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  1.    #1  
    Back in the days of black and white (or dark and light green) Palm screens, I used to use MessagEase from Exideas Inc, The makers of MessagEase Text entry Technology and really enjoyed the interactive developer Saied Nesbat. He is so responsive and really encourages beta testing among the users. I participated in testing for the HandERA 330 and I think for the Tapwave Zodiac. I found myself preferring MessagEase (ME) over Graffiti as I developed ME skills (no, I'm not a pirate...).

    I saw an email recently from Saied regarding the development and availability of ME for Android. So, I wrote an email asking if he was considering making a version for webOS. Here was his response:

    Thanks for your interest.

    Porting MessagEase to WebOS is easy, but we'll wait until WebOS gets some traction to justify this.
    This was encouraging to me so I asked if I could share this, and I encouraged him to keep an eye out for new devices and webOS 2.0, and that this forum is a good place to keep up with all things webOS. He politely obliged and so I would like to encourage HP/Palm to stay on task with developing new devices and upgrading webOS to increase the user base so that developers like Saied will be encouraged to develop. Perhaps Saied explained it best with:

    As you alluded to, in todays' mobile arena the developers are an important asset. It is really up to the system supporters to convince us that there is a viable path if the developers invest the time to take that path.
    And if Saied should join in to this conversation, please thank him for considering our small but vibrant community for future development. He definitely is a responsive developer and I think he would find us a responsive beta testing community that would support him well should he decide to bring ME over to webOS.

    Oh, and Saied said if he got encouragement from webOS, and by that I am assuming both HP/Palm and our community as well, he would be game to give it a go...so let's encourage developers like Saied as best we can. If folks from HP/Palm are listening in, there are developers looking for a reason to develop for webOS...and new devices and webOS updates are definitely a way to encourage.
    Last edited by Rockbeast; 12/01/2010 at 02:30 PM.
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  2.    #2  
    BTW, your responses here would be an indication that you are encouraging Mr. Nesbat to develop his text entry software for webOS. So, what say ye? And say it quick, because I would like to be typing this more easily using ME on my touchscreen!
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  3.    #3  
    If you want to see how MessagEase works, here is a link to several videos using ME on multiple devices.

    MessagEase - A killer app keyboard for iPhones, gPhones, PDAs, Tablet PCs, and other touch screen devices

    On my HandERA 330 and the Tapwave Zodiac, I was of course using a stylus. I think it would be nice to use a finger, or the thumb...typing one-handed quickly...that's the ticket! I haven't had the chance to use the newer iterations on an iPhone or Android based phone, but looking at the video's it looks even better than the old stylus days.

    Oh, and in case Saied reads this thread, isn't there some incentive on purchasing a Palm Pre2 for a really cheap price if you are a developer? If this is true, can someone give some details or point us to the 'deal'?
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  4. #4  
    Hello,

    My name is Saied Nesbat, and I am the head developer behind MessagEase text entry system. Some of you might have heard of, or played with MessagEase before. Some might have even used it extensively. At any rate, it is an alternative to QWERTY, designed and optimized to counter several of QWERTY's problems when it comes to small touch screens. Lots of details at our site: exideas dot com.

    We started with Palm, way back, and gained popularity among a sizable number of Palm users. Based on their enthusiastic feedback, we ported the keyboard to several other platforms such as Pocket PC, Windows (Tablet PC), iPhone, and most recently Android.

    And now, for Pre: if they come, we will build it.

    But the question is, how do we know?

    Any takers?

    Best,

    Saied Nesbat,
    exideas.com
  5. Tibfib's Avatar
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    #5  
    This would be awesome!
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by saied View Post
    Hello,

    My name is Saied Nesbat, and I am the head developer behind MessagEase text entry system. Some of you might have heard of, or played with MessagEase before. Some might have even used it extensively. At any rate, it is an alternative to QWERTY, designed and optimized to counter several of QWERTY's problems when it comes to small touch screens. Lots of details at our site: exideas dot com.

    We started with Palm, way back, and gained popularity among a sizable number of Palm users. Based on their enthusiastic feedback, we ported the keyboard to several other platforms such as Pocket PC, Windows (Tablet PC), iPhone, and most recently Android.

    And now, for Pre: if they come, we will build it.

    But the question is, how do we know?

    Any takers?

    Best,

    Saied Nesbat,
    exideas.com
    I would be game.. But I have a cpl of questions ... One major one is , due to the 3.1 display wouldn't this leave no room for a text box? How would it be compensated for...

