Re: Proposal: mouse-only Caribou for GNOME 2.30

Hi Francesco,

Sorry for the delay in responding to this. It kinda fell off my radar
with all the holiday madness going on :-).

First of all, I want to thank you for bringing this up. It's import to
discuss things like this to make sure that we all know the various
motivations behind what we're all working on.

So basically I don't think that Onboard should go away - if it works for
people, than I think they should use it. In my opinion, Caribou is
different enough in a number of areas that it justifies its development.

When I started thinking about replacing GOK, I decided that I wanted to
re-think what an onscreen keyboard should be. I decided that the new app
should be focused on inputting text efficiently rather than trying to
represent a physical keyboard in software. I actually go out of my way
to make sure that I don't use the term 'on-screen keyboard' with Caribou
because it tends to limit what people think it should be.

One of the ways Caribou is different from Onboard is that uses
simplified layouts similar to what are found in modern smart phones. The
idea with this is these simplified layouts seem to be working well for
most of the the smart phone users so they should work well for text
input in Desktop systems too. Of course we won't be able to cover all
cases with these simplified layouts but people can always create their
own layouts if the included layouts don't cover all of characters / use
cases they need.

Caribou also uses an inline window rather than a window controlled by
the window manager. This allows the user's attention to be closer to the
text they are entering.

Eventually I would like to see Caribou host other text input widgets in
its inline window. So maybe we'll see a Dasher widget in the Caribou
Window or we might even be able to even put Onboard inside the Caribou
Window if someone feels that's a good solution for them. The only reason
I started with the keyboard widget is because GOK was my starting point.

Another part of the plan for Caribou is to add switch support to the
keyboard widget and inline scanning of application UIs. Of coarse these
are big tasks but my plan is to make the switch support as a module that
other programs can use. Onboard could use this as well if people want it.

To repsond to a couple of your specific points, Caribou actually uses
virtkey as well so we're not duplicating effort there. We're also
following the work on the dbus prediction engine and plan to use it when
it's ready.

I hope this clears things up a bit. Please respond if you have any more
concerns. I'm happy to discuss things further.

Cheers, Ben

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