Jay's complaints (read `suggestions') about the Agenda's HWR and on-screen keyboard

(`HWR' = `handwriting recognition', except where I use it as a verb, where it means `write'.)

Alternative handwriting recognition

There's a third-party project, described at http://agendawiki.com/wiki.pl?HWRProjectPage, to improve, extend, and/or replace the Agenda's built-in HWR and keyboard support. Among other useful things, there's an xmodmap binary which I hope to try soon. The alternate HWR project supports international (accented) characters, and a full-screen mode where no screen real-estate is reserved for HWR.

Handwriting recognition

Figure 1 Figure 2
consistent `e' stroke consistent `d' stroke

On-screen keyboard app

Cross-application typing/event support

I had written
No OS-provided cut-and-paste support across applications.
but I was wrong. Enzo Dari pointed out to me that Ctrl-x, Ctrl-c, and Ctrl-v work in the PIM apps for cut, copy, and paste, respectively. Presumably this is obvious to people who use Windows. :-) Unfortunately, they don't work in rxvt (the Terminal application), but that's not as big a deal if you use bash. (I don't, because of the memory hit.) It would be a lot more intuitive, though, to have `Cut', `Copy', and `Paste' menu entries as well.

Suggestion for Terminal input

And I'll close with a suggestion for the Terminal application (or other applications that use keyboard input a lot more than they use mouse input, or that can constrain mouse input to a portion of their visible window): It would be great to have an invisible HWR area on the screen. HWR would work normally, just as if you had the HWR `keyboard' up, but it would not be drawn (or perhaps it would be drawn in very light grey), and it would not cause the Terminal to resize or obscure the text in the Terminal. I presume this would require the Terminal application to pass the mouse events to the HWR/keyboard process in some fashion, unless the keyboard app can somehow grab mouse events without being on top of the Terminal window. And the scrollbar would still need mouse events. But all in all, it would make the Terminal a lot more usable.

(Even better would be if this could work in landscape orientation. That would be about 40-60 columns visible, depending on font and scrollbar, which starts to let full-screen tty-based apps feel approximately normal.)

It sounds like the alternate HWR project mentioned at the top of this page supports both of these features! Hopefully Agenda will fold it into their distribution at some point.

last updated 2001.08.28