Since the release of the KeymanWeb 2.0 beta, we haven't been sitting around. We have in fact released 7 updates to the beta in the last month! Today, we consolidated a lot of that effort into build 335, and I'm happy to be able to report on some of the exciting changes and even new features.
The team are continuing to add features, improve performance and fix bugs. One of the coolest features now available is that KeymanWeb integrates embedded font support for scripts that need non-standard fonts. What does this mean? This means that even if the computer you are on does not have fonts for your language, KeymanWeb can provide those fonts without you having to do any configuration whatsoever!
For example, KeymanWeb lets you type Amharic in Windows XP, iPhone and iPad, even though those operating systems and devices do not support Amharic natively! The picture above shows Amharic on the computer, and Indian languages on the iPad and iPod Touch.
We've now built templates for Keyman Developer 9.0, which is coming soon, that will help keyboard developers to build touch optimised layouts with a minimum of fuss. The templates are fully customisable, of course, in the grand tradition of Keyman, but it sure saves a lot of effort to have a well-crafted design as a starting point. We have built templates for both mobile phone and tablet devices, so you can take a single keyboard layout and with very little work, make it work optimally in native Windows applications, web browsers in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, and again in web browsers on numerous different tablets and mobile phones. All from the one keyboard file!
We've drawn also a special embedded font to provide immediately recognizable special key icons, and the On Screen Keyboard customization tool makes it easy for you to match the KeymanWeb On Screen Keyboard with your own page design.
Today we published an update to the KeymanWeb home page, bringing some cool functionality, in particular:
- Instant access to the full Windows desktop version of your favourite KeymanWeb keyboard with the Big Green Download button (and of course, virus and malware free!)
- A Browser Addin Bookmarklet (I'll talk about this more shortly)
- Integrated Social tools to make it easier to share KeymanWeb with your friends
- And finally, refreshed the page design with the new Keyman colours and graphics.
There has been a heap of work behind the scenes on this site as well, improving performance, fixing keyboards with issues, and making it easier to bookmark and come back to the page
The Browser Addin Bookmarklet is worth understanding. It allows you to take any KeymanWeb keyboard and simply drag it to your Bookmarks toolbar. Now you can visit any web site on the Internet, and when you want access to your language on that site, just click the KeymanWeb Bookmark you saved, and up will pop your language keyboard! Even better, KeymanWeb will load a font for your language if your device does not already support it. Today, this feature works with web browsers in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. We are working hard on bringing this to mobile and tablet browsers as well.
We will go into more depth on the Bookmarklet in a future blog post.
All the new features aside, we've fixed a ton of bugs and niggling problems in the latest beta version. Bug fixes include better management of the mobile and tablet language menu, corrected initialization order and lots of fixes for desktop user interface behaviour.
Hint: You can now find out the actual build of KeymanWeb 2.0 that you are using, by holding Shift while double-clicking the desktop On Screen Keyboard footer, or, on touchpad devices, by touching the language menu key and keyboard hide key at the same time.