The first version of the Kouri-Vini App has been released and can be downloaded for iPhone and iPad here. There are a few bumps and future releases to come, read about that below.
The Kouri-Vini App is an app which allows users to enable a keyboard specifically designed for Kouri-Vini’s unique writing system. The app also provides access to other Kouri-Vini resources such as the Louisiana Creole Dictionary which provides English -> Kouri-Vini searches within the app. (The Web version allows both English -> Kouri-Vini and Kouri-Vini -> English searches.)
The App has also integrated the Kouri-Vini Orthography guide published by the Louisiana Historic and Cultural Vistas (LHCV).
The known issues right now is that the iPad keyboard is basically a large iPhone keyboard. I am hoping to make the keyboard specifically deigned for iPad soon. Additionally, Apple adds additional keyboard keys to large iPhones while they are in landscape mode; the Kouri-Vini keyboard does not do that yet.
A small error on my part was that the images presented in the UK App store are old and need to be replaced. Unfortunately, this was not caught before I submitted my app for Apple’s vetting process.
Another thing I hope to fix in regards to the next release is some issues regarding the WordStore. The WordStore keeps track of the words that you type in Kouri-Vini and then offers them in the Predictive-Text bar. Currently, the WordStore is not kept between versions. I am hoping to resolve this in the next version. If you have additional input regarding the Predictive-Text bar, please share it so that I can make it better. I have already received some feedback, but need to sift the pros and cons of how to manage the word suggestion.
Again, if you have feedback regarding the App, please write to me.
Also, please share the App with others who use the Kouri-Vini language.
As of today, I have released Build 7 which has a suggestion bar. The suggestion bar remembers the recent words that are typed and offers them when you are typing. The is a step to making sure that the Kouri-Vini Keyboard has the most functionality and is as useful as I can make it. I may also look into altering the suggestion bar to make it offer words based on frequency or other parameters, but that may come later.
Part of the purpose for the current build is to test the code for the keyboard and make sure that it is stable.
Note: the Settings is now a little more hidden than it was before. To get to the settings, you hold the Globe Key and then the Settings Button will appear. Unfortunately, there were two parameters that I did not set properly for Build 7 and may need to change for Build 8. These parameters are “Allow Lowercase Caps” and “Quick Switch”. “Allow Lowercase Caps” defaults to “Off” and as a result, the keys are always upper-case. I would prefer to have the default to being “On”, so I will fix this. I have also added the “Quick Switch” which makes it so that after typing a vowel, the keyboard returns to the first page. Currently, it defaults to “Off” but I would like to default to being “On”.
As always, notify me regarding any problems that you have with the keyboard.
With the most recent build, the main keyboard functionality is nearly set in place. I want to do more extensive testing, but I also want to create additional tools soon. One of the ideas has been connecting the keyboard with a dictionary for Text-Suggestion and Auto-Correction. However, I have other ideas too.
I’ve sketched one of my larger ideas below:
With this idea, I would have 3 tabs: one tab that has the Set-up Instructions; a second tab that leads to a forum like chatroom for Kouri-Vini use; and third tab that would lead to resources on the history, orthography, and use of Kouri-Vini.
The current App icon shows four people together. And in a way, I would love if the app could provide a common connection point between Kouri-Vini speakers in and out of the diaspora. I would also want to make a dynamic list of resources to help Kouri-Vini speakers easily access information regarding their language.
I am currently taking tiny steps towards setting this up and testing it. The first step I am working on right now is learning how to use Git-Hub as a Version Control System (VCS) so I can feel more freedom in changing large amounts of code while making sure the root code can be returned to if needed. Once I am able to use the VCS, I think I should be able to create the forum aspect easily. Hopefully this will happen soon.
If you have any thoughts, you are welcome to share.
The latest build was released today. It uses completely different code from my earlier beta releases. I believe this new build looks great and will have consistently better responsiveness.
Please let me know if you find any issues.
This post will discuss known issues with the Kouri-Vini version 1.0.2, and an explanation of the issue.
- “The keyboard keys pop-up when I tap them, but I cannot see the letter.”
- On the standard iOS keyboard, the keys pop-up when you poke them. The reason is that (1) it gives the user good feedback that they have performed an action and (2) it is a way for Apple to offer various character options. Unfortunately, Apple limits custom keyboards so that they cannot pop up above the highest point of the keyboard. I cannot completely say why this limitation exists, but it keeps me from letting the keyboard work as well as theirs in this regard. I am going to consider ways to make this better.
- “When I select the keyboard in the settings, it says ‘Vini’ under it. Why?”
- I ask myself the same thing. It seems to come from when I enter the ISO639-1 code for ‘Louisiana Creole’ in order to declare Louisiana Creole as the primary language.
- “The buttons are different to press than I am used to on the Standard iOS keyboard, this messes up my typing.”
- I myself am aware as I use the keyboard regularly. This is something I am working on for the next beta release. This release is more of “proof of concept” to make sure the concept is good, the next release will polish it some more.
- “If I hold the ‘backspace/delete’ key, it doesn’t do anything.”
- Right now, I have only programmed ‘delete’ to delete one key. I found this myself and I simply need to add functionality so that it continues to delete text if the user holds the button.
- The next version will the hyphen “-” off of line #2 onto line #3, and have “ê” on from line #3 on line #2 with all the other vowels. (Thanks Oliver for pointing this out!)
I will track any other issues as they become known.
Apple further protects the users of Custom Keyboards by preventing the keyboard from typing in fields that developers mark as “Secure Text Fields” such as places where passwords are entered.
If you would like more information regarding the keyboard, write to me. If you are interested in the source code, or, in additional functionality, I am happy to share and listen.
This website is intended to fill my requirements for Apple to have a website to support my app “Kouri-Vini” which enables users to more easily type in Kouri-Vini. The app may have more extensive functionality later for connecting speakers.
The initial beta release (Version 1.0.2) is to see whether my solution for ease of use works for native speakers. If you are a Kouri-Vini speaker or have general interest in this project, please write to me.
If you would like to try the app, it will soon be available for testing.
If you are interested in a keyboard in your minority language, I am considering helping others as well.