david at lang.hm david at lang.hm
Thu May 22 17:14:05 EDT 2008

On Thu, 22 May 2008, C. Scott Ananian wrote:

> On 5/22/08, Andres Salomon <dilinger at queued.net> wrote:
>> On Thu, 22 May 2008 13:33:10 -0700 (PDT)
>>  david at lang.hm wrote:
>> > a touchscreen based keyboard is far inferior to a real keyboard. it's
>>  would be fine.  A USB keyboard gives far more flexibility than XO-1
>>  currently has in terms of languages, layout, cost, and manufacturers.
> I should point out that a touchscreen keyboard is far superior to our
> current keyboards for a number of languages: there are only so many
> intricate glyphs you can fit legibly on a keycap.  Further, a
> touchscreen keyboard can actually show you both the uppercase *and*
> lowercase glyphs (depending on your shift setting), which is far
> better for language learners, who can get confused when the letter on
> the screen doesn't look like the one they typed.
> A touchscreen keyboard also allows far easier customization for
> non-Roman-script languages.  See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_writing_system
> Currently we have to manufacture a custom keyboard overlay for each
> writing system supported.  Regions where there is more than one
> dominant writing system have no easy way to change their keyboards
> when they shift languages.
> All this is just to say that "ease of typing English" and "keyfeel
> like a Remington typewriter" are not the only items on our list of
> desired keyboard features.

it's not 'keyfeel like a remington typewriter', it's enough keyfeel to be 
able to touch-type. it doesn't take much, but I haven't seen any 
touchscreen that has any.

I realize that kids aren't going to start off touch-typing, but if the 
keyboard layout is close to the standard for that country (which the core 
of it should be, even if there are extra keys) they should learn the skill 
sooner or later.

David Lang

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