Alpha space has no character
06-27-2017, 04:26 AM
Post: #1
 webmasterpdx Senior Member Posts: 541 Joined: Sep 2015
Alpha space has no character
...but when alpha or shift-alpha is on, a _ character is produced. It should produce a space.
It's very annoying when typing in comments or notes, to have to turn alpha off in order to enter a space. Let alpha space be a space in a future release please...
Thx
-D
06-27-2017, 08:03 PM (This post was last modified: 06-27-2017 08:04 PM by Tim Wessman.)
Post: #2
 Tim Wessman Senior Member Posts: 2,209 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Alpha space has no character
It does.

If shift is active, the shifted character is produced. If you do not see the blue S in your indicator area, and do see the orange alpha, a regular space is put in. Locked alpha, and locked lower alpha both do the space. It is only when the SHIFT indicator is on that the underscore comes in.

Please describe the exact keystrokes you are doing.

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
06-28-2017, 03:52 AM
Post: #3
 webmasterpdx Senior Member Posts: 541 Joined: Sep 2015
RE: Alpha space has no character
Well, whenever i want to enter a note or comments in a program, I want to leave alpha mode on, and I want to enter spaces.....and I'm usually in lower case mode (shift alpha locked on). e.g:
shift-alpha-alpha this_is_a_comment.
I would like to not see the _ characters....but spaces instead.
07-02-2017, 12:07 AM
Post: #4
 TravisE Member Posts: 78 Joined: Aug 2016
RE: Alpha space has no character
This is the behavior I get:
Shift+Space: _
Upper-alpha (locked or not)+Space: (space)
Lower-alpha (locked or not)+Space: _

This was one of the first big annoyances I came across on the Prime. The issue is that the underscore is produced in lowercase alpha mode, when the space is arguably more convenient. This seems to be a consequence of the fact that (as far as I can tell) Shift+Alpha is always mapped to the lowercase function of the key (or the opposite case from the active one in alpha-lock) and there is no concept of independent shift functions in alpha mode. This causes the shift functions of keys without alpha characters, like the space key, to get a bit confusing.

I've been able to work around it with the user keys feature. The drawback is that to type an underscore one has to leave alpha-lock mode (slightly inconvenient, but being able to type spaces with lowercase text makes up for it, IMO). When I originally tried this on an earlier firmware revision, there was a nasty bug that caused corruption to the entry line, but this has since been fixed, and I've had no problems with it in version 10637.

Code:
KEY KSA_Space() BEGIN RETURN " "; END;

IIRC, the above code should be entered in a program called USERKEYS and Shift+Help/User pressed twice to turn on user keys lock mode. As long as user keys mode is active, space should type spaces in upper- and lowercase alpha mode.

Hopefully I didn't make an error or omission; it's been a while since I've used my Prime.
07-02-2017, 08:21 PM
Post: #5
 webmasterpdx Senior Member Posts: 541 Joined: Sep 2015
RE: Alpha space has no character
That occurred to me, but it'd be nice if it were built-in. Likewise, I was wondering if there is a different key sequence that would give me a space no matter wnat state the alpha mode is in.
Thx
-Donald
07-04-2017, 05:08 AM
Post: #6
 webmasterpdx Senior Member Posts: 541 Joined: Sep 2015
RE: Alpha space has no character
I figured it out!!!!
OK, you just put it in shift alpha mode (lowercase). Type away like normal. Whenever you want to do an upper case letter, you just type shift-letter and it'll enter that letter in upper case. Then for a space, just type shift-space and a regular space will be entered. This works without having to mess about too much. For characters like decimal points, type shift-. Without the shift, the . char will produce an = character.
So, that'll do it. Enjoy.
07-04-2017, 06:54 PM
Post: #7
 TravisE Member Posts: 78 Joined: Aug 2016
RE: Alpha space has no character
That approach does work, though I still don't like it personally, because it means typing a space costs two keystrokes each, which is one too many for such a commonly-used character.
07-04-2017, 10:43 PM
Post: #8
 Tim Wessman Senior Member Posts: 2,209 Joined: Dec 2013
RE: Alpha space has no character
Well, I can make it so locking alpha in any mode will always do space in all forms of alpha lock. HOWEVER, you will NOT be able to type _ without unlocking alpha...

Do you all feel that is an acceptable trade off? I didn't when the keyboard was designed. Currently, the problem only impacts lowercase alpha lock which is the "non-standard" way of operating the keyboard.

Remember that _ is used for units...

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
07-05-2017, 02:39 AM
Post: #9
 webmasterpdx Senior Member Posts: 541 Joined: Sep 2015
RE: Alpha space has no character
Well I have something that works well and that's what I'm going to use.
07-09-2017, 09:24 PM
Post: #10
 TravisE Member Posts: 78 Joined: Aug 2016
RE: Alpha space has no character
I guess what I was originally expecting was to have the key normally do spaces in either alpha mode but for an explicit Shift+Space to be able to do the underscore anytime, though I imagine that might be incompatible with the way the key-handling engine was written (it would have to be able to distinguish between explicit shift vs. upper/lower-lock). This is, though, roughly equivalent to how such keys behave on the 50g, where LS with Alpha inverts case (like Prime's Alpha and Shift) but keys without alpha functions still do their non-shifted functions in either case unless LS is used explicitly for them. But one could argue that this behavior is inconsistent with keys with assigned alpha characters (and it would have to be or else the shift function would conflict with the alpha character on that key).

On the other hand, having Space do space in either upper- or lowercase alpha would be more logically consistent with the alpha key behavior on the Prime, but potentially not convenient for users using units a lot.

So I guess I'm a bit confused now. In practice I personally found the 50g behavior intuitive and convenient enough, but I honestly can't speak for whether it would be the same to most typical users. It's a good thing we have the User keyboard feature, at least, to customize this, although the flexibility is somewhat limited due to the lack of an extra shift key.
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