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Universal Key-Press System

Posted on 10 August 1998

The following text was written by Phil Killewald:

This is an interesting point that I should have brought up a long time ago, seeing as it effects calculator users (at least those of us who use ASM programs) daily. The fact is, no one has a universal key-press system worked out yet. By that I mean no one has set a standard like (2nd) acts as ENTER and (Clear) acts as ESC.

Lets say, for instance, that you are running SOS (I know you can change the key-press routines for it, but it's a good example). I move down to ZTetris and press (Y=) to enter the program. But then, at the player select screen of ZTetris, I have to press (Enter) to get by.

Why don't all the prominent programmers (and by that, I meant those who have made sucessful programs over the past month-or-so) get together and come up with a universal system for key-presses? I realize that each of the calculators has a different key layout, but that can be taken care of easily. Just set a standard for each calc individually, but make sure that when the games are ported, the correct keys are changed. It's frustrating when you are playing one game, then you have to stop and think which buttons do what when you switch over to the next. I understand fully that some games will require some special keys, but the general format can be kept the same.

If there is anyone who feels the same way, and would like to comment, please do so.

  Reply to this item

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
AGENT-TI
(Web Page)

I like all of your contributions but perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction.

When you submit a program, perhpas there should be a standard way to comment about it.
A standard for commenting would make it easy for anyone to find buttons/special features easily.
Notes on the Name of the Game, The author, his/her e-mail/his/her web-site, the size of the program, How much ram does it use while running?, the type of program (game/math/science/graphic), for what calc (82/3/4/5,etc) and Special notice if it is an ASM program.

Then follow it up with a short description, the buttons, then finally the history (if any)

It seems to me everyone uses almost the same buttons, so when they get to the buttons listing, they can just use the words 'STANDARD BUTTONS' + /whatever/.

Sincerely,
AGENT-TI
ß^)

Reply to this comment    10 November 1998, 22:54 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
TurboSoft
(Web Page)

l agree sorta. l'm not a real proponent of a universal keypress system as you say but it does sound like a good idea. And l think that even if programs do or do not use it there should always be a screen that shows what each active key does.

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 18:36 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Joe Wingbermuehle
(Web Page)

I agree. I've tried to make all my games use similar keypresses for that very reason. In most (if not all) my games, [2nd] acts as enter, [MODE] pauses, and [DEL] exits. I use that system because all of those keys are easily accessible and their names are similar to their function (at least I think so). SOS uses [Y=] and [GRAPH] so that I can use that key system without starting a game too soon or exiting SOS before I'm ready.

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 18:38 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
John Bernatz

I agree with the universal keypress idea but in a diffrent way. All the programs should in some way incorperate a small utility to custimize the keys (such as in Vertigo for th TI-86). Then people can custimize their games to suit their needs.

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 19:34 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Jake

I think that that is a great idea. A program that lets users costumize their programs!

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 20:04 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Scott Glover
(Web Page)

I also think this is a great idea, but their is a problem. If you insert this method into all the games and programs, they will take up more space, therefore you have less cool games and programs. I think it is a great idea to customize all the keys the same way except if your game or program needs special buttons.

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 02:48 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Chernobyl

Actually, space is NOT a problem. Creating an addition to all programs to conform to this is actually not very much. It wouldn't take but only a 100 more bytes, probaly less! So, this actually is a good idea which isn't that big of a problem.

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 03:49 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Bill Barksdale

I think that a universal keypress alterer program could work, but the main question is whether it would slow down the system recognizably. I would like to have it have a menu-driven system and to keep a database for each program as to what the alterations are.

The technology is there, it just needs to be refined.

--Bill Barksdale

Reply to this comment    29 August 1998, 08:02 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Rob Drysdale

A menu system would require all possible keypress settings to be stored in memory, and that would take up quite a lot of space. It would be better to just let users enter their own settings.

Reply to this comment    27 October 1998, 03:31 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Rob Drysdale

A menu system would require all possible keypress settings to be stored in memory, and that would take up quite a lot of space. It would be better to just let users enter their own settings.

Reply to this comment    27 October 1998, 03:32 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
damemorder  Account Info
(Web Page)

custom keys are so simple it should be done not talked about
the simplest way would be to store the default keys as a list the user may redefine the list elements and you reference them in the program

quit talking about it and get it done
the great thinkers never did any thing

Reply to this comment    1 June 2001, 02:13 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Chris Fazio

There already is a game like that! Bomberbloke for the TI-86 lets you choose whichever buttons you want for the controls!

