Purism Is Proposing A Virtual Keyboard Protocol For Wayland
Written by Michael Larabel in Wayland on 18 May 2018 at 12:32 AM EDT. 4 Comments
WAYLAND --
Purism's Dorota Czaplejewicz has been active within the Wayland community recently as they work on their Librem 5 phone Wayland compositor and Phosh shell for this software stack and iMX8 hardware they hope to begin shipping next year.

On behalf of Purism, Dorota's latest Wayland work is proposing a new virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland. This allows for the emulation of keyboards by applications and complements the existing input-method protocol. The new virtual-keyboard protocol is based upon the Wayland keyboard specification but with support for seat bindings and dropping serials.

Purism is developing this virtual keyboard protocol for Wayland for use with on-screen keyboards on a phone screen. While others have managed Wayland on-screen keyboards without a separate protocol, Dorota commented, "The need for this protocol comes from the fact that the input-method protocol combines two separate input responsibilities. It currently deals both with text input and raw keyboard events. I hope to split input-method along this line into virtual-keyboard and the rest of input-method...Applications should be able to control both interfaces at the same time. A screen keyboard supporting autocorrect (input-method) still wants to send arrow keys (virtual-keyboard) correctly. Because of this, both kinds of events at minimum must be sent to the same seat."

This unstable protocol proposal can be found for now on Wayland-devel.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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