I do have 1 gripe about metro UI

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by ChemCat, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    The onscreen keyboard takes up too much damn space of the screen. Almost 2/3 of the screen. Why? Why can't we change the size of the keyboard? Why isn't the control open to the dev? This is the one thing I hate about metro.

    I've been developing and using an LOB app of my own. It works fine when I'm in the office sitting comfortably with the touch cover attached to the surface. But the app is also meant to be used out in the field when I'm doing inspection work. And when I want to input data, the freakin' soft keyboard would cover up almost 2/3 of the screen, which is pretty much everything. God it's annoying.

    Anyway, I just wrote a subroutine that disables the freakin' soft keyboard that comes with winrt and built my own collapsible, resizable, and color-changeable soft-keyboard. It took some coding yoga, but I did it.

    MS should have opened up the controls of the soft keyboard for devs to control it. This is ridiculous. I shouldn't have had to spend any time at all solving this.
     
  2. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Code it to where it works in portrait mode....
     
  3. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    No. I've already tried portrait. There are reasons I'm not inclined to reveal. Just take my word for it. Landscape is the only way to go.
     
  4. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately for the keyboard to be functional for typing it needs to take up the much real estate.
     
  5. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    No. In android, the api for keyboard is open. There are keyboard apps on the playstore where you can make it really really small.

    Edit.

    And I disagree with the functional thing. The keyboard does not need to take over 2/3 of the screen for it to be functional. At least give us the option to make it smaller.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    There is a registry key IIRC that controls the size of the keyboard...
     
  7. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    And how will this help with my LOB? Not to mention your 1-sentence answers. Just answer little by little. Like scavenger hunt.
     
  8. kundas1

    kundas1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    well what he's saying is you can set the size of the keyboard from the registry, not that hard to understand...and your a coder so you should be familiar with what he's saying. Also if this is for personal use or do you plan on selling/releasing this? your not clear at all on your intentions
     
  9. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    That's not going to work. Remember that this is an LOB. I'm not going to go around and change everyone's registry in the company.

    Added by edit.

    It doesn't matter if I'm going to sell this or not. The point is the keyboard takes up too much of the screen.

    The reason why it is especially harmful with my app is because my app uses a lot of autocomplete with drop down suggestion boxes. Metro doesn't have an autocompletebox of its own, so I had to write my own. This in itself is a gripe also.

    With inspection work, we have to adhere to the codes by the state, EPA, etc. This meant that when we do our calculations, we have to look up the appropriate values to plug into the calculations to make sure the structures adhere to the specs. I'm talking about thousands and thousands of different values to look up. Other inspectors fumble through books of thousands of pages long with very small letters. And god help us when it rains. This is why I started creating this app in the first place.

    From MS's own blog on designing the keyboard.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/17/designing-the-windows-8-touch-keyboard.aspx

    They even admitted that they were researching on people who do Facebook and stuff. No real work. MS touts making windows 8/rt for business and real work, but they used bloggers and brain dead users for their research. I shouldn't have to write a subroutine in the app to disable the soft keyboard and create one of my own that doesn't obscure most of the screen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  10. kayzee

    kayzee Well-Known Member

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    Just out of interest, does any else agree with ChemCat? Personally I've never found it a problem, and I'm interested to see if it's a widely adopted issue or quite unique to the OP.
     
  11. hotphil

    hotphil Member

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    I'm not sure it's 2/3 of the screen, but it is quite large. I'm not a coder, but I can see how that would pose UI design challenges.
     
  12. ChemCat

    ChemCat New Member

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    Oh, no, don't get me wrong. I'm sure the current design works for most people. I would imagine most people use the tablet for either facebook or blogs. And when they do type, they are seated comfortably on the couch or something.

    My boss and I are the only people I know who use our tablets for work in the field. Everyone else still uses very large reference books that are thousands of pages long, clipboard, and graph papers for calculations. That's what my app is designed to replace. So far, field tests with my app has been successful. While other engineers are fumbling around with very large books and graph papers to try to crank out calculations for the inspection, I just punch in a few numbers and voila my app spits out results and graphs needed. Then I would press save results, save as pdf, and when I get back to the office all I do is print out the pdf's. I can also open up the work where I left off and continue working on my laptop in the office.

    The point is if MS is really genuine in making winrt a work platform, they shouldn't have just used brain dead users for their study. At least give us the option to not use the surface only for blogs and facebook.

    Added by edit.

    And why make the codings 10 times more complicated than wpf? Printing in wpf takes 4 lines of codes, top. Printing in metro takes a whopping 210+ lines of codes. Don't believe me? Try to print out some formatted data with either c# or c++ in metro and see what I mean.

    And why no autocompletebox with dropdown suggestions? I had to write my own as well.

    After having worked on this app on and off in the last month, I've decided that MS wasn't really serious about making metro a serious work UI. They left out all the important stuff that are needed for genuine work. But if you want to build a gaming app, they've got everything you will ever need.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013

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