Virtual Keyboard in Mamona

- I got Mamona 0.1 and it boots up!!! But… How can access the terminal?
- You can’t, there is no terminal..
- Bad.. but why?
- There is no virtual keyboard.
- And how can I play with Mamona?
- USB serial, USB net, …

Yeah, as you can see, we actually were providing a way to use Mamona on N(77|80|81)0 devices.But of course we weren’t happy with this… Mamona 0.2 couldn’t be released without this feature. And now it’s done.

A research work was made by Lauro and Salveti by testing some vkbds under Enlightenment and without WM (just X). The guys decided to create the mamona_im (git web) implemented by Salveti that “notice” that a text field has the cursor and request the vkbd to appear. The ecore and gtk plugins were created to this library to support text fields from these toolkits.

The virtual keyboard chosen is matchbox-keyboard (mkbd) because it’s simple and toolkit independent. We planned to place the keyboard at screen bottom (1/3 of screen height), horizontally maximized, without decorations  (border and title bar), and owning the desktop area that it is placed ( I mean other windows doesn’t use this area when maximized). Beyond this we needed to fix some bugs of mkbd (crazy resize, ‘shift’ bug – keys weren’t working with shift and placement just after launch).

I experienced some troubles with Enlightenment too. They have some different concepts of how a desktop should be and so they don’t follow some freedesktop standards. For instance the _NET_WORKAREA X hint (inform the current desktop area) is not set by e-wm because (1) it limits the workarea in a square shape and (2) e-wm manage vdesktops of different sizes. Thanks to E guys that helped me to understand this. :) In the end I added a patch to get the screen size from Xlib, it was enought.

Finally it’s  done!  It was tested on N770 tablet and we’re testing it on N800 and N810, actually it should work in all tablets. Take a look in the results in the demo recorded by Salveti (take a look in his feed about mamona vkbd too).

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