Eventual smartphone/desktop merge

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candyjack
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Post by candyjack »

None of this has anything to do with desktops, since there's no need to put it on top of your desk. Handtop would be a better term.
KeenEmpire wrote:It begins!
I lol'd at how that page calls it "The developer’s favourite OS." Every OS is the favourite one of that particular OS's developer.

Anyway, it's nice that I can fit GNU/Linux in my pocket, but I can't live with a device that doesn't have a keyboard. I'm waiting for this to come out.

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Post by MoffD »

candyjack wrote:I'm waiting for this to come out.
I hadn't seen that before, Thanks for the share. In the meantime I got to try a tablet for the first time (fixing a friends Nexus 7) and I must say it was pretty handy :blush
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Post by KeenEmpire »

candyjack wrote:I can't live with a device that doesn't have a keyboard. I'm waiting for this to come out.
For me, it's nearly the opposite. Ever since learning messagease, the qwerty keyboard seems really quaint. Seeing a touchscreen device that sacrifices build to include qwerty in hardware, not just software, is just painful.

Not quaint as in "it's out of fashion", by the way: quaint as in it's an artifact from a previous technology that doesn't even make sense when it comes to touchscreens. Apparently, someone decided it would be a good idea to compress a foot-long, two-handed layout to something like 2-4 inches with tiny buttons; no wonder it's so inaccurate.


Keyboard rant aside, something like the Neo is sorely needed to combat planned obsolescence. The problem is, its specs already seem obsolete. Maybe if they started the project when mobile hardware was slowing down, it would remain "good enough" for future versions, but I don't see that being the case.
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Post by Paramultart »

Keyboards truly are the best input device. Everything else is sub-par.
Eliminating them is only going to slow down and limit functionality by lowering the bar of expectations of how much a user should have to learn to use a computer.

We don't need VUI's or touchscreens, people need to learn how to type if they want to use a computer. It's that simple. The intention of eliminating keyboards and making computers all stupid and lame is to expand marketability, not improve functionality. That's why technology is going to sh*t.

PS. I'm right.
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Post by tulip »

A colleague of mine will back you on this all the way, Paramultart.
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Post by Levellass »

So windows has its start button back.

Which takes you right back tot he terrible intended-for-touchscreen thing everyone hates.


That's about as close to 'go to hell you whiners' I've ever seen from a dev team.

candyjack wrote:I lol'd at how that page calls it "The developer’s favourite OS." Every OS is the favourite one of that particular OS's developer..
I can truly say that KeenOS is a revolutionary and groundbreaking OS that supersedes all others. I say this not only as a user, but as the president of KeenSoft Inc.
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Paramultart wrote:Keyboards truly are the best input device. Everything else is sub-par.
Hardly; steno gets you 100 more wpm with more accuracy.
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Post by Paramultart »

KeenEmpire wrote:
Paramultart wrote:Keyboards truly are the best input device. Everything else is sub-par.
Hardly; steno gets you 100 more wpm with more accuracy.
While that's some pretty impressive code, and the girl is very skilled at using that system, I think this takes being unintuitive and complicated too far.
This system relies on intense memorization and AI to guess or determine the word. It's no more "thoughts to text" than the Swype keyboard on mobile phones.
Sure, you can type twice as fast than with a QWERTY keyboard, but for non-typing purposes I can't imagine it being very useful. You could implement the same system with a standard QWERTY keyboard in a specialized word processor by simply using less keys, requiring just slightly more memorization. (Since you wouldn't have the luxury of distinguishing vowels from consonants)

This is one situation where I believe the more "intuitive" choice is the superior choice. It's silly to mash several buttons to make the letter I when you can have a freaking key for each letter. One key should have one function. (Or several, if you count alternate button combinations like SHIFT and FN) That's logical, and their purpose is clearly mapped out in a self-explanatory, tactile interface.

Besides, this technology is clearly marketed for people with hearing disabilities. Its main purpose is to speed up the rate at which captioners to do their thing in real-time. Nobody truly expects this to replace QWERTY.

I'd rather type slower, anyway, because it gives me a chance to filter out some pretty horrendous thoughts and inflammatory statements. I already type too fast.
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Actually, the more common use is in courtroom transcriptions. Because keyboards can't type those quickly enough.
Paramultart wrote:This system relies on intense memorization and AI to guess or determine the word. It's no more "thoughts to text" than the Swype keyboard on mobile phones.
If by "AI" you mean "a phonetic dictionary", then yes. Steno techniques predated computers, after all; the computerized dictionary just automated the syllable-to-texting for us.

