Input Method support in wayland.

Bill Spitzak spitzak at
Sun Jul 10 15:50:40 PDT 2011

It sure seems to me that this has to be in a library run by the  
application, and Wayland just delivers raw events. Reasons include:

- Applications want raw input events a lot (such as graphical portions  
where they want the letters to be shortcuts) and thus need to rapidly  
and accurately turn input methods on/off. This is trivial if the  
application just calls the input method.

- Input methods want to know what text is next to the cursor, not just  
what keys were typed.

- Input methods could display small hints in exactly the right font,  
size, and position and actually inserted into the text, rather than a  
pop-up window or invisible as most compose-key methods do today. Also  
allows smarter cancellation, for instance composekey+a+e produces the  
ae ligature, but composekey+a shows an 'a' and if the user types 'x'  
the result is a and x rather than just x or nothing.

- Most input methods are designed to be synchronous with the  
application state. For instance they often want to know when the user  
changes what text field is being edited, or they move the cursor, or  
select text.

- Avoids putting a big complex api into the Wayland

I can think of reasons to argue against this:

- Input method probably depends a lot on the keyboard layout, meaning  
it has to change when an app migrates from one display to another

- Applications can have different input methods, resulting in the  
dreaded (though never observed in the wild) "user confusion".

- The library is going to be huge and if it's code or data is not  
shared between all instances it will waste memory.

But these sort of arguments can be made about every design decision  
about Wayland, and about many portions of X, Windows, OS/X, Android,  
and every other user interface ever designed.

On Jul 8, 2011, at 11:40 PM, manish sharma wrote:

> Hi,
> I am a input method developer, wondering how input methods will work  
> in wayland? Is there going to be a protocol for it something similar  
> to
> If yes then i will be very happy to get more information on this.
> Thanks,
> Manish
> _______________________________________________
> wayland-devel mailing list
> wayland-devel at

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