Presentation & questions

Jim Gettys jg at
Sun Aug 5 18:37:53 EDT 2007

On Sun, 2007-08-05 at 03:35 +0200, Guylhem Aznar wrote:
> Hello
> I have many many questions but starting with them would be rude - so I
> will first introduce myself :-)
> My name is Guylhem Aznar, I am a medical resident doing a PhD in
> computer science, working on computer support for a written form of
> sign languages. (for a good introduction on the topic, see
> I have been using GNU/Linux since 1993, wrote
> various application (xiterm, etc), documentation ( played
> with Linux on ARM devices (first with the zaurus, then,
> etc.
> For my CS PhD thesis, after having worked on the other aspects of the
> problem of global computer support, mostly revolving on the
> encoding/Unicode issues, I am now working on the display and the entry
> process of signwriting support,
> Following a real-life test of an XO at the RMLL in Amiens, France, I
> reoriented my work from the basic Gnome support (which isn't research
> work by itself) to the more interesting issues an OLPC implementation
> would bring (which is full of unknowns - like will the faster
> algorithms I proposed will be fast enough on an OLPC?)
> Anyway, I currently have  2 research topics :
>  1. how can the OLPC display signwriting text. I read some good
> guidelines on
> but I wonder how children will perform with signwriting, which is
> quite different from written text
>  2. how can the stylus area be used to help writing in signwriting.
> This is still an open problem, for which current methods relies on
> either on-screen pickup of signs or keyboard based "shortcuts"
> After this quick introduction, here are the questions I have.  Spent a
> lot of time with google,  the wiki, etc. but I still have no
> definitive answer, so I'm asking. Tell me if there are dumb questions,
> I could understand :-)
> 1. Is the keyboard on a B4 identical to the pictures posted on the wiki ?
> doesn't say anything.
> I need to know because I may have to use shortcuts until other entry
> methods have been completed

> 2. Is the touchpad working in pen mode?
> I'm asking because I found conflicting information : I read on page 30 of
> "10.3.2 Because GS is designed to be operated by a finger, a finger
> wearing a glove, a pen, a ball-point pen or  pencil will not make it
> work. GS will not behave normally with two or more fingers
> on the surface or with something laying on the surface. "
> I thought pen mode was supported? : on
> Jim
> said it wasn't possible *yet* - at least that brings hope.
> let me think it is possible now.
> In the end, is it?

Yes, it can be used.  What isn't done is support for calibration, and
the like.

> 3. Can you disable anti aliasing for the color mode ?
> The anti aliasing in the dcon specs is interesting; I will have to
> test it to check how much it may impact on the display process sice
> the wiki says it currently can't be turned off, while the DCON specs
> let me think it could be. Another open question for me.

Yes, it can be turned off.

> 4. Who is working on the display issues ?
> While studying the wiki, I noticed on the display page a mention to
> perception tests which had been performed, and whose results would
> soon be published.
> I wanted to run various tests before doing on-field tests with deaf
> children, but such information could save me some time and effort, to
> concentrate on the sign writing specificities.
> I was initially asking my dumb questions to Jim Gettys, but I figured
> they would fit better on the mailing list and save his time.
> It's a bit late here (3:30 am here in France) and I'm tired, so I may
> forget something - feel free to ask for more details if I haven't been
> clear enough
> I'm eager to join all y'all in this interesting project, and hopefully
> help making the OLPC more usable to deaf children.
> Thanks for any help,
> Guylhem
> PS: if any of you is in Porto Alegre, please contact me offlist
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> Devel at
Jim Gettys
One Laptop Per Child

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