Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tegaki: chinese handwriting recognition on ubuntu maverick [meerkat 10.10]

In short, in a terminal, type in:
sudo apt-get install ibus-tegaki
sudo apt-get tegaki-zinnia-simplified-chinese

Pinyin / keyboard-based Chinese IME works well enough in Ubuntu, but tablet recognition is iffy.

The tegaki 0.3.1 packages are already in the meerkat universe repositories. (ibus-tegaki, tegaki-zinnia-simplified-chinese), so it's super straightforward.

(if when you type in above the terminal says "can't find package", you need to enable to universe repositories. Via command line: Via GUI: go to [Applications > Ubuntu Software Center > Edit > Software Sources] and make sure that "universe" is checked.

Maybe you also need to install libzinnia0, not sure.

Yay, that's it! If you need to, start the Ibus daemon. [System > Preferences > Keyboard Input Methods] should prompt you to start the daemon if you haven't already. Then go to [Input Method > Select an Input Method... > Other > tegaki] and hit [Add].
You can also try [... > Chinese > Pinyin]  and hit [Add]. Note that that's a capital-P! "pinyin" is for typing the tone marks.

Now you can select "tegaki" as an Ibus input method like normal (by clicking the keyboard ibus icon in the notication area), and I think the default keyboard shortcuts are [left-alt + shift] for switching inputs and [ctrl-space] for turning Input Methods on and off.

Tegaki does some weird hogging-the-input on my computer sometimes, though, and I can't even turn it off via IBus>Restart. I have to go ps x | grep ibus, sudo kill -9 [process #], ibus-daemon (to restart ibus), which is silly.

I can't get the wagomu engine to install though. :/ grr it keeps saying "can't find wagomu.h"

Also, ibus and tegaki are teh fails compared to Vista [Business and Up]'s Tablet PC Input Panel recognition. Tegaki is unsuitable for my give-tablet-to-grandma project. Sometimes it works beautifully, but my dad and I spent 15 minutes trying to write "那" before we gave up. Also, there's no way to enter in pinyin to shore up the recognition fail, and there's no way to easily enter English characters. There's no way I'm going to tell my grandma "Then you go down to this corner here and click and pick English handwriting recognition."

I was puzzling over this and then I used Vista Biz's tablet pc UI and it did address all of these issues (of course, some issues are obviated because its handwriting recognition feature is, for the most part, accurate, so there's no need for a back-one-stroke in addition to a back-entire-strokes and delete-all-characters-I've-approved-but-not-yet-inserted = 3 delete buttons).

Of course, this means I should haxor on the tegaki code, but ?? I have no idea where to get started and wish I could just skype with the developer for 30 minutes. I bet that would save me 20 hours of confusion.

Also to consider:
  • Running Vista Business in a VM inside Ubuntu (if I can find or order the restore media), writing code to access its input panel technology
  • Plunking down 40 euros for
Alternatively, I could keep spamming my living group's mailing list and hope someone's interested enough to tackle this with me, or start spamming SIPB's mailing list

Also, my ssh is still more broken than not so I can't even anti-social-tastically whine on Zephyr and keep my daily realization that I hate computers from polluting the internets.

Useful command line of the day:
apt-cache search [search term]

apt-cache search tegaki


1 comment:

  1. How to install Traditional Chinese Tegaki in Ubuntu? Thanks.