Plover for Android Mobile (Concept Photos)

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Stan Sakai

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Sep 6, 2010, 11:48:00 PM9/6/10
to Plover
Mirabai and I were briefly discussing the possibility of steno on a
mobile phone with a touch screen. Below is a transcript of what
transpired. The older messages are at the bottom -- progressively more
recent as you scroll up.

Whaddya guys think? I changed the layout of the keyboard so that the
vowels are stacked on eachother. That way, you could swipe any vowel
combination with a single movement.

http://ploversteno.googlegroups.com/web/stenooonew.jpg?gsc=vx5iIAsAAAAbRMltTswjbrew192ooFHL
http://ploversteno.googlegroups.com/web/stensample2.jpg?gsc=vx5iIAsAAAAbRMltTswjbrew192ooFHL

If these links don't work go to the group pictures. Link on the right
----- >

--------



All of it, I'd say! But especially the images. They're fantastic.

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM, Stanley Sakai
<sta...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
That sounds good. I can probably do it right now in fact.
How much of the email should I copy?

S

On Sep 6, 2010, at 7:20 PM, Mirabai Knight wrote:

Feel free to watermark it with your name -- you did all the work,
y'know. But if you could post it to the group
(http://groups.google.com/group/ploversteno), I think it'd look better
coming from you. You can even copy-paste from the email you sent me.
Then if we get some good responses, I'll post the pictures and the
better comments on the blog for further promulgation. Whaddaya think?

Yours,
M.

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 10:13 PM, Stanley Sakai
<sta...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
You should watermark it with plover.stenoknight.com or something
before you do that, but I'd be intrigued to hear what the others would
have to say about something mobile steno.

With regard to not having enough dead space. if you've ever tried any
of the swipe applications that I had mentioned, they manage to be
incredibly accurate even with a full-sized QWERTY keyboard.
Like one time just to try it out I swiped "animation" (which has a lot
of path overlap if you were to take a finger and trace the path on a
qwerty layout) and "animation" was the first word that it predicted.
But maybe if it (the keyboard) were drawn out in a grid that takes up
the entire lower half instead of little keys it would make the letters
more forgiving targets. I put the image on my iphone and it seemed
okay, meh.

Isn't the Palm one called ANIHORTES or something? a 3x3 grid I think?
It's a great idea but it still falls short because you still have to
type letter by letter, in the correct order unassisted and focusing
hard on the screen. How many times have I almost mowed someone down
trying to text and walk at the same time with my entire field of
vision focused on trying to get my index finger to hit D instead of S
-- I've lost count.

Plus one of the arguably most elegant things about steno is that it
has the left and right banks and a fixed sequence of letters. Not to
mention that AOEU summarizes practically every vowel in English.

I practically get within inches of the point at which I curb-stomp my
iphone every time it incorrectly spells a word as i peck away at it
mindlessly. Steno is phonetic -- even a word like "decision" has three
elements: the SD, EU, and GS. That's more than an enough for the damn
phone to figure out what I meant. On iphone qwerty however: s -back- d-
e-s-u -back -i- d -back - s-i-o-n. Fuck it. *CURBSTOMP*

I don't know what to say about the issue of charging money. I mean,
Unix is technically open souce. Apple just happened to jazz it up and
sell it for 100$.

Yes, I am very frustrated, bitter, and annoyed that technology sucks
because people can't learn anything better than QWERTY.

-S


On Sep 6, 2010, at 6:46 PM, Mirabai Knight wrote:

This is tremendously intriguing. I had an old Palm Pilot that used a
Swype-like interface with its stylus, and I do admit it was pretty
nifty. I think that there would need to be slightly bigger "dead"
channels or gutters between the rows so you could bypass keys that you
didn't want on the way to ones you did. But honestly, I would totally
use an app like this. It wouldn't be as good as real steno, but I bet
you're right that it'd be a damn sight faster than any other mobile
app out there. Hmmmmmm... Okay, I'm definitely gonna think about this.
I agree it's tempting to make it a paid app (because I think you're
right that other steno people would pay money for it), by way of
raising funds for Plover, but I also don't want to pervert the
mission, and I really am convinced that the only way steno will
actually go mainstream is if the entry bar is set as low as humanly
possible. I really like the way you think, though. Damn. Do you mind
posting this to the Plover google discussion group and seeing what-all
they have to say about it? You make a hell of a pitch, but I worry
that I'm too dazzled by the idea of steno on my phone (steno on my
phone!) to point out any potential flaws, if they even exist. I think
there's a lot to this, though. Thanks for passing it along!

Yours,
M.

On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 9:36 PM, Stanley Sakai
<sta...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
I've already begun to brush up on my Java.

And I would imagine that every stenographer in America, without
exaggeration, would go completely ape shit if this came out.

