[sw-l] New Keyboard Demonstration Software

Sandy Fleming sandy at FLEIMIN.DEMON.CO.UK
Fri Feb 11 11:55:13 UTC 2005


Thanks for the feedback - and encouragement!

My laptop keyboard gives me no problem with this, other than the hash key
not being right beside the apostrophe. Please let me know of any specific
problem you have with your laptop though.

Your second point is also asking whether we want to aim for an international
keyboard or whether different language keyboards will have to be different.

This program is based on the whole idea of abandoning the international
approach so as to limit the number of symbols we need to make available to a
user typing a specific language. Also, if we are going to use fingerspelling
and numbering handshapes to make the keyboard easier to learn, then this
takes us even further away from an international keyboard.

I've chosen the approach that seems to me the lesser of two evils - it seems
better for learners to be able to locate keypresses as easily as possible
than to have an international keyboard where every keypress has to be
learned from scratch. There's the possibility of having keyboards with
marked SW symbols manufactured, but we have to squeeze an awful lot of
markings onto the keys: handshapes, movement symbols, and oral text letters
at least. And probably no way of showing the handshapes that take more than
one keypress to type (actually, there is a way of doing this through
software: by having a "trainer bar" on the screen to aid typing - but even
with that, it's still not easy to memorise the keyboard without making the
connection through fingerspelling). It seems that an approach that really
helps the user to understand the keyboard conflicts with the idea of having
an international keyboard.

I do think it's a good idea to try to make keyboards as similare as
possible, however. For example, me using Irish Sign Language "h" on the
American Sign Language keyboard is a step in this direction. But that won't
help with the non-French-based fingerspelling systems.

As for the "/ as shift-7" of the Norwegian keyboard - I don't think this
will be a great worry. We can set up the Norwegian keyboard so that some
other key does the floor/wall plane shift, or set the ASL keyboard to use a
different key so that keyboards can be as similar as possible.

I also intend to allow individual users (advanced users, anyway) to change
their keyboard keys to suit themselves. You can even experiment with this
already by editing the sgn-US.lng file that comes with the download - though
maybe take a backup copy first!


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> [mailto:owner-sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu]On Behalf Of Ingvild Roald
> Sent: 11 February 2005 10:51
> To: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Cc: sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu
> Subject: Re: [sw-l] New Keyboard Demonstration Software
> Sandy,
> how would that work on laptops?
> And remember that some of us already have problems accessing some symbols
> in the diifferent programs, because of our national keybords - Norewgian
> has the / as shift-7, for instance.
> But you are doing great work, thanks,
> Ingvild
> sw-l at majordomo.valenciacc.edu writes:
> >The idea is that I can use the number keys to type handshapes as well -
> >then
> >the number hands can be used as memory aids as well as
> fingerspelling, and
> >we'd have 36 hands that can be typed with just one keypress, rather than
> >just 26.

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