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.