Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has switched to using the IBus input framework for most (all?) languages, even those based on the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek scripts. Typing in English is not that demanding for your operating system; there is a one to one association between the key you press, and the result you see on your screen. But if you have to type accents, or type in some more complex script, then you need a more advanced input framework.
You wouldn’t notice a difference when typing on Ubuntu 20.04, unless your language has accents and when you type, you press special key combinations to add those accents. For example, «αηδόνι». Notice the accent on the «ο». When you type the accent and then the «ο», you get visual information on the imminent composition of «ό».
But is it worth the effort to switch to something more complex when the old way used to work just fine? That’s a perennial question. My view is that once you switch to an input framework, you can do much more advanced and exciting things. This post is about using the ibus-typing-booster plugin to IBus that adds predictive typing to the Linux desktop. Oh, you can also type emoji easily. 👍
ibus-typing-booster to Ubuntu 20.04
Gunnar Hjalmarsson maintains a package at the ibus-typing-booster PPA. Follow the instructions to install on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, for now. Gunnar has uploaded the package on Debian’s NEW queue and it is just a matter of months for the package to get accepted.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gunnarhj/ibus-typing-booster sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ibus-typing-booster
Then, log out and log in into Ubuntu 20.04. A reboot is good as well.
ibus-typing-booster in Ubuntu 20.04
We are adding the layout for the ibus-typing-booster to Ubuntu 20.04.
We have configured the Typing Booster and are ready to start typing.
Using the Typing Booster
When you switch to the Typing Booster input method, you are boosting the last keyboard layout that you had selected. This previous sentence was the most important one in this whole post.
You can still use your existing keyboard layouts as normal, but if you want to boost one of them, them switch from that keyboard layout to the Typing Booster input method. The keyboard layout is then boosted, until you switch out of the Typing Booster.
Selecting a candidate can be done in several ways,
- Using the mouse.
- Using the arrow keys.
- Pressing the number of the candidate in the list.
- Pressing the corresponding function keys (F1 for 1, F2 for 2, etc).
The Typing Booster has many settings and can do many things. I think the important aspect is to use it and get used to using it. Initially it might be awkward when you type. But as you type more, the Typing Booster learns the words you are typing and becomes from intelligent in suggesting better candidates.
As soon as Gunnar’s package gets promoted out of the NEW queue, the package will make it into the
universe repository and will be available to all. If you know someone that can look into the this, point them at the URL above.