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Full Version: Best Way To Handle Ir Keyboards In Pdaxrom
OESF Portables Forum > Model Specific Forums > Sharp Zaurus > Zaurus - pdaXrom
If I'm to stay with pdaXrom, it absolutely must let me use my Belkin IR keyboard with my C760! So I recently hacked up pdaXrom's virtual keyboard applet (Xvkbd) to give me that capability. It worked surprisingly well and got me through a business trip, but it isn't the perfect solution. The weaknesses of the Xvkbd approach are:

* Only works in X (doesn't work in console mode before you "startx" or after you exit X11).
* Has some performance issues (pegs CPU usage at 100% and is still sluggish in some apps).
* Not easy to add support for different IR keyboard types.

Since my return I've been looking at "kbdd" from which is a user space keyboard driver that sends keystrokes directly to the Linux kernel. It was designed for the iPaq (which has no built in keyboard) so it will take some work to adapt it to the Zaurus. It addresses all three of the Xvkbd issues above, but it does introduces a couple new ones:

* No GUI app to activate/control the driver (easy enough to create but don't expect it in my first release).
* Built-in Zaurus keyboard won't work right when IR KB driver is running (this is the biggest issue).

My initial thinking is that despite those limitations Kbdd is still the right approach, but I'd like to get feedback from other IR keyboard users before I spend a bunch of time coding up my solution. I'd like my work to benefit the pdaXrom community so if you're an IR keyboard user and one approach or the other would result in something you couldn't use, here's your chance to let me know smile.gif

Also, if you'd like to see support for a particular IR keyboard, feel free to reply with make and model. No guarantees, but I'll do what I can (short of buying new keyboards).
I know only a little, so don't really know if it's valuable to give you my opinion, but all the same you're getting it wink.gif

I'd go for the kernel-style approach. Having just today bought a pocketop keyboard on ebay for the 760 then I'd definitely be interested in seeing the results, and helping if I can...
first off I'd like to say i love you. 2nd I'll buy whatever keyboard you currently have working if you tell me the model number. can't wait till first release.
I would vote for kernel level and would be willing to make a donation to you to help incentivize you.

As far as as keyboard mapping, I think Guyhelm did some kernel stuff to get his 6000 keyboard and bluetooth keyboards working at the same time for his ROM. I don't know if that is related to the issue you cite.
I voted the kernel approach as this is the more powerfull one, albeit maybe not the one most fancy and pretty from end-user standpoint.

I donated today to the pdaXrom a Pocketop keyboard to test the inclusion of the needed kernel modules and I'll donate some $$ toward this project as soon as I see they decide to get to work on that.

As I am touch typing code an external keyboard is a must. I have also a Belkin F8U1500 and a Targus PA870 keyboards which are of inferior build quality than the Pocketop, but better suited for longer typing.
I vote for the kernel approach.. since it should perform much better than an application running in background...
First, thanks! this is much appreciated.

It really seems that the kernel method makes more sense, and should have wider applicability.
Looks like we have consensus that the kernel driver kbdd (kernel driver) path is the way to go so I've been digging into it. It has turned out to be much more challenging than I originally expected, but I'm making progress and if my latest idea works, the result will be better than I originally expected (the IR keyboard will not conflict with the Zaurus' built-in keyboard).

I'm posting detailed progress reports in my blog for those that would like to follow the development.
kopsis please get in contact with me on - we wan't you on the developer team :-)
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