'd just have a more classical way of navigating around the screen full of characters. And touchscreen UIs  could allow you to simply tap the desired character. Thus, you wouldn't have different input screens for different targets, just different controls for that screen.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 17, 2008, 07:19:20 PM
Sounds fine to me.

EDIT (I'm on a roll!!!): The more I think about paging, the more I like it. This would really benefit smaller screens, like the nano. I like this idea a lot!
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DefineByte on April 18, 2008, 04:30:01 AM
The Ipod Video doesn't have a button to switch pages currently (looking at the manual). Easy enough to add. As I said, with a few changes (wrapping to the same line, said paging button) the only major problem I'd have with paging is aesthetic (I said that right? xD).

Okay, another idea popped into my head that is more or less the same as previous ideas but would work better on really tiny screens (I think):

    j
    k
playlist
    m
    n


The (switchable) ribbon would scroll vertically over the current character to be changed instead of at the top of the screen.

Yes, I am in fact bored. 8-)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: j8048188 on April 18, 2008, 09:59:00 AM
If nothing else, the flyspray patch will greatly improve the ease of use with the keyboard.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 18, 2008, 10:22:40 AM
The Ipod Video doesn't have a button to switch pages currently (looking at the manual). Easy enough to add.

It didn't need pages before, since right now all the characters are jumbled on the same screen. This would take care of that, if I understood correctly. See my comments on the flyspray task for potential keybindings.

Quote
As I said, with a few changes (wrapping to the same line, said paging button) the only major problem I'd have with paging is aesthetic (I said that right? xD).
That was my thinking, but this other method seems like it will make the most sense, in the end. Not to mention it'll be easier to code and have things be nice and visible.

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Okay, another idea popped into my head that is more or less the same as previous ideas but would work better on really tiny screens (I think):

    j
    k
playlist
    m
    n


The (switchable) ribbon would scroll vertically over the current character to be changed instead of at the top of the screen.

Yes, I am in fact bored. 8-)

Haha, you sure are! It's a cool idea (and would be a wonderful pair to my original idea), but it's going to meet with the same criticisms of my original work, unfortunately. It looks awesome though, so don't stop brainstorming by any means.

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If nothing else, the flyspray patch will greatly improve the ease of use with the keyboard.

That's the plan!
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: bascule on April 18, 2008, 02:29:08 PM
Sorry to disappoint, but I posted a feature request, not a patch. AFAIK, no-one has even considered coding it.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: MarcGuay on April 18, 2008, 02:33:03 PM
I linked the feature request to a patch that, if I understand it correctly, makes similar changes, at least to the way the scroll wheel behaves in the text editor screen.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 21, 2008, 02:39:02 PM
Sorry to disappoint, but I posted a feature request, not a patch. AFAIK, no-one has even considered coding it.

He probably means if/when it happens. Hopefully he actually glanced at the page before he said anything :P
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: bascule on April 21, 2008, 03:24:58 PM
I linked the feature request to a patch that, if I understand it correctly, makes similar changes, at least to the way the scroll wheel behaves in the text editor screen.

Sorry, there is no link in the feature request I initiated (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/8904) and I can't find an existing patch that makes these modifications.

What is the FS# for the scrollwheel patch?
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: MarcGuay on April 21, 2008, 03:36:00 PM
It's added as a "related task" to that entry, (http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/7873), but it looks like I made a bit of a mistake while reading it.  The changes aren't similar, but it is indeed a new concept for the keyboard button layout.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: DancemasterGlenn on April 21, 2008, 04:10:16 PM
Hm. That layout does not seem like it would be as useful in scrollwheel targets as the method discussed here. In ipod targets in particular, having menu and play suddenly become up and down would be particularly odd.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: bascule on April 21, 2008, 04:44:13 PM
It's added as a "related task" to that entry

Ah, I see it now  ::)
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: cycletronic on May 29, 2008, 09:33:41 AM
I think a really cool keyboard system on these platforms would be something called EdgeWrite.
http://depts.washington.edu/ewrite/
Unfortunately, it's patented, but it's still cool.
Basically it's similar to palmpilot graffiti, but the letters are designed to go from corner to corner in a square space, so they are really easy to recognize (think tables instead of machine learning).  So basically you need four buttons in a square-like pattern and you have the alphabet.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: CFP on June 18, 2008, 10:11:24 AM
I coded a new text editor to not interfere with the current one, using a different typing method. It's all there : http://www.rockbox.org/tracker/task/9069. The point is to not select and then insert character but replace current character using up/down. However, I've only tested it on Gigabeat so far.
CFP.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: yegods on October 17, 2008, 04:08:33 PM
what about a probabalistic approach?  instead of a simple scrolling buffer of all possible letters... display a small buffer with letter or numbers that might be wanted next; those with higher probability would be closer to the current position of the cursor.  like the word suggestions in modern console text editors.

example:

you're last letter typed was a consonant, so a rule would be found that says the next letter would probably be a vowel... all the vowels are then display centered around your cursor, with the most common vowels that follow the consonant closest.  this could of course be keyed by language, so that general rules for each language could take precedence.

same with numbers... if your last letter was numberic, then the rest of the digits should be shown next to your cursor.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on October 17, 2008, 04:55:09 PM
You need to store a database/dictionary of all possible words then, or at least heuristic rules for each language -- bloat, in my opinion.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: yegods on October 17, 2008, 05:00:31 PM
i don't think that would be necessary.   you need a table of letter/two-letter/maybe three-letter probabilities.  these are already commonly used in cryptography to guess at probable letters.
Title: Re: Proposal for a better text editor
Post by: Chronon on October 17, 2008, 06:56:26 PM
I highly doubt that the developers will consider this a worthwhile increase in binary size.