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Run-Time Targets Overview

Build-A-Board Run-Time Targets Overview

Overview

Build-A-Board was designed from the ground-up to be a cross-platform, multiple target custom keyboard design tool. The Build-A-Board Builder is the developer front-end that can manipulate keyboard layouts, look, and features. The Run-Time Targets are the actual software (Program) that runs on a target system to display and operate the keyboard layout (Data). Due to the various nature and aspects of the different run-time operating systems and environments, there are features and capabilities that may not translate from one system to another. Also, with over 18 years of providing keyboard solutions, and a half-dozen keyboard file data formats, there are also other constraints that may affect a particular target.

The actual code-base for the run-time targets is a combination of target specific code, shared core keyboard software code, and shared lower-level abstracted operating system API code. Because the foundation was designed to be cross-platform, and extensible, the ability to run the same keyboard layout (Data) on multiple run-time targets (Programs) is the expected operation. However, due to a wide range of limitations & potential cross-platform compatibility issues, this cannot be guaranteed. Various aspects that may affect a particular run-time target will be addressed in this chapter and the next.

Available targets

Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP - 32 bit (ANSI 2.10)

Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 - 32 bit (UNICODE 2.20)

Windows CE - SIP (Software Input Panel) and Free-Floating keyboard interfaces (ANSI 2.10)

Linux - 32 bit (UNICODE 2.20)

Linux - 64 bit (UNICODE 2.20)

UNIX - 32 bit (UNICODE 2.20)

Mac OS X (10.4 and higher) - 32 bit (UNICODE 2.20)

2.00, 2.10, and 2.20 Notes

Build-A-Board 2.00 was updated to 2.10, and no customer should be running any KBF (KeyBoard Files) (Data) from 2.00. The 2.00 version is not supported.

KBF Files based on the ANSI 2.10 data format can run under the My-T-Soft Family 1.7x/1.8x versions, and the older My-T-Soft 2.10 Run-Time software. Because there are multiple hundreds of thousands (est. 250,000+) installs throughout the world, the 2.10 data format is supported in 2.20 as a Run-Time target option. In other words, Build-A-Board 2.20 can still generate 2.10 KBF files for these older, already installed systems. The license for these systems are handled by the run-time software. 2.10 KBF files do not have any license information within them.

KBF Files based on the UNICODE 2.20 data format are the preferred format for any new installs, or cross-platfrom layouts. The UNICODE support provides a much better way to handle key labels for the world's locales, and the image support, and extensibility of the expanded data format is also a marked improvement from the older data formats. Note that the 2.20 also supports embedded licensing, so a properly licensed Build-A-Board Builder can generate "licensed" KBF files for licensed platforms. This license approach makes for easier deployments, especially when multiple targets are in use.


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