dasher - graphical predictive text entry system
The Preferences Dialog
Converting Training Files To Utf-8
less [-wop] [filename]
dasher is an information-efficient text-entry interface, driven by natural continuous pointing gestures. Dasher is a competitive text-entry system wherever a full-size keyboard cannot be used.
dasher takes the following options:
-o Dasher will appear without a text edit box and will default to entering text into other windows. -p Dasher will open a preferences window and not the main window. -s Dasher will output the entered text to stdout whenever stopped. Only text entered since the last stop will be output. -w Whenever Dasher is stopped, the time taken, number of characters entered, and number of bits of information will be displayed, along with ratios of these quantities.
After startup, Dasher will present the user with a window containing two major sections. The top portion is the edit box - text entered via Dasher will appear here, and the text may also be edited directly. The bottom portion is the main Dasher interface and will display a blank background with a column of letters on the right hand side. Clicking the mouse button will start the model, and the screen will zoom towards the point underneath the mouse pointer. To select a letter, move the mouse pointer into it and watch how it zooms underneat the crosshair. Within the selected letter, a new column of letters will appear. Move the pointer over one of these letters to select it as the next letter. To correct mistakes, move the mouse pointer to the left of the crosshair and Dasher will zoom out allowing you to select new letters.
New Restore Dasher to the state it was in when started
Open Read a text file into the Dasher edit box for further editting
Save Save the contents of the Dasher edit box to a file
Save as Save the contents of the Dasher edit box to a file chosen by the user
Append to file Add the contents of the Dasher edit box to the end of a file chosen by the user
Import training text Use a file to further train Dasher (for instance, a training file containing scientific terms to add to the initial English training). Training files must be UTF-8 encoded.
Exit Quit Dasher
Cut Remove the highlighted text from the edit box and copy it to the clipboard
Copy Copy the highlighted text from the edit box to the clipboard but dont remove it
Paste Paste the contents of the clipboard into the edit box at the position of the cursor
Copy all Copy the entire contents of the edit box to the clipboard
Select all Highlight all of the text in the edit box
Preferences Opens the preferences dialog (see THE PREFERENCES DIALOG below)
Edit font Choose the font used in the edit box
Dasher font Choose the font used in the Dasher canvas
Dasher font size Choose the size of the font used in the Dasher canvas
Reset fonts Reset the fonts back to the defaults
Enter text into other windows Make Dasher enter text into the currently focused window. Requires Dasher to have been built with Note that some languages will only work correctly if XFree 4.0.2 or higher is being used.
Control mode Provides a control node at the bottom of the screen. This allows various tasks to be performed inside Dasher, such as editing the text written, speaking entered text and stopping or pausing Dasher. If compiled with and using a desktop supporting the ATK accessibility framework, compliant applications will have their menu trees exported to Dasher and these may be accessed via this node.
About Dasher Display information about the current version of Dasher
The preferences dialog is split into several panes.
Choose a different alphabet. Dasher will automatically retrain itself if the alphabet specified training file is present
Choose a different colour scheme.
Alter various control options
One dimensional mode Map the Y position of the mouse to a 2 dimensional position on the Dasher canvas (useful for limited mobility users)
Eyetracker mode Similar to one dimensional mode, but behaves normally except at the right-hand side of the canvas. Designed for eyetracker users.
Start on left mouse button The left mouse button will toggle Dasher between running and paused state
Start on space bar The space bar will toggle Dasher between running and paused state
Start with mouse position When paused, Dasher will display a red box. If the pointer is held in the red box until a yellow box appears, and then in the yellow box until it vanishes, Dasher will start. This allows users with no button input to start and stop Dasher.
Copy all on stop Toggle whether the current text is automatically copied to the clipboard when Dasher is stopped
Speak on stop Toggle whether the newly entered text should be spoken when Dasher is stopped. Requires --with-speech to have been used during Dasher configuration and building.
Pause outside window Toggle whether Dasher pauses if the mouse cursor is moved outside the Dasher window
Orientation Change the relative position of the letters to the crosshairs. Alphabet Default will allow alphabets to set this automatically.
Show toolbar Toggle whether or not the row of buttons at the top of the window is displayed
Show speed slider Toggle whether or not the speed slider at the bottom of the window is displayed
Show mouse position Toggle whether Dasher should draw a box showing the logical position of the mouse cursor
Draw line between crosshairs and mouse Toggle whether Dasher should draw a line between the crosshairs and the logical mouse position
Draw box outlines Toggle whether Dasher should draw a box outline around every box it draws
Change colour scheme automatically Alphabets may provide a preferred colour scheme. If this option is enabled, Dasher will automatically change to it.
Smoothing The greater the smoothing value, the greater the uniformity of the box sizes. This will reduce the predictive capabilities of Dasher, and so may reduce writing speed.
Timestamp new files Include the time at which a file is saved in the filename
Distance from centreline for start on mouse position Controls the distance from the centre of the Dasher screen that the mouse position start boxes will appear.
Number of pixels that should cover the entire y range Controls how many pixels of input should correspond to complete coverage of the Dasher canvas. Only used in one dimensional mode.
Dasher requires that training files be in the UTF-8 format, whereas most text files are likely to be in ISO-8859 format. This doesnt matter for plain text, but accented characters are encoded differently. In order to convert them, use the iconv(1) program. For instance, if your training file is in ISO-8859-1 format (Western European), run
newtrainingfile --> iconv -f ISO-8859-1 -t UTF-8 trainingfile >newtrainingfile
/usr/share/dasher/System-wide configuration files~/.dasherUser configuration files
dasher will utilise data from both of these directories. Training texts from both will be used, allowing users to add their own training data to the system wide data
alphabet*.xmlThe files defining the alphabets available to Dashercolour*.xmlThe files defining the colour schemes available to Dashertrain*txtFiles containing the training data used by Dasher. These are UTF-8 encoded text and should contain a representative sample of the relevant language.
The Dasher Project <firstname.lastname@example.org> - http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/
|4.6.1||DASHER (1)||January 2004|