[SailfishDevel] keyboard development

rinigus rinigus.git at gmail.com
Wed Feb 28 19:14:52 UTC 2018


I have a question regarding the longer term plans for keyboard development
in SFOS. Namely, @martonmiklos has brought over Presage predictor to SFOS
and already published keyboard using this library. I think its a great
development and together with @ljo we have been helping @martonmiklos to
make this plugin better. Please note that below, I speak for myself and I
haven't checked whether these questions even make sense with others.

At present, the released plugin has been enhanced by making it fast through
using different language model storage/query mechanism, using relatively
small size of n-gram database (English 5MB, Estonian 10MB), made
asynchronous to ensure that the user's input is not lagging behind, and
just extended with Hunspell speller as an additional "predictor". All is in
the testing / bugfixing stage. In longer term, with the right effort, we
could get very well working open-source predictive engine and keyboard.

I am trying to understand how the pieces fall together and I am not sure
100% whether I do. I can see that SFOS uses proprietary jolla-keyboard and
the developed Presage input handler extends it. Which is fine, but maybe we
could go deeper and do better.

>From looking around, Maliit has adopted keyboard developed by Ubuntu Touch
as a reference, corresponding Maliit repo https://github.com/maliit/keyboard
. In addition to UBPorts, the same keyboard is used by LuneOS. This design
already supports Presage and Hunspell, also done in asynchronous manner as
we are testing for SFOS now. It has support for quite a few number of
languages, pinyin, and emoji. I do not know how this design compares to the
internals of jolla-keyboard and maybe someone can share their knowledge
regarding it. I would expect that it was developed on the top of Maliit
available at the time of J1 and kept as it is after that.

Now, I do wonder what is the long term plan with the keyboard development?
>From the outside of Jolla, it seems to me that it would be wise to join
forces with the others and develop this component together. Each OS in
question has their own styling, but that seems to be possible to apply on

Its not trivial to compile the latest Maliit on SFOS (they switched to
CMake based builds and few cmake configs are missing in SFOS right now),
but I expect that its possible with some effort. Just don't want to spend
too much time if it's gonna be without any use.

So, to summarize, I would like to hear what's an opinion on the raised
issues by those who know. Would be great to know plans and comparison of
jolla-keyboard with the current Maliit UBPorts/LuneOS versions.

Best wishes,

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