Reply to this comment    12 July 1999, 15:48 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Nihlist9

Why not an SOSv2.0 Key Module for 83 any program can call it and the gamer will enter into the module and a called menu will be produced by the game where values will be returned back to it so to change the key for the individual's liking.

Reply to this comment    29 July 1999, 14:16 GMT


Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
damemorder  Account Info
(Web Page)

I am working on this (2:14 p.m. CST)

I got it use this for simple program on 85 (2:19 p.m. CST)
:{24,82,25,73,26,84,34,93}üKEYS
:ClLCD
:Outpt(2,1,"(1 or 2)")
:Input "Key Config?",A
:4üX
:10üY
:While 1
:ClLCD
:Outpt(X,Y,"O")
:getKyüK
:While K==0
:getKyüK
:End
:If K==KEYS(A)
:Y-1üY
:If K==KEYS(A+2)
:X-1üX
:If K==KEYS(A+4)
:Y+1üY
:If K==KEYS(A+6)
:X+1üX
:End

Reply to this comment    12 May 2001, 21:28 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Luke

that is a good idea. i have been thinking of that for a long time. it would simplify a lot of things

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 21:37 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Tim Carstens
(Web Page)

I think that to solve this problem we have a few options. For matters of simplicity, I'll list them here:
-We can create a standard for the functions of keys
-We can include support for another program that changes the functions of keys
The problem with both of these is awareness. We'll need to do some "promotion" to ensure that the programming world knows about this. I think that if we are serious, then we should ask to have this idea posted on the front page of ticalc.org.

If you are interested in making this happen, I will be assembling a team of programmers. If you want to join, ask questions, etc, then email me at
pwdtim@aol.com

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 21:47 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Jonathan Kaus

This is a great idea, but not to force the programmers to use certain keys, but to have a standard way of changing them.. Not each program having an individual keyswitcher,rather:
at the start of the program:
jr StartOfProgram
.dw WORDptr to keytable
StartofProgram:

Then, at the keytable, have each of the key scancodes that are used for a function. In the docs for the program, tell which entry inthe keytable conrtols which thing. The universal program could then modify the program to suit your needs.

In usgard, use this (its more complex, but it allows relocation)

jr Start
.org $-1
.dw WORDptrtoKeyTable
.org $+1
Start:


(dont ask, just use)

Reply to this comment    10 August 1998, 22:11 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
moogled

I totally agree with you, Phil. The good thing is that when the TI-89 is released, the programmers have a chance to "start-over", in a sense. If enough of this idea is spread throughout the "calculator community", or whatever you would like to call it, gaming and using programs will be much easier on the newest and most powerful handheld calculator yet.


Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 00:25 GMT


Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Bernard

they can always implement the system onto existing calculators by having the programmers update their games

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 02:06 GMT

Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
Scott Rubin
(Web Page)

There is only one problem I think with this universal keypress idea. I mean most of the programs out there use the arrows, 2nd, ALPHA, Clear, Exit, and the top 5 for most everything. The other most commonly used keys are Enter, STO, and ON. These are very far away from the other keys. What we need is not for all of the programmers to program certain functions to the same keys, but we need TI, the people who make the calculator to make a better keypad. It should actually have, maybe in red or green, the functions the buttons use for programs. What I'm saying is that all the buttons like on STO and Enter should be moved up. And That the calculator should have a built in "mode" so that The 2nd key will operate like enter, and the EXIT key will operate like Esc. This would make programming easier and would solve all the problems all together. If you don't understand what I mean drop me an ICQ line. #16576630

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 01:04 GMT

Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
moogled

Well, it would be very difficult do get even HALF the programmers to update all their games. :)

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 03:01 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Article: "Universal Key-Press System"
moogled

woops, i replied to the wrong comment :)

Reply to this comment    11 August 1998, 03:22 GMT


Re: Re: Article: Universal Key-Press System
Louis Wilson  Account Info
(Web Page)

Moving the Enter key would make it more difficult to do what the calculator was designed to do, i.e. calculate. In every calculator I can think of, like the 4-function ones, and even the Windows calculator, not to mention all TI calculators (to my knowledge) the Enter/Equals key is in the bottom-right.

Reply to this comment    12 November 2005, 04:47 GMT

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