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Enters BestBoard

We’re using it for a while now, still being in development, so there’s no download yet. Stay tuned. But we can now show you a bunch of photos.
  The difference between Best’s Keyboard created in last year and the new version is that BestBoard

  • has a completely new keyboard designing language named Coat 2
  • can type several characters on a keypress (e.g. you can create an SCH key for German or an EAU one for French)
  • can send key codes and meta keys (e.g. Ctrl-F1 when used to control a PC)
  • can define several modifiers (e.g. a separate key can be created for each diacritic of Vietnamese)
  • features Auto Caps and Space Control (and Space Travel of course)
  • can have an unlimited number of boards with unlimited number of keys
  • can define half buttons at screen edges
  • can display several titles on a single key, independently colored and positioned
  • can automatically switch between boards when you rotate your device

“Unlimited” means there’s no fixed limits set in the program, but there are memory and speed limitations of course. And size limitations: if you want 50 keys in a row on a smartphone, BestBoard will display it, just the keys will be extremely tiny.

But a picture is worth a thousand words, and we have several pictures. The following screenshots are from a single keyboard, the one I’m currently using, Kinesa 7. First, let’s see the main keyboard.
  
  Ten keys in a row means on my Samsung Galaxy S a 12 mm key width, a comfortable size for me. And eight such rows means 80 keys. Its core is the Kinesa layout I’m using for Hungarian since 2006 (first on Palm, then on Android), extended with a letter ç and the Czech letters because I need them for my books. But you can create your keyboard layouts.
  On the second row from top, you can see a blue ⇧ Shift key which activates the blue characters written on the top of the keys (and uppercase letters), a purple ↤ Backspace key and a blue ⇧⇧ Caps Lock (half-key). On the bottom row, there are four cursor arrows.
  The red button at the left is the modifier key; this layout contains only one, however we can define numbers of them. If you press a letter a and the modifier, you’ll get á, then à, ǎ, â, ä, and so on; similarly, c, ć, č, ċ, ç. But you can create your keyboard layouts.
  There are seven keys that lead to other boards. The ⇕ key at the right replaces the Czech letters with digits and punctuation:
  
  Only the top row changes.
  The ɮ character on the right is an IPA symbol and leads to an IPA layout with phonetical symbols:
  
  Returning to the main keyboard, on the left, there are three half-keys that lead to six additional boards; the lower symbol shows what happens when pressed alone, the upper one is called after Shift. Read from top to bottom, a Cyrillic, a Greek, a Devanagari and an Armenian layout, I’ll show the latter one:
  
  This is (like the other three) merely alphabetical, not arranged statistically, so it’s unpractical to type on it, but it wasn’t created for that, just for experimenting. But you can create your keyboard layouts. The Armenian layout is a “cheating” one, the Latin equivalents are written on top of the keys. Actually, there are two Armenian layouts in this package, a lowercase one and a Shift one.
  The third button leads to a special Keyboard Builder keyboard (✍) which types complete Coat 2 language structures at once, and a Latin keyboard containing a handful of letters with diacritics:
  
  Finally, the № key points to the numeric keypad with only 22 large keys, and the one titled Ky points to a keyboard I’m using for useful abbreviations for Kissy. But you can create your keyboard layouts.

This is our philosophy. BYCCYKL. But You Can Create Your Keyboard Layouts. Don’t you like the layouts shown here? No surprise, these are for my needs, not yours. Only you can create the layout you like, for yourself. Our philosophy is the completely redefinable keyboard. If I decide tomorrow to write a book on Molière, I can add a letter è to my keyboard, at any place I like, just by adding a few lines to the Coat program. If the day after tomorrow I want to write about Hồ Chí Minh (also known Nguyễn Tất Thành), born in Nghệ An Province and married to Tăng Tuyết Minh, I can add a complete Vietnamese layout to compose all the 67 Vietnamese accented letters with modifiers, or I can put all the letters on different keys – I decide, just for myself. However, the layout I design is a simple text file I can share with others, if I wish to.

Some of our plans in the near future (subject to change, a list far from being complete):

  • a string modifier that can change abbreviations to longer strings (e.g. “sig” to your complete signature or “i18n” to “internationalization”)
  • measuring typing speed
  • adding an “alternative touch” for keyboards, e.g. by drawing a circle on a key can activate a different function
  • switch keys: for first press, it sends something, for second press, something else (e.g. the opening and closing pair of a HTML tag)
  • multiple copy-paste keys

Available for download… coming soon.


Láng Attila D., 2015.9.17., 16:29:06

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