About me

I'm a web and software developer from Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
I design and implement user interfaces, also contribute to open source projects.

2010年12月21日 星期二

xPad 0.1 released!

What if Chrome OS Tablet concept UI get implemented?

Don't you love the Chrome OS Tablet concept UI above? I fell in love as soon as I read about it on the wiki, but Eric Schmidt crush my dream by stating that "Chrome OS aimed at keyboard based solutions".

I don't know either the actual roadmap of Chrome OS nor what Google has in mind, but since it's an open source project and I'm a FOSS developer, I decided to build it on my own. After a weekend of hacking, let me introduce to you:

the xPad - tablet edition of xPUD

Download: xpad-0.1.iso (47MB)

Due to the limitation of hardware support in this image, it can only boot on Virtualbox. But we have already integrated this touch and virtual keyboard solution onto MeeGo Netbook UX, and ported to some selected platforms like OMAP3 and Moorestown. (Any demo or customization request please feel free to send me a mail ;-)

Main Features

  • finger scrolling browser - it's basically a simple GtkWebKit browser with a custom GtkScrolledWindow widget from the Midori project. We also wrote a QtWebKit version in case you want to demo it on MeeGo.
  • enhanced WebKit - that rendering fast and with less library dependencies, we also patched WebCore/HTMLInputElement to hint input method with different input type, including password field.
  • auto showing/hiding of input method - by patching against scim-bridge, we made the Gtk and Qt4 immodule brings up the keyboard while focus in, and hide it when focus out.
  • virtual keyboard that can actually use - we add Toggle feature into fvkbd, that can toggle input method as well as switch keyboard layout; also applied the MODE_STATUS_TEMP patch from sayamindu to support CKJ users.
  • input method panel - we fixed the ToggleVkb feature of scim-panel-vkb-gtk, also adjust the layout to integrate SCIM and different input methods well.
  • multi-lingua keyboard layout - we carefully crafted a "bopomofo" friendly keyboard layout, that shows how flexible the fvkbd can be.

Known Issues

Apparently it's still buggy and unstable, the browser doesn't have much features like Tap-and-Hold or right click, nor tab or hiding scroll bar support, sometimes you have to toggle the keyboard and change input method to English to get it right.

But we'll keep working on that, maybe replaced it with a custom build of chromium, or some Qt-based browser like IXS-Browser from Movial.

While xPUD team are busy working on the next generation of TableWare UI, this is something you can play with during the Christmas holiday! :-)

All the best,