I actually just realized however that the vowels should be stacked so
that you could connect them more easily:

A E
O U

This way you could swipe the separated strokes AEU in a "7" shape, AU
in a backslash swipe, AOE in a "V" shape, and OU as just a dash rather
than two separate taps which obviously widens the margin for error on
such a small device. And since the strokes have distinct shapes, it
would be easier to understand for a device than say, a swipe that
incidentally fell right between AO and AOE.

Plus there's the added benefit of not requiring ANY new hardware. It
takes advantage of the fact that though a phone is way too small a
device to chord on but are excellent at recognizing swipes vs. taps.
-- though the feat of a full steno keyboard may be possible with an
iPad but how would you steno without constantly looking at your
hands?!

Instead of D-E-C-I-S-I-O-N -- 7 taps on the god-awful touch screen
QWERTY, tap(S) swipe(TK) swipe(EU) swipe(GS). OR you could make it so
that if you zigzag over the ST and K keys down (starting on S), up,
down(ending on K) and you could just swipe directly from EU to GS.

The Shapewriter and Swype products work extraordinarily well
considering how much more orthography matters in making a swiped
QWERTY keyboard. Steno has much less fine distinction in that the
letter order is so restricted and in this case can only be entered
sequentially left to right, top to bottom -- STKPWHR.. you know the
rest. :)

Why in the hell should anybody be required to type every letter of
every word into a computer, ever?

Oh, and about the buttons. ABC gives you a QWERTY (or dvorak) layout
if you would rather just type out "Nikolai" than taking a chance with
your dictionary, having it untranslated, then having to define.
The define button would let you add to your dictionary while
untranslates you can directly touch to define.
The star key will act more like the Phoenix R-R disambiguator thingy
since you can't really incorporate it into a chord. So: K-U-T
translates to "can you tell" into the composer but once you hit star,
"cut."

And I guess you would have to program it to wait for you to continue
entering more strokes until it finds a match in the dictionary rather
than if { fingerLift == true; } translateChord; like on a real steno
machine.

So what do you think? I actually tried "writing" on it just by poking
at my laptop screen and it seems like this would have incredible (50wpm
+) speed potential. I don't doubt a seasoned stenomaster could bang
out 80 or 90. Though I doubt this would have any mainstream appeal
since it requires the dreaded things called learning and practice for
a novice.

Stan




--
Mirabai Knight, CCP
917 576 4989
m...@stenoknight.com
http://stenoknight.com

Stan Sakai

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Sep 6, 2010, 11:50:46 PM9/6/10
to Plover
If links above don't work then use these!

http://stenoknight.com/plover/stenooonew.jpg
http://stenoknight.com/plover/stensample2.jpg

Cheers,

Stan

On Sep 6, 8:48 pm, Stan Sakai <stans...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Mirabai and I were briefly discussing the possibility of steno on a
> mobile phone with a touch screen. Below is a transcript of what
> transpired. The older messages are at the bottom -- progressively more
> recent as you scroll up.
>
> Whaddya guys think? I changed the layout of the keyboard so that the
> vowels are stacked on eachother. That way, you could swipe any vowel
> combination with a single movement.
>
> http://ploversteno.googlegroups.com/web/stenooonew.jpg?gsc=vx5iIAsAAA...http://ploversteno.googlegroups.com/web/stensample2.jpg?gsc=vx5iIAsAA...
>
> If these links don't work go to the group pictures. Link on the right
> ----- >
>
> --------
>
> All of it, I'd say! But especially the images. They're fantastic.
>
> On Mon, Sep 6, 2010 at 10:54 PM, Stanley Sakai<stan...@u.washington.edu> wrote:
>
> That sounds good. I can probably do it right now in fact.
> How much of the email should I copy?
>
> S
>
> On Sep 6, 2010, at 7:20 PM, Mirabai Knight wrote:
>
> Feel free to watermark it with your name -- you did all the work,
> y'know. But if you could post it to the group
> (http://groups.google.com/group/ploversteno), I think it'd look better
> coming from you. You can even copy-paste from the email you sent me.
> Then if we get some good responses, I'll post the pictures and the
> better comments on the blog for further promulgation. Whaddaya think?
>
> Yours,
> M.
>

Martin Marks

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Sep 6, 2010, 11:55:30 PM9/6/10
to plove...@googlegroups.com
As a Droid owner, may I just say: wicked.

Stan Sakai

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Sep 7, 2010, 12:01:57 AM9/7/10
to Plover
I now fondly and vividly remember why I quit CS (computer science) as
I sit here with the Android SDK after having reinstalled Eclipse (the
boring non-steno one) and fumble through the Java API, edit XML files,
and slowly weep.

Programming. fml.


