Messing with keyboard on Maemo platform

First was Nokia 770. Then Nokia N800 was born. Both were keyboardless so ‘virtual’ on-screen keyboard was used. But then N810 came and it stopped being such easy…

On N810 there are 3 keyboards:

  • on-screen one
  • hardware one
  • on-screen one which is displayed when ‘Chr’ key is pressed on hardware one

How to modify all those keyboards to add new language? Few ways exists but all have common part — on-screen layout needs to be present to allow to change hardware layout.

Simple way is to choose one which you do not plan to use and adapt it for own use. Bad part is that user has to remember that ‘Italian’ means ‘Polish’ (for example).

But there is other way — Jiří Benc wrote alternative control panel for keyboards. This one allows to select any layout available in system. User still needs to have layout for on-screen and hardware keyboards but at least is not limited to those few ones which are available with OS2008.

Too bad that both Shift keys on hardware keyboard works as Left Shift :( Otherwise one of them could be mapped as AltGr and be used for Polish keys… For now I will probably make Polish keymap as copy of English one + national chars on ‘Chr’ virtual keyboard…