Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yet more good news on the hardware front, courtesy of Gotta Be Mobile. Software will quickly be the only hurdle left. I'd better get to it, and quick -- only two years until this baby gets released!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I've set my eclips timer to zero. As you can see, that means it can
only translate one-sillable words correctly, but it's useless for
anything that takes more than one stroke. But that's okay, because
I'm using it to break up a script in vim, so I don't
really need to write anything in the way of words. It's slow going
for the time being, because I don't have the commands bred into my
finkers properly yet, but I ants pate that it'll feel pretty natural
after I've been at this for a few hours. When I said one sillable, I
meant one-stroke. But I think I'll let this stand as a testment to
the pointlessness of timers. If I increased the lag, all my words
would translate properly, but I'd be unable to edit effectively. This
way I can't use my steno machine for writing, but at least I can use
it for editing. I'll get the victim commands set in my finkers --
that should be vim commands, obviously -- and then later, down the
road, once moreover is working -- ha! And that should be moreover.
Plover! Mover. That's hill airious. All this thinking and planning,
and I haven't even gotten around to putting the word Plover in my
dictionary yet. That was finker spelled. I'll have to recollectify
this. Oh, lordy. What an embrassment. I hate timers. Hate them,
hate them, hate them. All right, enough examples of mistranslates.
I'll get back to training my finkers into using vim on the steno
With respect to that last entry, there's also capitalization and hyphenation to consider. If I write "one of a kind" and then stroke HAO*IPB three times, how smooth is the redraw? How do we make Plover understand that it needs to hyphenate backwards, skipping words that are already hyphenated? So with each stroke we get "one of a-kind", "one of-a-kind", et cetera, until it's full up. The response needs to be quick and natural. Most people don't count how many words they want to hyphenate; they just stroke the command until things look right.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The problem with Plover being first and foremost a keyboard emulator is that steno revisions are frequent and necessary. An example: SRAEUG, by itself, will be rendered "vague". But if you then type "REU", it needs to turn into "vagary". And then if you add "S", it needs to turn into "vagaries". The natural solution is to send backspaces before sending the new letters. But do you backspace the whole word, or do you determine how much you need to change? And if you do the whole word, will it be intrusive? Sometimes you need to delete 10 or more letters for a single stroke. How quickly will that be done? Will the rollback be annoyingly slow or make it feel like there's a slow response time, or is there a way of making it instantaneous? Another alternative would be to use Ctrl-Z or Shift-Back Arrow/Delete, but those aren't foolproof ways of deleting previous words in all programs; they're soft conventions. The other steno programs solve this problem by keeping words in the buffer, but I hate that, because when you do want something displayed instantaneously, it means you have to flush the buffer manually, which gets incredibly tiresome. I'll just have to see how the backspacing idea works out. Possibly we can incorporate options for word deletion that can be customized to particular programs.