On Sep 6, 8:55 pm, Martin Marks <mma...@flyingghoti.net> wrote:
> As a Droid owner, may I just say: wicked.
>
> On 6 September 2010 23:50, Stan Sakai <stans...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > If links above don't work then use these!
>
> >http://stenoknight.com/plover/stenooonew.jpg
> >http://stenoknight.com/plover/stensample2.jpg
>
> > Cheers,
>
> > Stan
>
> > On Sep 6, 8:48 pm, Stan Sakai <stans...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Mirabai and I were briefly discussing the possibility of steno on a
> > > mobile phone with a touch screen. Below is a transcript of what
> > > transpired. The older messages are at the bottom -- progressively more
> > > recent as you scroll up.
>
> > > Whaddya guys think? I changed the layout of the keyboard so that the
> > > vowels are stacked on eachother. That way, you could swipe any vowel
> > > combination with a single movement.
>
> >http://ploversteno.googlegroups.com/web/stenooonew.jpg?gsc=vx5iIAsAAA....
> > ..

Tony Wright

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Sep 7, 2010, 1:31:54 AM9/7/10
to Plover
Love it. I have an Android phone, and I would totally use this app.
It might not sell like hotcakes to the general public, but I am sure
that steno people would buy it. I would pay actually quite a bit more
than the average sum if I could have a faster way to type on my
phone. It's so slow that I avoid sending anything longer than a brief
email. This would revolutionize my experience with my phone, AND let
me practice my briefs and phrases at the same time.

I already have a flash card program on my Android phone for that, and
I run through them when I'm idle at a coffee shop or in line
somewhere. If I could actually be productive at the same time,
swiping FLOIM instead of typing out "for a long time" and FAOLT
instead of "a lot of" in text messages and emails, heck yeah, I'd go
for that.

--Tony

Stan Sakai

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Sep 7, 2010, 7:33:32 AM9/7/10
to Plover
This has incredible speed potential. Imagine: instead of typing "do
you wanna go out tomorrow night?"
TKAO(swipe)U(tap)PT(swipe)TOG(swipe)OUT(swipe)TOEUGT(swipe)STPH(swipe)

Though I do think that we would have to come up with some thing really
clever to let the program know where you intended the word boundary
should be.
I was talking to my non-steno friend who has been with me since step
one of my great adventure into this profession and even she asked,
"Well how will it know when a word ended and the next one began?" I
told her that it would have to wait until the user inputted something
that matched to something in the dictionary. Then she goes, "Well some
words' beginnings could combine with the ending of other another word.
So how will the computer know that you wanted the translation to stop
at the previous step?"

Ugh and she's not even the stenographer in this conversation. Maybe
use the asterisk button to toggle between different word boundaries?
Any ideas?

Anyway, on an unrelated note (to Tony), I think it's interesting to
see other people's briefs.
For me "for a long time" is tpralgt. And "a lot of" is tphr-f. I use
tphr- because you can phrase it with, haha *a lot* of things. tphr-f,
tphr-ft = a lot of the, tphr*ft = a lot of it, tphr-fpl = a lot of
people, tphr-frlgs = a lot of things, tphr-frtsz = a lot of ways, tphr-
rpg/fbl/*fpl = a lot of these, those, them (frlg = thing, rpg = these,
and frts = way is Magnum)

I would just really love to use my GIANT repository of do you-, did
you-, I can't, I want, I need, you need, you should, I'll, for-, so
that- phrases that I just dread typing out.

I don't really want to = KWRORPLTD
I don't really want to go = KWRORPLGTD

And I've got a LOT more.
> ...
>
> read more »

Josh Lifton

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Sep 7, 2010, 12:06:27 PM9/7/10
to Plover
Hi all,

First, thanks for all your energy testing and thinking about Plover -
writing software for an engaged audience is a pleasure. I share your
enthusiasm about steno's potential to benefit a wider audience and I hope
I can help achieve that goal.

Second, I apologize for not writing sooner. I've loosely followed the
Plover discussions to date, but haven't carved out time until now to
respond. I've learned a lot about stenography over the last several months
working with Mirabai on Plover. I'm now at the point where I have a rough
roadmap I'd like to follow:

1) See Plover to completion of its first big milestone, call it Alpha
Release: keyboard emulation with Ubuntu desktop integration. This is
Mirabai's original vision, a critical step toward making available the
power of steno to a wide audience for very little cost (<$100 for the
anti-ghosting keyboard). There's a clear path to achieving this goal and
I've recently made some progress, but it will take a little more time to
complete.

2) Start learning steno myself.

3) Concentrate on bringing steno into the wearable/mobile computing realm.
I think there's a lot of potential benefits for both steno and
wearable/mobile computing. The time seems ripe for their marriage - the
high rate of smart phone uptake has put a spotlight on user interfaces.
I see two approaches:

3a) Follow Stan's suggestion of creating a steno Android application. As
it so happens, my nearly 10-year-old Nokia 3390b died last week. As a
result, for the first time ever, I paid cold, hard cash for a phone. My
Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant Android phone should be arriving in the mail
today. In part, I chose it specifically because it ran Android and didn't
have a hardware keyboard. I've been meaning to try my hand at Android
programming for a while, so Stan's suggestion seems like a natural fit.

