Math Virtual Keyboard Specifications


I should have done this at the first day of GSoC. =(

Bug 983043 is a meta bug where Firefox OS UX team make available the most updated version of Firefox OS Keyboard Specifications. Have the specifications in hand is awesome because you know what you need to do.

Instead of publish the specification for the math keyboard I started coding. This was good to discovery the features that I need to implement and discovery how Bugzilla work but it didn’t help solving the problem of switching from one keyboard to another and this is the topic of this post.

Firefox OS for input text has three layers:

  • letter,
  • alternate and
  • symbol.

Switch between any this layers is simple as explain at the picture below toke from “Keyboard Layout & Behavior for Phone Version 2.1 [Jun 5, 2014].

Ilustration of workflow from native keyboard.

For handle math I need three additional layers:

  • greek letters,
  • math symbols and
  • math functions.

Right now I could only think in two ways to switch between all this layers.

IME Switch Key

One of the ways that I think is using the IME switch key and make the extra layers available as different IMEs.

Ilustration of workflow using IME Switch.

This option is bad because the user will need to press the IME switch key many times to get the desire layers.


I’m not sure if some features like “word” suggestion can work across different IME.

Row for Switch

The other way is using a extra row that list all the layers and the when the user press one of the key from this extra row the layer change.

Ilustration of workflow using row switch.


I’m not sure if with this changes the keyboard could be available at the Gaia source.