Even not knowing any of this, perhaps you should've been asking 'if steno is really no more "thoughts to text" than swype, then how come it can be used for real-time transcription while swype cannot? How come accuracy is reduced when using swype but increased when using steno?' The fact of the matter is that steno better resembles the keyboard, for which inputs unambiguously specify an output, than the predictive/autocorrective touchscreen soft-keyboards. The only reason it outclasses the keyboard is that it admits many more possible inputs, allowing multi-letter inputs to actually mean something.

We don't really "intensely memorize" phonetics; in fact, we probably know them better than we do spellings. The only thing we haven't really learned is how to type phonetically, a fair bit easier than arbitrary memorization. Still, steno is definitely hard enough that:
Paramultart wrote:Eliminating them is only going to slow down and limit functionality by lowering the bar of expectations of how much a user should have to learn to use a computer.
The "key for each letter" scheme you laud for some reason is, in fact, pretty darn inefficient. In addition to being slower, it forces every letter to be placed somewhere which, since you only have 8 typing fingers, almost ensures you'd have to move around significantly.
Paramultart wrote:I'd rather type slower, anyway
Why, you should've said so sooner! I recommend a touchscreen QWERTY-based soft-keyboard with predictive text.
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Post by Paramultart »

I didn't say it was like Swype, I said it doesn't read your thoughts. Obviously Swype sucks, but for people who can't type (or are using a crappy touch-screen), it's faster.

I think this is good for real-time transcription/captioning, just nothing else.

The QWERTY keyboard is great, and there's never been a moment where I thought "Man, I wish I could type faster", because I'm freaking good at it. Plus, there's always the ability to improve. The fastest QWERTY typer on record averages 216wpm. I don't see why anyone would need to type faster than 120, unless say, you're a transcriber/captioner, in which case this may be useful.

If you think QWERTY is inefficient, and that I'm a hypocrite for not immediately jumping on this new keyboard, well... you're probably right about the hypocrite part, which I humbly admit because I don't care... but anyway, the English language isn't efficient, and our alphabet make very little sense, so if you want efficiency then go learn a super-duper-efficient robot language, then you too can be one of 500 to do so.
If by "AI" you mean "a phonetic dictionary", then yes. Steno techniques predated computers, after all; the computerized dictionary just automated the syllable-to-texting for us.
I don't want every program I run with text fields to rely on sifting through a bunch of words just to make sense out of my button mashing, I want direct control over the ASCII characters that spew from my fingers, mistakes and all.
Otherwise, that's just more CPU eating software running, more DLL's you have to load for every program you write, more software becoming obsolete from losing functionality with the demise of a standard keyboard and more cases where databases omit uncommon (but correctly spelled) words. It's already annoying having a red squiggly appear underneath my (perfectly spelled, but uncommon) words in my web-browser text fields. With this new system, it'd be more difficult to say things like "The Shmaynorian Shmee-Shmay did a jig, farted and frolicked away".

Also, call me old fashioned, but I think that people should learn how to spell properly.
People are generally terrible spellers as it is, and there's debate on whether or not "TXT SPEAK" is actually contributing to this epidemic of illiteracy. From that standpoint alone, I don't see phonetic keyboards to be any improvement. (Aside from the practical use by professional transcriptionists, as previously mentioned)
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Post by Keening_Product »

Hardware keyboards in mobile-only devices are just asking for trouble. Even the iPhone's single button (ignoring edge buttons) breaks too easily.

This tablet that has bumps appear where the keyboard buttons are is interesting, but I'm not sure it's really needed as a keyboard, especially when it's not offering full size buttons. The other applications mentioned are interesting though: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20970928

I personally prefer any hard-touch keyboard, but that's just because I was using early-mid-90s tech well into the mid-late 00s, and was even using my 1996(I think) KB until late 2011 (I think I think I think). Up until the point I retired that one (old PS/2 connector started giving up) I'd never even used a USB keyboard.

Everyone's different. The fact there are all these different ways of typing being proposed is great news as it means even in the streamlining tech scene of today there are still options for people, so they can choose something they like, or at least hate less.
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Post by KeenEmpire »

Paramultart wrote: I didn't say it was like Swype, I said it doesn't read your thoughts.
Well, anything that interfaces with your fingers rather than brain will not read your thoughts. Once trained, you will be able to type syllables pretty much "at the speed of thought", though. Think how you may have immediate muscle memory of letters, and apply that to syllables instead; much more effective.
Paramultart wrote:I want direct control over the ASCII characters that spew from my fingers, mistakes and all.
You do have control. All the letters can be typed one at a time. It's just that you also have the option to type out syllables, or anything else you'd like to add to your dictionary.


