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Thread: Tablet Sample App: Custom Keypads

  1. #1
    Alpha Software Employee Beta Spark's Avatar
    Real Name
    Sarah Mitchell
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Default Tablet Sample App: Custom Keypads

    On desktop computers, they keyboard is a physical construct outside the software environment. You have no control over what keys the user may press. Consequentially, data validation is sometimes required in applications to ensure text entered for something like a phone number only contains numbers.

    In tablets and mobile devices, however, keyboards are emulated. This presents a unique opportunity. You can reduce the need for data validation and stop the user from entering bad data by providing customized keypads that only contain valid characters.

    In the sample tablet application, specialized keypads were built for capturing information for a car inspection. The Editors for the Odometer and VIN Number both use custom keypads. In this video, Dan Bricklin explains in detail how these keypads were built using a ViewBox and a bit of Javascript.

    Tablet Optimized Forms: Custom Keypads
    Presented by Dan Bricklin, Alpha Software CTO

    Video Link:

    Prerequisite Knowledge Base
    It's not necessary that you actually know what the sample application is for this video, but if you haven't seen it yet or want to download it, check out these awesome links:
    • Tablet Sample Application Overview: Presented by Dan Bricklin, Alpha Software CTO, this is an overview of the sample tablet application's features
    • Sample Tablet App: Get a copy of the sample tablet application and follow along!
    • ViewBoxes: Build a Star Rating: Custom keypads couldn't be built without ViewBoxes. Learn how to build a star rating control from scratch in this easy-to-follow step-by-step tutorial and discover how versatile the ViewBox can be.

    This video is pretty advanced. But don't that that deter you! If you have any questions or need help understanding what's going on, post your questions below so that we can help you out.
    Last edited by Beta Spark; 09-11-2015 at 05:26 PM. Reason: adding video library links
    Sarah Mitchell

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  2. #2
    Real Name
    Mark Bunds
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Cypress, TX

    Default Re: Tablet Sample App: Custom Keypads

    We need a keypad/keyboard template or control set that is a lot less abstracted than the ones used in this example, which are so integrated with the panel system in this example that they cannot be re-purposed for use in dis-similar projects, at least not with the ease that other examples of this type can.

    It seems that given the obvious nature of the interference caused by the native mobile device keyboards, a replacement keyboard/keypad component would have been the very FIRST component to be developed for "Tablet Optimized Forms" mobile apps. THE VERY FIRST!!!!!!!!

    Before our purchase of Alpha Anywhere, this was so obvious to me that I took it for granted that Alpha would have already taken care of this. Imagine my surprise that they did not, and my even greater surprise at this obfuscated, and abstract "example" that works perfectly well for its sample application, but is completely undecipherable for use in a project having a different navigation style.

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