On Screen Keyboard

From WebOS Internals
Revision as of 05:46, 13 August 2009 by Hopspitfire (talk | contribs) (Moved warning to the top, sectioned the article for easier reading)
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On Screen Keyboard.png

Warning. This is PRE ALPHA testing grade only software. It may cause your pre to melt into a puddle and dissolve while turning blue. Use at your own risk!


The Palm Pre already COMES with an on-screen keyboard. It works in portrait and landscape, in all apps, in all fields.


Press the "sym" key and a scrollable 5x5 keyboard pops up full of alternate characters.

This is controlled by code incorporated into the framework.js. The specific functions there can be seeen in /usr/palm/frameworks/mojo/submissions/191.15/javascripts/widget_charselector.js

with the layout controlled by 3 files in /usr/palm/frameworks/mojo/submissions/191.15/templates/charselector

the actual list of characters that appear on the screen is controlled by /usr/palm/frameworks/mojo/submissions/191.15/resources/en_us/alternatechars_table.json

At the simplest level then, creating an on-screen keyboard requires editing the alternate characters table json, to add the "regular" charcters to it, and then when you want a keyboard, press SYM and poof, a keyboard.

At the next level, the framework's copy of widget_charselector.js needs to be modified to not close the keyboard after each keypress.

As of 12 August 2009 Webos-internals contributor egaudet announced success at patching the framework.js to accept a new function derived from the charselector widget. This pre-alpha proof of concept on-screen keyboard is available as a patch.


The patch is on Gitorious, please read the following to install the patch: Applying Patches - WebOS Internals

The patch should be stored(on Pre) in: /opt/src/modifications/frameworks/add-onscreen-keyboard.patch

the 'source code' of the patch: [1]


as of 12 August 2009 the following issues are known:

  • Add method to get at numbers and symbols (possibilities: sym,flick)
  • Modify keyboard dimensions in landscape mode to span accross width
  • Do not bring up keyboard when using hard keyboard clipboard events (might have to disable the keyboard when slider is open exposing hard keyboard)
  • Enable usage to search contacts/universal search
  • Fix far right column
  • Verify auto-correct when space added.
  • Possibly (and optionally) play sound or haptic feedback on touch
  • Add clipboard capabilities
  • Explore T9-type, limited-width keyboard options
  • Do not bring up keyboard on swipe gestures, only tap if possible