Inference Group

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Thu 4/4/02

List of features required for the special needs release

  1. When a user first uses, they should get the opportunity to choose among various corpuses? US spelling / British? Or be encouraged to upload their own files.
  2. Need to auto-detect CPU speed and set default steps parameter appropriately.
  3. Need to investigate whether automatic adaptation of device speed is working.
  4. Characters pound, #, 0123-9
  5. Characters .,-'
  6. Caps1 to be default.
  7. Good README documentation to be easily accessible - from menu bar? - key facts about
    • "If you want capitals"
    • "If you feel the speed is wrong for you"
    • "If you want numbers"
  8. Streamline the process of transferring text to Word. Provide Word macros for postprocessing, or inbuilt processors in Dasher output stream?
  9. frustrating when had written 25 paragraphs and wanted to remember what had written in paragraph 3. There was no way to look back at what had done.
    • Idea 1: increase height of text box a bit.
    • Idea 2: make the height of the text box adjustable (by options or by dragging it)
    • Idea 3: make the text box contents scrollable (quite easy to do in tcl)
    • Idea 4: include a button which allows you temporarily to make the text box much bigger (and cover the dasher canvas). (Clicking this button would stop dasher from running, if it was running) (clicking it again would shrink the text box back down)
    • Idea 5: include a button which brings up a separate window that is huge and that contains all the text written so far, with a scroll bar so you can look at it.
    This button could be placed in the bottom row of the window, in the bottom right hand corner. The words "Idle - press space bar to start Dasher" could be reduced to "Press space bar to start" and similarly "Press space bar to stop" (no Dasher running), so as to increase the spare space on the screen. I think Idea 5 should be very easy to implement. The extra window would have a "Dismiss" button to get rid of it.
  10. Provide an introductory training environment?
  11. try dasher with a Headmouse.
  12. Clarify what happens to Dasher's useful "learning" -- on exit, offer the chance to APPEND the text to the default training file for use next time.
    We should clarify this in the readme, and say (for the present desktop version) that when you start Dasher, it will train itself on whatever is in .... ; so you have two options if you want it to learn from session to session. Either you have to APPEND what you have written to that input file; (can we make a button to do that?!) Or you can start Dasher and use the .... menu to get the "read more stuff" dialog.
    Presumably the long term plan is to have the APPEND happen automatically as in the ipaq. This will lead to problems however because (a) it will run out of space when used heavily; (b) when your neice plays with it and writes erweieiwuediwencwnwieujn it will never forget it.
    Need to think about this more. I think prompting the user, on exit "? append ?" is the best way. Or there could simply be two exit buttons - exit+append and exit+discard.
  13. The SAVE-to-File menu is awkward for severely disabled people. John had a good suggestion: the save-to-file should automatically propose a filename (eg file1, file2, file3, ...) so that the user can accept the proposal if they like it.
  14. Clarify what the effect of SAVE to FILE would be. I think it would be a good idea for the save menu to have options: APPEND / WRITE .
  15. would like his dasher writings to be AUTOSAVED to a sensible filename every 30 seconds.
  16. Provide "how fast you are writing" information in a pop-uppable window?
  17. Provide a way for disatisfaction with corpus to get back to us. (1) Any particular words or phrases that were unreasonably difficult on a first occasion? Any words that SHOULD be easy that are not? (2) Are there any cases where the model is bad and even though the user writes for a long time, the model is still bad?
  18. Maybe we should try to make 3 or 4 corpuses in different styles (Legal/Student/Yoof culture/Pompous novels) and allow the beginning user to use checkboxes to select which they want. On the other hand, maybe we should just start with a good broad corpus and make sure that the thing does a good job of learning and STORING what it has learned and retrieving it next time.
  19. order: a..z'-,._ order: a..z'()0123..9-,._
  20. I have a minor suggestion for the main tcl window. The text that says "dasher running" etc - not only could it be shrunk abit, but another good thing would be to declare the size of this object. At present, if the user wishes to shrink dasher down to take up less screen real estate, they can shrink the canvas, but then the resulting dasher window jumps about in size because the text box (which limits the smallest size possible) is changing in size. "The text box" here meaning the box that contains the words "Dasher running" . I think it would be good to fix the size of the object so that the dasher window has a constant size independent of what that text does. Similarly the "initials" object, I think should have a fixed size of five characters, and the "no initials entered" string can be replaced by "---". These changes will reduce the amount of text in the window, which is a good thing.

The Dasher project is supported by the Gatsby Foundation
and by the European Commission in the context of
the AEGIS project - open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards)

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