Features/Onscreen Keyboard

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An on-screen keyboard for Sugar, targeted primarily at tablet like devices (which have no physical keyboards).


This should link to your home wiki page so we know who you are

  • Email: sayamindu@sugarlabs.org

Current status

  • Targeted release: N/A
  • Last updated: 06/29/2010
  • Percentage of completion: 10%

Detailed Description

With OLPC announcing the XO-3 tablet, and with hardware like the JooJoo tablet, Sugar should become better suited for touch-based, physical keyboard-less devices. The on-screen keyboard feature aims to provide one such functionality. On-screen keyboards are also important for certain accessibility related contexts, but use cases like that are better handled by specialized software like Features/Accessibility_virtualkeyboard.


While a number of FOSS on-screen keyboard software exists, the initial experiments are being carried out with fvkbd (Free Virtual KeyBoarD). The advantages of fvkbd include:

* Minimal external dependency outside the Sugar platform (only libfakekey is required as an extra)
* Actively maintained
* Internationalization friendly
* Has a library providing most of functionality which can be used later via Python bindings/introspection to achieve tighter integration with Sugar

Benefit to Sugar

A virtual/on-screen keyboard is probably the first component people think about when it comes to Sugar on a tablet device like the XO-3. It can be seen as a stepping stone for making Sugar more tablet-friendly and is essential for easily debugging and developing Sugar on a tablet machine.


UI Design

Does the feature have a direct impact on the work flow, or does it need a UI? Link here mockups, or add detailed descriptions.

How To Test

Features/Onscreen Keyboard/Testing

User Experience

If this feature is noticeable by its target audience, how will their experiences change as a result? Describe what they will see or notice.


What other packages (RPMs) depend on this package? Are there changes outside the developers' control on which completion of this feature depends? In other words, does your feature depend on completion of another feature owned by someone else or that you would need to coordinate, which might cause you to be unable to finish on time? Other upstream projects like Python?

Contingency Plan

If you cannot complete your feature by the final development freeze, what is the backup plan? This might be as simple as "None necessary, revert to previous release behaviour." Or it might not. If your feature is not completed in time, we want to assure others that other parts of Sugar will not be in jeopardy.


Is there upstream documentation on this feature, or notes you have written yourself? Has this topic been discussed in the mailing list or during a meeting? Link to that material here so other interested developers can get involved.

Release Notes

The Sugar Release Notes inform end-users about what is new in the release. An Example is 0.84/Notes. The release notes also help users know how to deal with platform changes such as ABIs/APIs, configuration or data file formats, or upgrade concerns. If there are any such changes involved in this feature, indicate them here. You can also link to upstream documentation if it satisfies this need. This information forms the basis of the release notes edited by the release team and shipped with the release.

Comments and Discussion