3b) Build a better steno machine. Steno machines are not complex. I'm
confident I can design and build a good steno machine for a fraction of
the cost of current steno machines and make it more useful to boot by, for
example, targeting the smart phone market. There are a lot of details to
sort out, but the general path seems clear. Of course, there's no reason
other than time I couldn't try both 3a and 3b. If anything, they
complement each other.

4) Start a company and apply for some SBIR funding. This has been in the
back of my mind for a number of years. Tony's post about the Department of
Education's SBIR offerings reignited this idea. I'm thoroughly committed
to open source software and open source stenographic software in
particular. I don't seeany problem finding a business model that
incorporates and benefits from this ideal.

OK, that's all for now. I should be more of an active voice from here on
out. I'd love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,
Josh

Stan Sakai

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Sep 7, 2010, 7:20:32 PM9/7/10
to Plover
Does that mean I can delete Eclipse off my computer and forget Java
again?
I do want to design the interface however :P

And please, do design a better and more affordable steno machine.

Tony Wright

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Sep 7, 2010, 10:31:35 PM9/7/10
to Plover
Josh, it's great to meet the programming person Mirabai has been
telling us about. I am really excited about the ideas you mention,
and I got especially excited to read that you are interested in
building a better and more affordable writer. I often fantasize about
doing this, but I don't have the technical knowledge necessary to do
it.

I've learned from Mirabai and others the ways in which the expense of
steno-related technology is affecting a lot of people's lives. I
commented on the Plover blog about this thread from the Depoman
discussion forum, but I wanted to draw people's attention to it here:

http://www.depoman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8549

--Tony

Tony Wright

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Sep 7, 2010, 10:52:00 PM9/7/10
to Plover
On Sep 7, 6:33 am, Stan Sakai <stans...@gmail.com> wrote:


> Anyway, on an unrelated note (to Tony), I think it's interesting to
> see other people's briefs.
> For me "for a long time" is tpralgt. And "a lot of" is tphr-f. I use
> tphr- because you can phrase it with, haha *a lot* of things. tphr-f,
> tphr-ft = a lot of the, tphr*ft = a lot of it, tphr-fpl = a lot of
> people, tphr-frlgs = a lot of things, tphr-frtsz = a lot of ways, tphr-
> rpg/fbl/*fpl = a lot of these, those, them (frlg = thing, rpg = these,
> and frts = way is Magnum)

Hmmm Tony like! I may have to change my "a lot" to that. I like
families of phrases that combine in nice ways like this.

> I don't really want to = KWRORPLTD
> I don't really want to go = KWRORPLGTD

Stanley, you may be a madman (I mean this in a good way).

Josh Lifton

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Sep 7, 2010, 11:16:42 PM9/7/10
to Plover
Ugh, I hope I don't need to use Eclipse.

Happy to have a UI designer onboard!

Josh Lifton

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Sep 7, 2010, 11:22:05 PM9/7/10
to Plover
> http://www.depoman.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8549

Thanks for the link - it very clearly demonstrates a very real practical
problem with closed source hardware and software and that steno people
like animated cat images.

Josh

Stan Sakai

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Sep 8, 2010, 5:23:57 PM9/8/10
to Plover
I switched back to my Sony Ericsson today. iPhones with their
despicable qwerty keyboards can go to hell. :)
No more touch screens for me until we get steno on there.

-S

Mirabai Knight

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Sep 12, 2010, 8:24:59 PM9/12/10
to Plover

> Ugh and she's not even the stenographer in this conversation. Maybe
> use the asterisk button to toggle between different word boundaries?
> Any ideas?

See, this is why I think there should be wider gutters between each
column and row. That way you don't have any tapping; just swiping. So
you swipe the keys you want to press in a single linear path, going
into the gutter whenever you need to circumvent the ones you don't
want, and then when you're finished, you just lift the stylus and
start over again with the next stroke.

Stan Sakai

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Sep 14, 2010, 6:58:00 AM9/14/10
to Plover
> See, this is why I think there should be wider gutters between each
> column and row. That way you don't have any tapping; just swiping. So
> you swipe the keys you want to press in a single linear path, going
> into the gutter whenever you need to circumvent the ones you don't
> want, and then when you're finished, you just lift the stylus and
> start over again with the next stroke.

You would need a helluva chunky phone to have that much finger gutter
space, though. Let's just skip the phone and go directly to the iPad.
Haha, I kid. I'm sure one of these days I'll be at the gym when
something hits me. It will happen.

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