INFONETICS Gets Mouse & Touch Enabled

Posted May 2007

INFONETICS “classic” keyboard-oriented software has always provided an ultra-easy to use, fast and efficient user interface. Screens are easy to navigate, compact, and optimally tuned for keyboard data entry. Admittedly, novice/first-time users accustomed to typical “graphical” mouse-oriented software sometimes experience culture shock as they come to know our classic approach. Even with custom printed labels for the 10 function keys, some first-timers are overwhelmed and keep reaching for the mouse, even though it is considerably slower & clumsier. So, we’ve mouse/touch-enabled INFONETICS software, WITHOUT losing or affecting the classic keyboarding approach! Thanks to extensive programming enhancements to “LX”, our windows terminal emulator product, as well as programming throughout the INFONETICS Linux software platform, you can now tap to select a field, double-tap to invoke the <VIEW> function on a field, tap & drag to highlight a section to copy, and right-tap to paste text back in.

Tap – A single tap will move the cursor to the field selected. (i.e. tap on the customer ID, and the cursor moves there), tap on the Part ID, again the cursor moves automatically to that field. Tap on the <UPDATE> function key label on the bottom of the screen, and the system will perform an <UPDATE> as if <F9> was pressed. Notice that the textual area preceding the field, as well as the field itself, are all part of the same zone. This makes it possible to easily move to a field even when using an imprecise pointer such as a finger on a touchpad. The actual tap occurs from the location where the pointer is released, not where it is first contacted, making it possible to slide the pointer as needed to choose the right field. When tapping an area of the screen that doesn’t have an active field, the system will automatically advance to the next closest logical field in sequence. For instance, tapping the extended price field in Post Order/Invoice, which has no data entry field associated with it, will automatically move to the Part ID field of the next line.

Double-Tap – Double-tapping actually performs two functions, together. First, as a single-tap, the cursor will be moved to the field selected. Then, immediately the <VIEW> function is invoked. This has long been the most important function key of all ten, as it allows the user to drill down into the supporting data file related to the selected field.

Tap & Drag – Tapping, holding and moving the pointer across the screen, then releasing is the standard way of selecting text and performing a “copy” to memorize data. This process has also been characterized as “highlighting” and “marqueeing” since it looks similar to the way a ring of lights surround a theater marquee. Tap & Drag will also relocate the cursor to the field released from much as a single-tap does.

Shift Tap & Drag – Like Tap & Drag, this performs a “copy”, but does not relocate the cursor to the field. This allows text to be copied off a different section of the screen without changing the current field.

Right-Tap – Using a traditional mouse, the user clicks the right-hand button. This performs a “paste” function which will enter text previously copied to the clipboard as if it had been typed in. On a touch-screen, the operation is a little more difficult as one must press & hold the stylus while simultaneously depressing the button on the stylus.

<SHIFT><INSERT> – For the keyboard purists, this keystroke combination will also perform a “paste” function, and may be considered easier on a virtual on-screen keyboard than the Right-Tap of a stylus.