eekboard 1.0

I made the first stable release of eekboard, yet another on-screen keyboard software package. Some time ago I blogged about using it on a tablet PC and listed a few issues. Since then, I went on a trip with the tablet (without laptop), where I noticed a lot more issues, notably:

  • I tend to tap wrong locations on screen and need to delete the previous character and type again. The extra steps are cumbersome.
  • I want key repeat for some keys, particularly backspace.
  • Also I want cursor keys when using Unix shell.
  • Modifier keys should be marked when they are locked/latched.

Now most of them are resolved and I can comfortably use my tablet PC as a laptop alternative.

Changes summary:

  • Now IBus input-method events can be used as an OSK trigger, in addition to accessibility events through AT-SPI. Since IBus supports a variety of clients (GTK, XIM, Qt, and Emacs), eekboard can be automatically enabled with most applications I use daily.
  • A delay can be added before hiding the OSK window on focus-out, to prevent window flickering when moving focus from a text entry to another.
  • In fullscreen mode, eekboard now tells WM that it is a dock (or panel), so application windows do not overlap with the OSK window.
  • Key press can be replaced with another key press by sliding a finger to other keys. This helps prevent mistyping.
  • Key can be repeated by long press.
  • Setup dialog is added.
  • Server-client library and the D-Bus protocol are revamped, inspired by libcaribou.

Video: (original ogg version)

eekboard 1.0 on tablet from Daiki Ueno on Vimeo.

Packages are available for Fedora:

Settings for tablet PC:

# use IBus input method events rather than AT-SPI focus events
$ gsettings set org.fedorahosted.eekboard focus-listener 'ibus'

# hide OSK window when focus is on non-editable widgets
$ gsettings set org.fedorahosted.eekboard auto-hide true

# start eekboard in fullscreen mode
$ gsettings set org.fedorahosted.eekboard start-fullscreen true

I would recommend to use your tablet with the shorter side at the top, to keep the workspace square enough even when the OSK window is displayed.

9 thoughts on “eekboard 1.0”

  1. I have ran into a problem , I changed the keyboard layout to uk, when i start eekboard i get the following error.

    $eekboard
    Can’t set keyboard “uk”

    Is there a way to get the default layout back so that i can use the keyboard ?

  2. Hi
    Does eekboard supports right-to-left languages like Persian?
    I add Persian language into my Fedora 16, but eekboard always shows English characters.

  3. Hi, I just tried to compile the eekboard-1.0.3 sources from the fedora rpm src package on my Arch Linux. eekboard keeps crashing (no debug prints, no exit code). eekboard-server the same.
    First thing I noticed: The python files are python2 files and Arch defaults to python3. After fixing that I started eekboard-server eekboard -e. eekboard still crashs silently. The server crashes now with

    (eekboard-server:25288): GLib-CRITICAL **: g_variant_unref: assertion `value->ref_count > 0′ failed
    [1] 25288 trace trap (core dumped) eekboard-server

    eekboard looks realy interesting, maybe I can build a package for arch linux if you can help eventually… I’ll try git later.

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