Notes from Dasher Meeting held 19th Oct 2002 in Darwin College
Present: David MacKay (djcm), Phil Cowans (pjc),
Iain Murray (iam), Matthew Garrett (mjg)
Priorities from the point of view of iam
1. Standardise / stabilise core - review design first (mjg to do this)
2. Desired release types:
(a) Windows - installer .exe
(b) Linux - GTK ok, but not necessarily gnome
Would like .deb, .rpm and .tar.gz at least, with
3. Documentation, comments, explaining everything to mjg &c.
4. Rearrange CVS structure to make internal/external interface
5. Need detailed specifcation for the core
6. Finalise splitting/combining rules etc. for unicode accent marks
Possible functions to be included in future versions:
(a) Dasher core
(*) Control menu character - like esc in vi, appearing before 'a'
and containing things like 'oops', 'stop', other menu optons
(*) Core support for one-dimensional version (possibly just a
mapping to an effective cursor position)
(*) [Support for hiding passwords?]
(*) Piping to other apps (such as speech synthesizer) - should be
accessible through control character
(*) Embedding / better interaction with other apps (ActiveX,
(*) Capability to include foreign chracters in text
(*) Identify and reject stupid (eg pdf) training files (eg if more
than 10% of characters end up being ignored) (also, how should one
deal with the odd foreign character in the training file, eg an
umlaut on the word naive?)
(*) Multithreading to enable training in background
(*) Port for palm, psion etc.
(b) UI tweaks
(*) Combining / unicde conversion etc. to be finalised - There are
three possible ways of doing this:
(i) Force minimal expansion (one char per glyph)
(ii) Allow standard expansions, to be handled by a standard
(iii) Allow custom combination rules (hard to implement)
It was decided that implementing (i) and (ii) was a sensible
(*) Support to guess alphabet from locale etc.
(*) Colours - user confgurations, also assigning specific colours
to specific symbols.
Plan for the future:
1. Get 3.0rc1 out the door for Win NT, Win 9x, Linux, Mac etc.
(a) WinNT right away
(b) Linux - need alphabet/settings etc., but possibly relatively soon
(c) 9x later
(d) Give source to mac os person
And then work towards full 3.0 release based on peoples comments,
maybe at the end of November.
2. 3.1 has control mode (+ continue with bugfixes etc.), gtk v2.0 in Linux
Languages can be added along the way
Further notes added by DJCM Mon 21/10/02
The new eyetracker was installed on S's win98 machine by Phil today.
Dasher works pretty well at 70cm. No recallibration was necessary
between uses. The lens focal length is too short for
satisfactory use at a range of 100cm. I have asked Eyetech whether
we can get a longer focal-length lens. A first run with S may
take place on Wednesday. An important issue is the creation of
an appropriate button-driven control for starting and stopping Dasher.