    Also how is this diff from 8pen... (is it diff? ) would this be able to be used for multple apps?

    Sorry just would like to know some direction as I've never used ME
  7. #7  
    Hi dev, one of the issues you would have is the webos doesn't have a decent way to make a virtual keyboard so like on the iphone you would need a dedicated app, or you could use the clipboard hack like WOG OSK does see this clip.

    YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
  8. #8  
    I want this!!! Please bring this to webOS!!!
  9. #9  
    Hi, I've used ME on WinMo and most recently on Android with my EVO.

    I loved the creativity of it and the "out-of-the-box" thinking behind it, but I just couldn't get it to flow.

    To tell you the truth, OP, when I had the Pre for 15 months, I was dying for a native OSK, like I used to have on my HTC Touch.

    But except for the convenience of the SlideIT OSK that I'm using now, nothing has really been a quicker keyboard than those little keys on the Pre.

    Saied:
    All that being said, I think your keyboard would still be a great option for Pre owners. They really don't have anything to choose from.


    p.s. Sketch:

    I tried 8pen also, and it's completely different than ME, a whole 'nother concept.
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbdoinit View Post
    p.s. Sketch:

    I tried 8pen also, and it's completely different than ME, a whole 'nother concept.
    Thanks... I just couldn't tell from the site.. Although I still see similarities bt the two
  11. #11  
    Hello,

    Tibfib,bullonparade85, and dbdoinit: thanks for your encouragements.

    Sketch42: 480x320 is a great resolution and aspect ratio for ME. We have it on the iPhone and Android at exactly the same ratio and it works fine.

    abegee: That's a good point. If WebOS does not let us optionally replace the keyboard that appears everywhere, then we would be creating only a demo for ME. Our iPhone implementation already works as a demo. Our Android implementation, on the other hand, is quite useful to those to take the time to become comfortable with ME to use it all the time.

    Unfortunately it would not make a lot of sense to spend our efforts if we are not assured about the ultimate utility of our product on Palm.

    dbdoinit: Thanks for having tried ME. On both our Android and iPhone versions we have a learning game that enables people to practice and post their scores. (see bit.ly/hAjG4W) There are people who can easily top 30+wpm on it. So it does take both practice and stamina. To some it is worth the time investment.

    And, Sketch: ME and 8Pen are VERY different. For one, ME is optimized for speed. each letter is either a tap or a drag/slide, a drag or slide being single straight line segment.

    (In my opinion, one problem with Graffiti, although it benefited from the familiarity of letter glyphs, was the excessive number of twists and turns you had to often achieve to register just one letter. that made it very slow at 10wpm. For example, to enter M you'd have four line segments, and three U turns! That made it slow. In my opinion, 8Pen suffers from the same problem.)

    QWERTY on touch screen (not tactile) is generally clocked at about 10-15 WPM. I don't think people can come close to that with 8 pen.

    Thanks for the food for thought here. Please let me know if I can answer any question.

    Best,

    Saied
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by saied View Post
    Hello,
    abegee: That's a good point. If WebOS does not let us optionally replace the keyboard that appears everywhere, then we would be creating only a demo for ME. Our iPhone implementation already works as a demo. Our Android implementation, on the other hand, is quite useful to those to take the time to become comfortable with ME to use it all the time.

    Unfortunately it would not make a lot of sense to spend our efforts if we are not assured about the ultimate utility of our product on Palm...

    Best,

    Saied
    It seems like I read that webOS 2.0 will have enhancements that will either include or allow better implementation of a virtual onscreen keyboard...so I'm wondering if that would improve the potential for implementation of ME in webOS?

    Can anyone point Saied to helpful information or individuals that could shed further light on this topic?
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  13.    #13  
    Saied,

    I did a little searching, and wondered if these threads might be helpful:

    http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pr...-keyboard.html

    And this app appears to implement the use of an on screen keyboard in a fashion that you may have used on other platforms/OSs:

    http://forums.precentral.net/webos-a...-keyboard.html

    And over at webosroundup:

    My Home Keyboard Quick Review - Avner Arbel - webOS App Review | webOSroundup
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  14. #14  
    Thanks for the links. This helps, although it's not clear that these are supported by Palm OS or if they are kludges.

    It would make perfect sense if the OS has a "slot" for it. It would be perilous for our efforts if they don't; there is always a chance that a rev in the os would make our work useless.

