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Summary of the problem
Om 2008.8 uses Qtopia for its phone stack. Qtopia has a build-in keyboard primarily designed to compose SMS in English. This keyboard is very impractical to use with a terminal or enter an URL.
List of available keyboards
Matchbox keyboardThe matchbox keyboard.
The illume virtual keyboard a.k.a. Raster's keyboard.
See also Illume#Virtual_Keyboard (which would need to be completed ;)
The vkbd system.
How to use the Qtopia keyboard shipped with Om 2008.8 ?
- Slide finger left = backspace.
- Slide finger right = space.
- Slide finger up/down = changes between lowercase/uppercase/numbers/special characters.
- The 'Enter' key is bottom right on the special characters page
- Hovering over a letter for more than 2 seconds activates zoom mode, allowing you to type specific letters without prediction.
Detailed version: see How to use the Qtopia keyboard.
Short answer: opkg install illume-config. Long answer: here.
How to install the matchbox keyboard ?
Short answer: opkg install matchbox-keyboard-applet matchbox-keyboard-inputmethod Long answer: here.
How to install the illume (Raster's) keyboard ?
Short answer (theoretical): wait until the illume-config-illume package arrives in the repository, then install it with opkg.
Update: It is available in the testing feeds, but it does not give you the keyboard.
How to turn off the Qtopia keyboard ?
Short answer: Add the line export QTOPIA_NO_VIRTUAL_KEYBOARD=1 into the file /etc/X11/Xsession.d/89qtopia.
Warning: Even when you install another keyboard, if you do not turn off the Qtopia keyboard it will come back on the top
to bite you trollishly. References:
Comment on ticket 1864, and untested proposed
patch to qpe.
How to change the keyboards layout ?
How to change the dictionary used by the predictive keyboards ?
The dictionary for the "standard" (qtopia) predictive keyboard is stored in /opt/Qtopia/etc/dict/<LANG>/words.dawg. To change it, compile with dawgen an ispell dictionary (list of words) and replace the en-US words file. You can find an x86 binary dawgen executable here.
For illume: TBD
Matchbox has no predictive mode (to be confirmed ?).
How to toggle the predictive mode on and off ?
How to make Qtopia keyboards and illume/raster keyboard coexist ?
Your short-term options
- Turn off the Qtopia keyboard and install the matchbox one instead.
- Keep the Qtopia keyboard, let go (for a while) the desire to use the terminal locally, login remotely via ssh when you need.
- Get an external keyboard, USB or Bluetooth, light and foldable if you want.
- Switch to 2007.2 (but then similar issues arise : Switching Keyboards on Om 2007.2), FSO or Debian.
- Patch Qtopia so that it plays nice with other keyboards, send upstream, meanwhile recompile and provide a package.
PS: Complaining that management does not listen to the users needs is not a productive option.
Perspectives for long-term resolution
On August 27th 2008, Marek from Openmoko inc. announced the intention to focus on the low-level layers. Future "base system" distribution may not include any phone stack at all.