Horrible keyboard on the Librem 5

Can’t figure out if it’s the touchscreen or the keyboard, but most likely the keyboard is damn near impossible to use.
Keep hitting the wrong key or not registering my taps. Day and night difference from whatever stock or AnySoft on a conventional Android.
Are there any other keyboards besides this one?

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Then your experience is very different from mine. In my opinion the keyboard works fine.

It seems unlikely that a different keyboard implementation would register a different key, presumably when you tap on the screen that translates to a specific position on the screen, not sure if the keyboard itself can do anything about that. Does it typically miss in the vertical or the horizontal direction, or both?

Maybe you could try something like a drawing program (e.g. GIMP) to see if the place where it registers your touch matches the actual touch or if there is some offset?

It’s free software so you are free to change it in any way you want. You can also look at operating systems than PureOS (like Mobian or postmarketOS) to see what they are using.

To help make it better, consider making your feedback as specific as you can and adding issues or commenting on existing issues here:

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Squeekboard still doesn’t have spelling suggestions and autocorrect, so maybe that is what you are observing. It has improved a lot, but right now @dcz is working on the cameras in the L5, so we will have to wait till she gets back to working on Squeekboard.

The Maliit keyboard (used in KDE Plasma Mobile, Ubuntu Touch and Sailfish OS) has been in development since 2009 and is closer to what you find in Android, but it doesn’t work in Phosh.

The postmarketOS port which supports Plasma Mobile is coming along, so you might want to try that, but from what I have read, it is still a work in progress.

I have often wondered if it would be possible to use the maliit-server and just add a GTK frontend for Phosh. Maliit supported GTK applications back in 2011, so maybe it could be updated to work in Phosh.

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There’s also the stock Qt Virtual Keyboard, though that would also require some integration work to be done for use in the phone environment on the Librem 5.

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I hope that will never change, or is (easy) switchable. When you are sending messages to friends in more than only English the auto-correction is a hateful thing. Too often you end up with unreadable text.

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This.

I get that, in some situations, auto-correct is annoying (even when it is working) but there are also situations where it would be helpful.

Freedom to use it - or not use it.

Maybe what you want is some kind of fast method of overriding auto-correct temporarily, per message or even within a message.

Anyway, academic at this stage, since there is no auto-correct.

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Why? Does this apply even when the correction learns from you?

EDIT: Auto-correction is highly prioritized and I have an unfinished prototype already, so now is a good time to explain what is desired/unwanted and why. For now, however, cameras are higher prioritized.

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Just for inspiration how it could be: “Hacker’s keyboard” for android can switch between keyboard layouts together with dictionaries by swiping the space bar horizontally.

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I agree with @Jan2 that auto-correction can be a very bad thing especially for someone who writes in several different languages.

One common example, for the combination Swedish and English that is relevant to me:

I write a lot of things, sometimes in English, sometimes in Swedish, both languages are about equally common for me. So when I start typing something, the computer/phone cannot be expected to know or guess which language I am going to use this time.

Then I type a couple of words that the computer does not recognize so it does not try to auto-correct them, so far so good. Then I type “i” which in Swedish is a word that means “in”. After “i” I tap the space key, because “i” is a word by itself. Then, the computer decides to replace “i” with the capital “I” because it thinks I am using English and it thinks that the word “i” should always be replaced with “I”.

This is extremely annoying, because I typed the thing I wanted to type and I did not make any mistake, still I have to go back and correct the error that the auto-correct “feature” (more like anti-feature in this case) has introduced. Or maybe I don’t detect it, maybe I am confident that I typed correctly (which I did), so I send the message or email or whatever with the error in it.

Yes, because there is always the situation when it has not yet learned. Even if it could learn about the “i” in the example above, it would still be very annoying while it was learning, and then later the same thing will happen with other words, I will always suffer from the risk of the “auto-correct” thing changing something I wrote correctly into something that is wrong. I don’t want that.

I don’t want the computer to “auto-correct” anything, it does more harm than good and it goes against the idea that I know what I am doing. I know what I want to write. The computer does not know, it should not override me.

What I do want is to have it show suggestions that I can choose to tap on if I want, that can be correcting something I wrote or it can be completing something I started to write, like I start typing a long word and then the computer recognizes that as the beginning of a common longer word and it shows that to me, allowing me to tap on it to paste the whole word. That is a nice feature that I would really like to have. In my opinion it is important that it never interferes with what I am writing, any suggestions it shows should only be options and should not need to do anything to choose not to use them. Using a suggestion should always be something I do actively. One way of doing this is to have a few suggestions shown above the keyboard, if I never tap there then the keyboard behaves exactly as normal, but I have the option of tapping on a suggested word up there if I want to.

