Re: Full Unicode Computer Keyboard

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Wed May 11 2005 - 05:13:04 CDT

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    At 23:49 -0400 2005/05/10, Frank Yung-Fong Tang wrote:
    >Dear Hans: I have no strong opinion about other part of your email
    >but the following is not really 'correct'.
    >2005/5/9, Hans Aberg <<> >:
    >fastest method for a large character set (like Chinese), is
    >supposedly that one types some identifier of the character, and the
    >computer successively shows the possible matches. When one sees the
    >right character appear, one selects it.
    >In Chinese, that is not the "Fastest method". It is probably the
    >method that easiest to learn. But any input method which involve of
    >eye/hand coordination won't be the 'fastest' to type.

    You are most surely right, because the same principle is known from
    music: When playing a keyboard, the bets method is to not look at
    all. I fact, in fast movements, the fingers move to fast for
    individual visual finger coordination to be possible. However, to
    achieve this in full, a lot of training is needed. Therefore, the
    normal playing styles, also among for professionals, is with some
    visual coordination. There is also an intermediate method, where one
    does not look at the keys, but feels position of the fingers by
    sensing the keys. However, this is slow.

    >For traditional Chinese, what you describe is very close to BoPoMoFo
    >method (or Phonetic one), about 15 years ago, people invented a more
    >intellegnet method that mach phrase instead of character by word
    >frequence distribution. However, these are usually good for normal
    >user to learn but won't be FAST becauase often time any input method
    >involve 'eye' to find what to select will be slower to blind typing
    >method that is determistic without using eye (yes, any professional
    >English touch typist can type English without looking at either the
    >keyboard or the screen, in the same way, most of the fast Changjie
    >typist or BoShaMi typist can touch type too. ) BoShaMi input method,
    >which usually do not prompt user any character to select was the
    >'FASTEST' Chinese input method (my info was old. It was the fastest
    >about 7 years ago. Not sure now). Professional trained BoShaMi
    >typist can easily type 120 Chinese characters per minutes with their
    >eyes blind folded.

    One method I am thinking of is a touch keyboard, with the capacity to
    tell the position of the fingers also when they do not touch, but are
    a bit above. Then this information is displayed on a screen keyboard.
    The typist thus can have a kind of heads-up on the screen, telling
    where the fingers are. This would be considerably cheaper than a
    touch screen keyboard. I think this method is possible with todays

       Hans Aberg

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