Keening_Product wrote: Everyone's different. The fact there are all these different ways of typing being proposed is great news as it means even in the streamlining tech scene of today there are still options for people, so they can choose something they like, or at least hate less.
Funny fact: both iOS and Windows Phone only have qwerty (not qwerty-like soft-keyboards, qwerty). This despite the fact that the keyboard is 100% software, making the barriers to other layouts (whether dvorak or messagease) technically non-existent. Basically, thank google for Android, because they're the only major player who haven't imposed this inane, pointless restriction.
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Post by candyjack »

KeenEmpire wrote:Apparently, someone decided it would be a good idea to compress a foot-long, two-handed layout to something like 2-4 inches with tiny buttons; no wonder it's so inaccurate.
And what do touch screens do to improve that? They're about as tiny, and they're only worse in the sense that they don't give you tactile feedback. You constantly have to make an estimate about whether or not your finger is in the right spot.

Of course there's swype, but that doesn't feel comfortable at all. My nervous system wasn't made to swipe across a piece of glass all the time.

It makes sense to place a hardware keyboard as long as it provides a significant use. One example is that you can play games like Super Mario on it that way. You can do that with a touch screen, but it's not really the same, you're never as good at those games as when you have physical keys. And I'm not even much of a gamer myself, but it's certainly significant; people buy entire devices for such games.

tulip wrote:A colleague of mine will back you on this all the way, Paramultart.
I didn't know we're colleagues.

Levellass wrote:So windows has its start button back.

Which takes you right back tot he terrible intended-for-touchscreen thing everyone hates.


That's about as close to 'go to hell you whiners' I've ever seen from a dev team.
It seems to me like it's the other way around. Removing the button and relying on the screen edge gesture thing is exactly what made it so touchscreen-oriented and that's why everyone was whining. Now they're merely reverting the change, and still everyone is whining ('everyone' just consists out of different people now). I guess people are always whining.

I personally have no problem with the start button. It's just another way of accessing things. Ever since the task bar focuses on big icons without text, the space isn't exactly precious, so you might as well put a button there. Should the clock also be moved elsewhere simply because that space is reserved for open windows?

candyjack wrote:I lol'd at how that page calls it "The developer’s favourite OS." Every OS is the favourite one of that particular OS's developer..
I can truly say that KeenOS is a revolutionary and groundbreaking OS that supersedes all others. I say this not only as a user, but as the president of KeenSoft Inc.[/quote]
Someone should rebrand Ubuntu with Keen stuff. KeenOS sounds too original. How about Keenbuntu?
Paramultart wrote:
KeenEmpire wrote:
Paramultart wrote:Keyboards truly are the best input device. Everything else is sub-par.
Hardly; steno gets you 100 more wpm with more accuracy.
[T]his technology is clearly marketed for people with hearing disabilities. Its main purpose is to speed up the rate at which captioners to do their thing in real-time. Nobody truly expects this to replace QWERTY.
Nobody expects Dvorak or Colemak to replace QWERTY either. Doesn't mean they aren't superior.
KeenEmpire wrote: The "key for each letter" scheme you laud for some reason is, in fact, pretty darn inefficient. In addition to being slower, it forces every letter to be placed somewhere which, since you only have 8 typing fingers
I don't know about you, but I have ten. It's just that someone decided that the space bar is so important that not only is it reserved for both thumbs, but it actually needs to be so wide that retracting your thumbs a bit is still not enough to leave the key. I could've easily been using four keys with my two thumbs. Instead, even reaching for the Alt key causes stain.

