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My Way to Develop Keyboards

Still not published yet, but I’m developing keyboards for two days now and I like it. For future reference, here’s the way I do it on PC. On Android, it will be a bit easier later when you can switch layouts quicker and some bugs fixed, but PC is better for the time being. For a long while, since PC gives a quicker reach to Unicode charts, color pickers, what’s a bit more complicated on Android.
  Ingredients:
  – on PC, a text editor, a Unicode browser, sometimes a color picker and a gradient mixer; the folder storing layouts is shared on the LAN;
  – on Android, Jota+, SyncMe Wireless, Elixir 2 and ES File Explorer.
  And Best’s Keyboard, of course. And another input method, no matter which one, it won’t be used.
  I’ve created a folder called sdcard/_bestboard on Android and defined a sync job to copy the contents of the PC folder into it. Elixir lets me to create a status bar widget containing a shortcut to this job, so I don’t have to go to SyncMe each time, just I press the shortcut.
  I’m always editing bestboard.txt, being this the name the program is currently insisting on. Previously finished layouts are stored by other names.
  When an edit is made on the file, I run the sync job and the file is copied to Android. Then I return to Jota+ and open the keyboard, so I get a status bar button to bring up the list of available input methods. I press it and get the list. I choose another input method. That brings up, I press the same status bar button again and choose Best’s Keyboard. Currently, this is the way to reload the program and force it to process bestboard.txt again: switching to another input method then back. It takes longer to read it here than to do it.
  Here’s a little appetizer, my newest experimental keyboard. It’s still Kinesa, but has as few keys as possible, and covers a large set of characters. The red modifier key turns the previously pressed character to another one; keys wearing punctuation and special characters give only a single character, ones with accented letters yield a series of accented letters, but only the first one is shown. The blue Shift gives uppercase characters and the blue characters written on the grey keys. The green modifier key brings up another layout with numbers and arrows. And there’s a whole key yet unused and black, intended for another modifier.


Láng Attila D., 2014.9.29.

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