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Dorota, as I use at least 3 languages daily (English, Frisian, Dutch) auto-correction is very annoying . If I forget to check the sentences after typing in a hurry the resulting message becomes often unreadable. I prefer the solution as proposed by @Skalman as quoted below or, if to difficult, an easy way to disable auto-correction per situation (e.g. “enable/disable auto-correction” button)

Of course when writing in a foreign language (English in my case) spelling correction is extremely useful.

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I also want an easy way to turn off auto-correction. When people ask me for Linux commands to fix a problem, auto-correction becomes a real pain. I want an option for the algorithm to continue collecting my strange words so it will eventually learn them, but I don’t want it to alter my text.
I also deal with languages that don’t have spelling dictionaries (Quechua and Aymara). If someone sends me a message in one of those languages, I want to turn off auto-correction, because it is really tedious trying to correct every word that gets mangled by auto-correction.

The important thing is that it be easy to turn on and off while typing.

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Here’s another voice for making auto-correct optional. I’ve been using my Android phone with auto-correct turned off since I first got a smartphone because it’s annoying and unpredictable. (Even Google’s fancy AI-powered keyboard still cannot reliably predict what I want.)

Recently the Google keyboard on my Android phone started to misbehave and I had to reset its settings (which enabled auto-correct again). I promptly sent two messages with embarassing typos to family members…

If I mistype on a keyboard, I am (slightly) annoyed at myself because I have to backspace. If I don’t mistype and the keyboard mis-auto-corrects me, I am (very) annoyed at the keyboard.

(Edit: as a side note, I do like swipe typing even if it makes mistakes, because I am in control and can choose not to swipe-type a word if I know it won’t get it.)

(Edit 2: of course, even if auto-correct isn’t optional, because Squeekboard is open source, I will just be able to hack it out myself – this is why I want an open phone :smile:)

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Lazy native English speakers like auto-correct too. :wink:

It would be good not to have to capitalise “I” or indeed capitalise the first word of a new sentence.

It is good not to have to put the apostrophe in words like “don’t” and “haven’t”.

Another, different, angle on text entry is highlighting erroneous words (red squiggly underline) - as, for example, Firefox does in text entry boxes. That is a less intrusive use of a dictionary.

I wonder if it is possible to persuade it to use a combined dictionary.

It will surely be possible to disable auto-correct.

It is similar on iPhone (maybe only on the Google keyboard for iPhone?) but this is easy to trigger accidentally. I’m not a fan. Once you change to the next language, you can only go forward, so to get back to English is a pain, having to click through dozens of languages.

So if you are going to swipe, you need to be able to swipe in either direction, in order to move in the corresponding direction.

Based on what other people are saying, it probably needs to move only between a small set of priority languages, configured by the user, rather than moving between the full set of all available languages.

The iPhone does that - and it’s good - but it does absorb more screen real estate.

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Thanks for explaining.

This is problematic, because there’s already very little space available. I guess a way to switch off correction does make sense.

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Is a way to learn your dictionary important in such cases?

That’s out of scope at the moment. I never really considered integrating it into an input method.

It will be, if someone does the work, and the user configures it that way.

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Yeah, this happens to me too. For me, what would be ideal would be a “suggestion” mode: guess at what I mean, and let me choose from those guesses at my whim, but never automatically change my typing. With that I could say goodbye to mangling, yet still get improved spelling & savings on typing.

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Bolivian Spanish has a lot of loan words from Quechua and Aymara that Spanish spell checkers don’t recognize, so in my case, it is OK if my Spanish auto-correction dictionary is accumulating words from Quechua and Aymara, but that is a strange corner case that probably doesn’t apply to most people.

My guess is that “yeet” is not in most dictionaries, yet a very important part of many people’s vocabulary :wink:

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Right. I didn’t really intend it to be part of the input process. I was just raising an alternative approach that is less intrusive, less disruptive, for those who are dead keen to disable this functionality (auto-correct) if you made it available. (I am keen to have auto-correct functionality. I certainly won’t be disabling it.)

So that would mean (?) that auto-spellcheck would need to be implemented as part of a text entry box (maybe it already exists?) or, worst case, within each client application e.g. Chatty.

FWIW, here is what that feature looks like on another phone with another operating system:

There I had started typing “Qua” and then it shows those three suggestions that come from some predefined dictionary and/or words it remembers that I have written earlier. So the amount of space it uses is about the same as one row of keyboard keys. For me, it’s okay that the keyboard takes up that much space while I am typing.

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