Paramultart wrote: Plus, there's always the ability to improve.
I thought your whole problem with stenotype was the steep learning curve? It's the same for people who aren't as good at QWERTY as you: they don't want to spend time improving their wpm, they just want to type.
Paramultart wrote: The fastest QWERTY typer on record averages 216wpm.
I think averages are more helpful. A quick Google lookup tells me that the average is 41. Given, the people who don't have the self-confidence to even try touch-typing (and believe me, there's many) are weaklings who don't count, so I'll give it the benefit of the doubt and estimate the real average at 60. The average lecturer talks at 170 wpm. Of course, students need a verbatim copy of the words, they just need to take notes, but 60 wpm is definitely not enough. No need for people to type faster, you said?
Paramultart wrote: I don't see why anyone would need to type faster than 120
Sounds like a fine goal to me. And guess what kind of people have that as the average typing speed? That's right: stenotypists! Sure, it isn't the most reliable of sources, but Wikipedia actually names that exact number:
stenotype students are usually able to reach speeds of 100–120 wpm within six months
Paramultart wrote: the English language isn't efficient
The English language is very efficient. It has hundreds of thousands of words and the grammar is pretty consistent as well. It's the way we write the language down, and, since recently, type it, that isn't efficient. For some reason, people felt like just writing down the sounds we make would be way too simple, so they invented all these symbolic characters that stand for different sounds each time and often need to be paired together to make one sound. If only we could have a phonetic system. One that actually focuses on capturing the vowels and consonants... Oh wait, that exists, and it's called stenography!
Paramultart wrote: Also, call me old fashioned, but I think that people should learn how to spell properly.
People are generally terrible spellers as it is, and there's debate on whether or not "TXT SPEAK" is actually contributing to this epidemic of illiteracy. From that standpoint alone, I don't see phonetic keyboards to be any improvement. (Aside from the practical use by professional transcriptionists, as previously mentioned)
Oh, I'm with you on that. It's extremely annoying to see poor spelling and it signifies laziness and utter carelessness to a disrespectful degree. However, the whole reason we need to learn how to spell in the first place, is because we're used to an irrational, symbolic alphabet that doesn't precicely represent the words themselves, but only in combination with a codex that deciphers them to the actual words, and that everyone just needs to learn to memorize. Most people have. That codex is called a word book. It tells me whether or not crow rhymes with drow (nobody knows, since it was invented as a written word, not a spoken one) and if finale sounds akin to adage (it doesn't).

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Post by KeenEmpire »

candyjack wrote:And what do touch screens do to improve that?
They don't. Touchscreens are only the hardware, and, as you've pointed out, not particularly user-friendly hardware. What does lead to improvement is using a layout (like messagease) designed from scratch for the touchscreen, rather than just naively squishing a ten-fingered footlong qwerty layout into 2-4in (leaving keys of only a few mm in size, no wonder they're so inaccurate).

candyjack wrote:It makes sense to place a hardware keyboard as long as it provides a significant use. One example is that you can play games like Super Mario on it that way. You can do that with a touch screen, but it's not really the same, you're never as good at those games as when you have physical keys.
Where touchscreens do shine is in flexibility. Sure, you can build in a super mario controller, but then that spot on the hardware can't be used for anything else, ever. You won't get a general-purpose device that way. On a touchscreen, that same controller can be changed into a keyboard, more viewing space, or anything else that's needed.

Also, there are issues with moving parts and fragility, as Keening_Product mentioned.
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Post by candyjack »

KeenEmpire wrote:
candyjack wrote:And what do touch screens do to improve that?
They don't. Touchscreens are only the hardware, and, as you've pointed out, not particularly user-friendly hardware. What does lead to improvement is using a layout (like messagease) designed from scratch for the touchscreen, rather than just naively squishing a ten-fingered footlong qwerty layout into 2-4in (leaving keys of only a few mm in size, no wonder they're so inaccurate).

candyjack wrote:It makes sense to place a hardware keyboard as long as it provides a significant use. One example is that you can play games like Super Mario on it that way. You can do that with a touch screen, but it's not really the same, you're never as good at those games as when you have physical keys.
Where touchscreens do shine is in flexibility. Sure, you can build in a super mario controller, but then that spot on the hardware can't be used for anything else, ever. You won't get a general-purpose device that way. On a touchscreen, that same controller can be changed into a keyboard, more viewing space, or anything else that's needed.

Also, there are issues with moving parts and fragility, as Keening_Product mentioned.
I'm not suggesting smartphones provide different keys for each purpose. The same keys can be used for different purposes. It doesn't matter to me if it's a Qwerty keyboard or a Gameboy I'm playing the games with, as long as it has physical keys. A hardware keyboard is universal in that sense, and a touch screen only excels in that it can provide the same space for both input and output. This is a very useful thing indeed, but giving up tacticle feedback for that is such a big sacrifice, that saying that "it doesn't even make sense" is certainly an overstatement.

In fact, I just thought of the ultimate device. A device with about a 4" screen that is completely covered by buttons as transparent as possible, so you can still see the display. The display can just show an on-screen keyboard, with the keys below each button. A laser at the inner surface of the device can detect which buttons are pressed (so it's detected from the sides, rather than from beneath).

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