Monthly Archives: August 2012

Firefox Text Input using Android IME

I’m a developer on Mozilla’s Firefox for Android team. One of my areas of focus is text input. Android input methods include virtual (on-screen) keyboards, hardware keyboards, hand-writing recognizers, and speech-to-text input. Any user control that enables text to be entered is an “Input Method Editor” (IME).

I gave a lightning talk about Fennec (Firefox for Android) and Android IME at a Mozilla work week in Toronto 2012. You can view the slides from my talk here: “Fennec Text Input using Android IME”

IME is a system abstraction that decouples text input from text processing. In theory, this separation allows users to combine input methods and applications that had not been previously tested together. But in practice, all software has bugs.

Fennec sits at the exciting intersection of bugs in Google’s Android framework, third-party developer’s virtual keyboard, and Gecko itself. If you find any bugs in Firefox for Android’s text input, please file a bug report with Bugzilla.

Special thanks to Joone Hur. I linked to Joone’s helpful chart describing WebKit key events (and bugs :) to illustrate the sequence of DOM key events fired during text input: “IME composition events are handled inconsistently in WebKit”.