Talk:Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer

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Regarding the on-screen-button pushing alcove

The on-screen-button pushing alcove is added on 2008-05-10 as a result of Adobe introducing The Open Screen Project.

The Open Screen Project may allow the Flash system to be used on interactive televisions and maybe on the XO, if the new licensing terms of the Flash system are suitable for use on the XO. In many interactive television systems there is no mouse or pointer, so clicking on Flash buttons would be a problem. The addition of the on-screen-button pushing alcove to the Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer will hopefully get around that problem.

Does pushing a Flash button require a mouse down event or a mouse click event?

Regarding the on-screen-button mouse-over alcove

The on-screen-button mouse-over alcove is added on 2008-05-12 as a result of Adobe introducing The Open Screen Project and after further thought after adding the on-screen-button pushing alcove.

A Flash button can be made to change appearance at a mouse over event. The Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer now has the capability to access such a change of appearance.

okay, moving discussion from article page

This page seems completely useless to me. Someone should figure out what it is. --jacobolus

The original author of this page disagrees with the request to delete the page. The idea is defended on the page itself and that defence is repeated below as the rules of deciding upon a deletion request made on the article page requires defence on the discussion page rather than on the article page where the deletion request has been made! The idea is certainly open to critical review and indeed the decision may be taken not to take up the idea. Yet no specific technical reason for wanting the page deleted has been put forward at this time. Critical review is needed as to whether the idea could be useful to the OLPC project before any decision to delete the page is made.
Well, suppose that a child has arthritis and cannot move the pointer properly yet can press on the number keys. This method would allow that child to move the mouse pointer around on the screen.
  • The method allows any user to position the mouse pointer with pixel precision.
  • This method allows any user to enter any Unicode character into the laptop. Suppose that someone in Brazil wishes to enter French accents, how else would he or she do it using the keyboard on his or her machine? What about the accents for Esperanto, or for Latvian?
    [1] Keyboard Artwork Library page
    [2] French pdf
    [3] Esperanto pdf
    [4] Latvian pdf
    [5] List of pdfs available
  • This method allows colours to be selected with precision.
  • This method is expandable for other features as well.
Alright, I suppose I should have phrased this differently. I don't understand at all what this spec does. It has no high-level description of how it works, or how it will be used. It wasn't clear to me how it had anything to do with the other aspects of the software on the laptops. To my untrained eye, it seems vastly complicated, far beyond the ability of any 8 year-old child to comprehend, let alone use. --Jacobolus 13:03, 14 February 2007 (EST)
Well, in fairness there is no explanation of how any 8 year-old child would comprehend or use the system. That is my omission and is needed, so here is an explanation.
The system would be implemented by having a wide, not too high, panel appear along the bottom of the screen once entry was requested to the Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer. The panel would describe the key presses currently available and what they did.
For example, at start up.
0 -> Unicode room
Mouse event generation
1 sets left button
2 sets right button
3 sets centre button
4 -> key setting
5 -> pointer event selection
6 -> expansion and resetting
7 -> x value
8 -> y value
9 -> z value
If, say, 7 were keyed, the panel would be redrawn showing that the current value of x is 0.
The panel would state that digit keys could be used to set x and that Enter would go back to the main room.
Each digit press would update the value of x in the display.
Keying Enter would redraw the original panel, displaying on that panel the current value of x.
The child would not need a printed manual nor knowledge of the underlying software: he or she would be propmpted by on-screen explanation of which key has which effect at that stage of the process.

(unindenting) To clafify further, this specification seems to be a massively complicated finite state machine.

Well, it may be a finite state machine, I am not sure of what that means. It is just intended as a way of getting various sorts of information into a computer using only eleven keys.

Computers are good at dealing with such structures. Humans are not (having taken several years of difficult university-level mathematics and computer science, I cannot imagine myself keeping such a structure in my head).

Well, you do not need to keeping such a structure in your head. If implemented well the user would be propmpted by on-screen explanation of which key has which effect at that stage of the process.

For this system to be used by a student, a printout of all the states would be required.


Given that these laptops are going to many places without printers, and will be used far away from the classroom, this is impractical to an extreme.

As a printout would not be needed, the criticism immediately above does not apply.

Instead, useful operations in every activity should have relevant keyboard shortcuts as an alternate invocation method.

That is a reasonable idea. How exactly would they simulate a mouse event such as a right-click drag?

I can possibly even understand a mechanism for using the arrow keys to move the mouse.

Numerical feedback is still needed in order to get pixel location precision.