    We would be much more comfortable and confident if some Web OS documentation includes directive as how to "insert" third party keyboards cleanly and legally.

    Best,

    Saied
  15.    #15  
    Talk about your perfect timing!

    Saied, read this story that came out this morning on Precentral:

    On-Screen Keyboard live and working in webOS 2.0; Update x2: Video! | PreCentral.net

    Sounds like there is a 'slot' for the keyboard, and that something, albeit buggy, exists as a keyboard already. Would this be good news?
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by saied View Post
    Thanks for the links. This helps, although it's not clear that these are supported by Palm OS or if they are kludges.

    It would make perfect sense if the OS has a "slot" for it. It would be perilous for our efforts if they don't; there is always a chance that a rev in the os would make our work useless.

    We would be much more comfortable and confident if some Web OS documentation includes directive as how to "insert" third party keyboards cleanly and legally.

    Best,

    Saied
    Before you invest too much time, you should register at developer.palm.com and speak to Palm Developer Relations team members. They may be able to get you some information as to whether or not you'll be able to put your keyboard in there eventually (though read my extra response below)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockbeast View Post
    Talk about your perfect timing!

    Saied, read this story that came out this morning on Precentral:

    On-Screen Keyboard live and working in webOS 2.0; Update x2: Video! | PreCentral.net

    Sounds like there is a 'slot' for the keyboard, and that something, albeit buggy, exists as a keyboard already. Would this be good news?
    At this time (though it could change in the future), I know of no way for a developer to actually swap out the keyboard. I think it could be done in the future (in a sort of download the app and register it as your VKB, then webOS launches that VKB app with special parameters to tell it to go into VKB mode) if Palm works on that.

    BUT I don't believe we'll see support for this for a while. Palm is busy working on tons of other things (such as Enyo, support for the Slate, making the VKB work better, more access to system stuff, etc.) and this is probably low on their list of importance.

    HOWEVER, if you let them know that you want MessagEase on webOS and if you get Saied to work directly with Palm, there may be the possibility of MessagEase being embedded in webOS in one of the future versions of webOS (or available for purchase but with special treatment like EA got with the PDK back in January -- early access to it).
    Arthur Thornton

    Former webOS DevRel Engineer at Palm, HP, and LG
    Former webOS app developer (built Voice Memos, Sparrow, and several homebrew apps and patches)
    Former blogger for webOS Nation and webOS Roundup
  17.    #17  
    Thank you for the fellow developer assistance to Saied. I'm just a user, although I've been trying to cut back...only 3 cups of apps a day, that's my new limit!

    Seriously, I do hope there is some hope for MessagEase as an additional input option for webOS. I can tell you that Saied's previous versions for Palm OS worked very nicely as the replacement virtual keyboard for my HandERA 330 and Zodiac. So in concept, it can certainly replace the standard VKB...but I know nothing about programing.
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

  18. #18  
    Hello,

    I contacted Palm to ask them if it's possible to develop a third Party keyboard for WebOS. Their response were discouraging and non committal.

    I got three responses:

    Upon my first inquiry:

    1. "I have forwarded your inquiry onto our Business Development team. They will be in contact with you shortly. Thank you for your interest in webOS."

    Subsequently, in a few days after that:

    2. "I've been advised our system doesn't currently have public APIs that would make publishing a virtual keyboard possible at this time."

    And when I pointed out that I would like to report to our users the position that Palm is taking regarding this, we got:

    3. "We haven't made any public statements about this or a possible timeframe when we might support it."

    In light of this, and with all the risks involved, unfortunately we need to stay on the sidelines until the this situation changes.

    Best regards,

    Saied Nesbat,
    Exideas,
    The makers of MessagEase
  19. #19  
    I would love this for WebOS!
    Already posted about it a while ago:
    http://forums.precentral.net/webos-a...keyboards.html

    I always used Messagease on my Palm OS devices. Really loved the programmable short cuts and commands (entering commonly used things like email address or time stamps)

    Really sorry to hear Palm is not too supportive. Hopefully they will make something possible in 2.0.

    Once it's possible, I will be one of the first people to buy it :-)
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  20.    #20  
    Saied,

    Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open...webOS 2.x may be coming out to most existing devices soon, and there is the HP event on Feb 9th in San Francisco...new devices may be announced...maybe new form factors that might have an even greater need for alternative on-screen keyboards.
    Sent from my slowly diminishing intellect

    I'm just a soul who's intentions are good...oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!

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