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IMG's Blog - Recorded Keystrokes

IMG's Blog - Recorded Keystrokes

Build-A-Board 2.20 Release 5 is now available!
written January 23, 2018 by Kermit Komm
Category: Development Tags: Build-A-Board; My-T-Soft;    #77
 
Click to view as Press Release
 

IMG is pleased to announce that a comprehensive update to IMG's My-T-Soft® Build-A-Board is now available for download and use. This release includes support for the recently released My-T-Soft for Android, along with updates to run-time targets, new features and capabilities, and tighter integration with the online database of layouts at Build-A-Board.com and with individual Build-A-Board.com accounts.

For those not familiar with Build-A-Board, here is a quick overview/history. Back in the last century, the success of IMG's My-T-Soft/My-T-Touch/My-T-Pen/My-T-Mouse on-screen keyboard software led customers to ask for custom layouts, different capabilities, and different platforms. So starting in the late 90's, a review of the industry and a long wish-list of what on-screen keyboard software could be was laid out, all while structuring things so that the market could define the path forward (vs. taking a best-guess and risk being way off the mark). So the first Build-A-Board builder was released in the early 2000's providing a tool to create custom layouts, and integrating with the existing Windows software. As time marched on, new platforms were added - Windows CE (EXE and DLL), Linux (32-bit/64-bit), Mac OS X, Windows 64-bit, and most recently Android. Each iteration of Build-A-Board refined the user interface, added capabilities, and slowly began to realize the original goals - complete flexibility of the user interface for text input software and able to operate on any platform (i.e. computing device with a pointing device interface - touch, stylus, mouse, etc.) Along the way, the online database at Build-A-Board.com was created and filled out, user accounts were added, and a complete eco-system was also created to truly realize the vision - a way for your layouts to be available on whatever device you were using today. Also note, in case you don't know or realize, My-T-Soft is a just a contraction of My Typing Software. Having your own customized and optimized layouts on any device you use seems like a much better future than having to deal with whatever the system decides to give you. Finally, because of various constraints and the nature of IMG's business, some of the features and capabilities have been only available to existing customers prior to this public release.

The following outlines some of the technical aspects of the release that are new since the last public release. It is assumed that everyone already knows that you can create, design, customize, and deploy on-screen keyboards pretty easily with the previous releases, so highlighting the new features is most important here. It is also worthwhile to note the market is becoming increasingly aware of the need for customization, because if you are providing the same dang thing as everyone else, you really aren't providing any value...

Conversion between 2.10 and 2.20 compatible sources: In previous versions, you could only convert one way to the 2.20 Unicode formats, and there was no way to convert back to the ANSI 2.10. Because there are enough legacy installs in use, and some customers started off in 2.20 not realizing they couldn't target 2.10 installs, the ability to convert projects back & forth between the 2 targets was added. As an important item to note, when converting from 2.20 to 2.10, information in the projects (especially key data) will be lost and not be recoverable. Projects should only be converted to legacy 2.10 when there is a specific need for that target. As a helpful reminder, doing a Save As step first can save a lot of grief if considering doing a 2.20 to 2.10 conversion.

Open KMF and Open KBF options: With this release, the only real support is for 1.xx software, and provides a limited way to modify keys and labels on the older software. Because the trend is to use the newer/more capable 2.xx targets, these options are for special cases with the older, legacy software. If you feel there is a need for these options, it is recommended you contact IMG Technical Support to discuss what you are trying to accomplish.

Builder Properties, Project and Project Details tabs: There are 2 new tabs on the Properties dialog which show internal settings regarding the current project, and a Project Details page to establish a category and sorting options for use within the public database. If you plan to make a project public or place on the marketplace, updating these details is recommended and may be required for certain situations.

View Key Images: This opens a sub-window that shows the current available key images that can be used on keys with the HiRes Key Type and Frame Type set to Key Images. Select or Double-Click on a Key Image to make it the current image used for the Board (all keys with the correct Type/Frame Type will be updated for the entire board).

View Keyboard Layouts: This opens a sub-windows that shows all available language maps (KMF files) that can be embedded in a layout. With the correct Key Label and Key Action configuration, layouts can be easily toggled between 2 language maps, or scrolled through all included layouts within a Board. Layouts can be selected from the available list, or removed from the already included layouts, so a final set of layouts to be included with the target KBF file. Note this is currently only fully supported on the Windows targets.

Grid + layout: When the grid is enabled (F4), and the Add tool is in use (F3), a click and drag will enable a multiple key grid layout. The keys are based on the current default width/height, and the current grid size. Note that if the default key size is not a multiple of the current grid size, the top/left of keys added in this way will not be on grid points - if this is the case, you may wish to disable the grid once you have your field of keys.

Spacing logic/pixels: When aligning a row or a column of keys, the spacing logic allows for fixed end points, or an approximate end point with guaranteed even spacing. There is now also a way to select a specific number of pixels to be inserted between adjacent keys.

Keystroke Macro Recorder: A utility to record formatted macros is included, so more complex keystroke sequences can be monitored and recorded for use within Key Action keystroke macros.

Integration with Build-A-Board.com: When licensed, you can go directly to Build-A-Board.com (in your browser), projects can be uploaded to your account, and favorite and default boards can be managed for use with run-time targets

Flexible licensing: With this release, a new IMG License Manager is integrated, allowing for more flexible options, and ties platform licenses to your Build-A-Board.com account. Most importantly, the ability to get a Build-A-Board license for Free is now available, and once licensed, non-evaluation boards can be created. Because licenses can be embedded in the .KBF files (layouts), device and platform licensing can be managed from a Build-A-Board.com account, so the Build-A-Board builder can be used by anyone to create layouts. Note that to deploy licensed layouts (e.g. Platform licensing), a Serial # is required, only available when an appropriate license has been purchased.

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