Monday, January 28, 2008

The magic of the tablet

This blog post is special, it was all written by hand. That is, it was written using a Tablet PC running under Vista.

You know, people all around me are always complaining about how bad my penmanship is, but this thing is pretty good at figuring out the words that I'm writing.

So kudos to Microsoft how figuring out my bad writing. That being said, there's one slight problem. You know those toolkits that have custom widgets that do their own drawing? For example, Qt, Java swing and Mozilla based products to name a few, well, they don't work.

The problem is that the handwriting controls are tied to the native window class. So, if you have a window that has a native class of "text box", then Windows knows to pop up the handwriting widget button. When doing custom painting with widgets, the native Win32 class for all windows is, well, "window". So Windows can't tell that it's supposed to put up the handwriting pop up.

Too bad, Sun is really trying to position Java for rich client Internet apps. Is this important? Maybe, maybe not, but this is definitely something that the .Net Framework can do. Sun now has a lot of people working in Redmond to make Java run on Windows better. Well, this is one item that they can put on their todo list.

1 comment:

pjulien said...

As a follow up to my previous post, it is possible to make it work with all these custom widget frameworks.

The process is a manual one however. You have to hit the handwriting icon in the system tray. Whatever window has the focus will receive key press events based on what you wrote.