But using the row of numbers as a state machine to accomplish every possible touchpad and keyboard event in several arbitrary presses, seems just absurd to me.

Yet they are not arbitrary presses. For example, the first ten of the colours in the preset colours alcove all correspond to the link between colours and numbers used in the resistor colour code which has been used in electronic engineering for many years.

If I might ask, who came up with this system? --

William Overington
The Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer is a modified version of an idea called the Astrolabe Channel Numerical Pointer which was devised some years ago with the initial idea for providing mouse event input on digital interactive televisions equipped with a twenty key keypad as the only way for a user to enter information to the system.
There are some documents indexed at the following web page and some of them are about the Astrolabe Channel Numerical Pointer idea.
As time went on, ideas for other features were devised. The system has not, as far as I know, been implemented. The Accessibility Computing Numerical Pointer is a redesigned system so as to try to provide the benefits of the original in systems which may well not have the colour buttons of an interactive television keypad.

Jacobolus 13:19, 14 February 2007 (EST)

I agree with Jacobolus... this is way to complicated.
Maybe, yet maybe the reponses to the comments above may lead to reconsideration of that comment. If I may ask, however, how exactly, precisely, would the same effects be achieved for the users of the laptops without a similar system? Just because a system is complicated does not mean that it should not be done. People did not get to the moon by throwing a rock up in the air and saying, when it fell back to earth, that anything else would be too complicated and should not be done.
If the idea is 'useful' maybe the application should be developed (even just as proof of concept) and then passed onto the software community to test the idea...
Yes, that is a good idea. yet I do not know how to program the laptop system. If someone will try to implement it then that would be great.
full text-specs of it here doesn't seem appropriate.
Well, if not here in a wiki where ideas from the public have been requested, then where?
IOW, I wouldn't miss this page if it's deleted. --Xavi 13:34, 14 February 2007 (EST)
Who actually does decide if it gets deleted and is there any top level OLPC assessment of the idea before someone just throws it out as unwanted? Bearing in mind that OLPC management asked for ideas from the public, it does seem that OLPC management should carry out a proper assessment before throwing something away. It is not as if anyone has claimed the document to be incoherent gobbledygook or claimed that the system would not work. Certainly if someone spent time trying to implement a proof of concept on the laptop that time could perhaps be time which could be better spent on some other aspect of software development for the laptop.
Yet the concept of deleting a page which someone else has contributed when that page is not offensive and no one has shown anything wrong with the idea in it seems strange. Certainly more explanation may be needed. It is a wiki page, it is set up so that the idea can be developed. Hopefully people can add information into the currently empty Implementation on the OLPC laptop section and maybe add other sections.
This is the second page containing one of my ideas that someone has tried to get deleted.
That idea is linked into another of my ideas.
The ready-to-test idea
There are also pages with others of my ideas.
MHP to laptop interface possibility
XOj in monochrome
Fund raising ideas
Hopefully some of the above will be useful to the OLPC project. It is possible that some will not be thought useful to the project and that some will need changing in some way so as to use them to the best effect in the project. All are in wiki pages ready for people to comment upon and develop. If pages are deleted then no one coming along later has any chance to make their own decision about an idea.
Actually, I hope I don't sound too mean, but I kind of did claim that it's incoherent gobbledygook, and also the system would not work. I personally can't understand it, as an adult having used graphical computer interfaces my whole life. I don't think that as currently described it would be remotely comprehensible to a young child. And I don't frankly think it would be particularly useful either. There will already be methods of picking colors and unicode characters, far easier and more intuitive than this one. And moving the mouse by typing the x and y coordinates of locations on the screen completely contradicts the nature and purpose of a mouse in the first place. This seems to me like giving a paralyzed man a spinning teacup as an alternative mode of transportation. The result is not empowerment, but dizziness. --Jacobolus 14:26, 15 February 2007 (EST)
Thank you for replying. I am trying to take your comments on board and hope to improve the article page. If you could comment on such changes as I make, that would be helpful. You are welcome to participate in improving the article if you wish.
Incidentally, in the future, you might try signing your comments, by using four tildes, like so: --~~~~. --Jacobolus 14:29, 15 February 2007 (EST)

Deperatly needs some visual clues

If you don't have any photographs available to insert on the page then at least insert some tables to explain what you are trying to say


Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Col 1
row 1
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row 1
Col 1
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row 2
Col 1
row 3
Col 2
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--Chief Mike 08:07, 8 November 2007 (EST)