Dasher – Non-traditional Input Methods

Just a short note to prevent this being submerged in a tidal wave of baking and food.

Today a friend of mine pointed me at Dasher ( http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/TryJavaDasherNow.html ), which is a dynamic input program. Basically, it allows you to do away with a traditional keyboard, and have your input be based on a lexicon.

What this means is that it take predictive text, but you only need one finger (or IR pointer on your head or a mouse or whatever) to actually type. One thing that I have already noticed is that you need to have a pretty good idea of what you want to type before starting, or you end up getting lost.

I have installed it on my handbrain (which is what the characters in Howard Tayler’s webcomic call PDAs and mobile phones), as an experiment, and I pity the poor sap who tries it next. I have found it fairly intuitive, except for punctuation, on first use.

The software is also available for normal desktops.

My technology is slowly becoming unusable for anyone else though, given that I am running Linux with a tiling window manager (Arch Linux with SpectrWM if anyone cares) on my laptop. I assure you that this was not the real intent….