Re: [NTLK] Newton Screen Test - Take 3

From: Dennis B. Swaney <>
Date: Mon Feb 02 2009 - 09:43:02 EST

Frank Lowney wrote:

> I have written about iPhone input methods being well behind what is
> possible, even w/o a stylus. The virtual keyboard notion simply
> hasn't been fully exploited yet. We are still using QUERTY despite
> the fact that the problems this layout addressed (physical keys
> jamming) has long been moot. DVORAK was supposed to be a better and
> faster alternative for electronic text input but that may be too
> little and to late to be useful on mobile devices that use a touch
> interface. Can the Newton keyboard layout be changed? Not the
> language but the keyboard layout. Could you implement DVORAK or some
> yet-to-be-invented system on Newton?

The reason the QWERTY layout is still used is because it is what people
have been trained to use for over 100 years. The computer keyboards kept
it because of the transition from typewriters, though my Apple IIc could
switch between it and DVORAK (as long as I could remember which QWERTY
key was which DVORAK key.) Unless you can get the schools, computer
companies AND all other businesses to adopt a new layout, it will remain
the dominant one. I only see it going away when 1.) HWR becomes 100%
reliable, and 2.) physical data entry disappears.

> What would a stylus-optimized keyboard layout look like? What would
> the underlying assumptions be (e.g. hold device in one hand, operate
> stylus in the other)? Or are we so stuck in our ways that what we
> really want is one of those fold-up QUERTY keyboards that some Palm
> users are so enamored of?

And, yes, and larger physical keyboard IS better than a virtual one;
remember, there was one for the Newton and it was the main part of the
eMate. For writing on my Palm PDAs, I preferred Grafitti (sp?), unless I
was doing a LOT of data entry, then the physical keyboard ruled. Perhaps
we should be looking at using Grafitti again on the Newton?

Dennis B. Swaney
"Windows is a command-line OS with a GUI shell while Mac System 10 is 
... oh, never mind."
The NewtonTalk Mailing List -
The Official Newton FAQ     -
The Newton Glossary         -
WikiWikiNewt                -
Received on Mon Feb 2 09:44:06 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Feb 02 2009 - 11:30:00 EST