Feature proposal: Information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by natural continuous pointing gestures

(Yes, I know, a really long feature name.)


There are situations where a user can't use a hardware keyboard, or a full-size keyboard cannot be used (at least for long texts). For example:
  • when operating a computer one-handed, by joystick, touchscreen, trackball, or mouse;
  • when operating a computer with zero hands (i.e., by head-mouse or by eyetracker);
  • on a palmtop computer;
  • on a wearable compute

Module proposed

In order to fulfill this feature, we propose Dasher [1][2], that was created for fulfill the previous situations. Using a mouse, experienced users can write at 39 words per minute.  Dasher already uses the GNOME infrastructure (git repository, bugzilla, etc.)


Patrick Welche

Involved parties

Accessibility team


Just before the release of GNOME 3.0. some people was not sure about if Dasher could work properly on GNOME 3.0 stack, like the concerns about compatibility with at-spi2. So it was dropped from the GNOME 3.X moduleset.

Since then, the maintainer and developers tested Dasher with GNOME 3, and proved that it works fine with it [3]. In the same way, although the port to at-spi2  is still in process [4], this is just a optional dependency, that just provides some extra features.

Although it is true that doesn't work properly on GNOME Shell overview (as Caribou on the past, that lead to deep changes on Caribou and a GNOME Shell built-in keyboard view), Dasher can be still be useful with GNOME Shell, as for those searches, users can temporarily other tool (Dasher is mostly useful for those users when they need to write large amount of texts). In the same way it is still fully useful on the fallback mode.


In summary, this feature proposal is basically ask for include again Dasher on GNOME moduleset.

[1]  https://live.gnome.org/Dasher
[2] http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/
[3]  https://live.gnome.org/Dasher?action="">

Alejandro Piñeiro Iglesias

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