[Panel-devel] The Plasma Keyboard

Claes at work claesatwork at gmail.com
Thu Aug 11 18:36:30 CEST 2005

You have a very good point. What I come to think of now is - how can all
the extra buttons on current keyboards come to good use? Because I think
today you need to put lots of effort into getting use out of them. 

Perhaps mapping menu entries for application launch etc could have a real simple
mapping mechanism too. 

"Do you want start this application with the click of a single button?"


On 8/11/05, Malcolm Dean <malcolmdean at runbox.com> wrote:
> Congratulations on a very exciting project which could potentially save
> desktop Linux from being sucked under the coming MacTel waves!
> Here's a design challenge from the days BEFORE the PC. Yes, Virginia,
> there were some very productive environments and applications, even
> before GUIs, which had many of the same capabilities as GUIs. The
> leading products took advantage of the fact that humans have ten fingers
> and a great deal of neural tissue devoted to both commanding and
> receiving input from them.
> Once GUIs arrived, keyboards were ignored, users started getting carpal
> tunnel, and some idiots decided to move the Control and Function keys to
> places where they take far too much effort to use. Today, our keyboards
> are designed and manufactured in countries where the alphabet is a
> foreign concept and speed typing in the native script is not even a
> possibility.
> There's a screenplay editor called ScriptWare. It was written for DOS
> but now runs on Mac and Windoze. Although it has the normal menu bar at
> the top, you can do almost everything you need to with TWO KEYS - TAB
> and ENTER - just like a typewriter. (Oh... it was a mechanical gizmo we
> used to use before microprocessors came along. Very productive.)
> Now if OS X menus typically have only one toolbar and seven actions
> visible at a time ( http://www.icefox.net/articles/kdeosx.php ), surely
> such simplicity could be reflected in the keyboard?
> Here's the challenge:
> Can you design PLASMA so that it is KEYBOARD-PRODUCTIVE, almost
> eliminating the need for a mouse (except for graphics applications)? Can
> you make this new interface so obvious and simple that, most of the
> time, the user's hands don't need to move from the Home Row of the
> keyboard? And can you therefore make PLASMA the most useful, fastest
> interface ever invented?
> Just a thought...
> Malcolm Dean
> Los Angeles
> malcolmdean-at-runbox.com
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