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jamapii
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 7:56 pm    Post subject: on screen keyboard for wayland Reply with quote

Hallo

I know there have been some on screen keyboards in the past. Even older versions of gnome used to have one (onboard). For X, xvkbd works very well:

- it can be set to international layouts, to type international characters, without affecting the hardware keyboard. I remember no Windows OSK can do this, so it is tempting to restrict this.
- it has a "Focus" button, so whenever the focus does not behave, I can force it
- it has the correct size on the screen

Just one little bug: when I resize it a few times, the F keys gradually disappear. The bug seems to be long-standing, maybe it is unmaintained, but still by far the best in gentoo.

And a little related problem: It does get focus (it shouldn't). I guess this is due to mutter/gnome restrictions. Some window managers can be configured for this.

It seems xvkbd sort of tries to work in wayland, but fails.

There is xkbd, which has tiny height and fullscreen width and is ugly, unresizeable and strongly suggests the kill command.

There is another one, matchbox-keyboard, which cannot be moved or resized, and cannot do much it seems.

And then I remember florence, not in gentoo, didn't try recently.

onboard no longer exists

Now gnome has 1 or 2. One is called caribou and has no way to call or invoke it, just look at its CONTENTS file. The other one has an on/off in gnome settings and is just crazy. It cannot be actually turned on or off, instead Gnome does it when it feels like it. Then it covers half the screen with mostly empty space, it lacks many keys, cannot type international characters unlike xvkbd, and pushes the application windows randomly around, not restoring them when it goes away. Worst is, I even had it pop up when it was supposed to be off. Maybe it is the same as caribou, maybe not.

So no. The current gnome keyboards do NOT qualify. I guess this should more properly be called an undesirable popup, not an OSK.

It is also useless for other reasons, touchscreen related, which belong in another thread.

However, is there any other solution?

thanks...

edit: corrections
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jamapii
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, onboard and florence are in some layman overlays.

onboard does not work at all in wayland, as it lacks the focus button workaround (compared to xvkbd). florence does not start.

onboard hoewver is a good testcase - try to type an international character - mutter (I presume that is the wayland compositor/server) and the whole wayland session crashes.
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jamapii
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I tried Plasma on wayland. Its OSK is (almost) the same - covers half the screen, cannot be turned on or off in a controlled way, etc. However, it seems it can be set to an international layout.

Its enable/disable switch is also hard to operate, because the plasma panel tends to go in a state where it ignores most clicks.
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jamapii
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found some extra information about Wayland itself (can not find the source any more). It says that on screen keyboards are explicitly blocked on purpose on wayland as a security "feature".

Edit: found the source for this
https://wiki.debian.org/Wayland "one window cannot access resources from, or inject keystrokes into, another window."

So I guess these can only be, and are, in the compositor itself. And after seeing the existing solutions, it looks like there will never be anything useful?

I tried to find out if it is possible at all to have a hardware keyboard and an OSK with a different layout at the same time, like X11 and Android.

The plasma OSK skillfully dodges the experiment. I can open a sticky note, enable OSK, click in the note and then the OSK will pop up (covering the note so that it is invisible - gnome OSK instead pushes all windows around irreversibly). There I can type international characters. As soon as I use the HW keyboard, the OSK turns off, escaping the experiment. Note there is no such experiment for Gnome possible. The Gnome OSK cannot change layouts.


Last edited by jamapii on Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total
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asturm
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PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2019 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamapii wrote:
And after seeing the existing solutions, it looks like there will never be anything useful?

That's a strange notion; You don't believe in ongoing development? Why not contact upstream about those issues?
_________________
backend.cpp:92:2: warning: #warning TODO - this error message is about as useful as a cooling unit in the arctic
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jamapii
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This IS the result of ongoing development. Why would they change it and go back to onboard/xvkbd?

From what I can tell, the Gnome (and KDE) keyboard is good for people/devices who do one thing at a time, in fullscreen. And will never use a hardware and virtual keyboard at the same time.

I can't tell if the automatic on/off switching is working as intended, but the other behaviours (covering half the screen etc.) have to be.

So I use traditional window managers, multiple windows at all times, no fullscreen, I arrange my windows as needed. My use for an OSK is first, typing international characters as needed, and second, as an additional or alternative keyboard when it is just better. I guess nobody else needs that, and anyone can do without it - everyone changes their keyboard layout so that the software view mismatches the hardware labels on the keys, and is fine with that.

What would be needed?
- an on/off button that actually just does that (the existing attempts at magic can be optional)
- size and position determined by the user
- international layouts while keeping the hardware keyboard's layout

At least the first 2 are probably not the GNOME way - if it ever exists, it will be removed later. Unless it turns out everyone needs it.

KDE has always (since 2.0) been fragile AFAIK, I have no time for that. I think my best bet would be to create it myself. Maybe add an OSK interface to mutter or any wayland compositor, and adapt xvkbd to use it.
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