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View Full Version : [PATCH] Predictive text-like searching with the Squeezeboxremote



Stuart Hickinbottom
2005-01-17, 16:49
If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch is
for you.

I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always been
a slight irritation is searching for music with the remote control.
Having to squint at the display from across the room while tapping the
correct number of times on each key was a bit hit-and-miss for me. No
doubt if you're a teenager with genetically enhanced triple-jointed
thumbs you'll be used to banging in text on a mobile and could have
rattled out this whole message in the time it takes my creaky old bones
to tap out "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac", but I wanted an easier way!

I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386

As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a
while I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.

I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server
source file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs by
just tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about
multiple-taps on each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you
could feel the noize and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233",
and you wouldn't even need to pause or press right-arrow between those
two "3"s, or those feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED" by
pressing "287833" and relive the good times.

This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that you
don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've put in
the correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit before the
cursor advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD" comes down from
22 key presses to just 10.

I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with the
patch itself, here:
http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm

I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.

My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate
this patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If so,
then great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!

If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the
enhancement through BugZilla.

Anyway, I hope you like it.

Mark Bennett
2005-01-18, 00:40
I seem to remember that this was discussed a while ago, and it
was suggested it would never be incorporated into the server
properly. Apparently the idea is patented and Slim would have
to pay a license fee to use it (as do all the mobile phone
manufacturers - at least in theory).

Of course, as an independent patch, whose author no direct
relation to Slim Devices it's unlikely that the patent holder
would be able to target anyone who would be able to make it
worthwhile for them.

Shame it needs to be written as a patch, rather than a plugin.
Maybe something could be done to the SW architecture so that
this sort of facility could be written as a plugin to make
it easier for users........

On Mon, 2005-01-17 at 23:49 +0000, Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
> If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch is
> for you.
>
> I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always been
> a slight irritation is searching for music with the remote control.
> Having to squint at the display from across the room while tapping the
> correct number of times on each key was a bit hit-and-miss for me. No
> doubt if you're a teenager with genetically enhanced triple-jointed
> thumbs you'll be used to banging in text on a mobile and could have
> rattled out this whole message in the time it takes my creaky old bones
> to tap out "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac", but I wanted an easier way!
>
> I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386
>
> As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a
> while I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.
>
> I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server
> source file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs by
> just tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about
> multiple-taps on each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you
> could feel the noize and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233",
> and you wouldn't even need to pause or press right-arrow between those
> two "3"s, or those feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED" by
> pressing "287833" and relive the good times.
>
> This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that you
> don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've put in
> the correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit before the
> cursor advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD" comes down from
> 22 key presses to just 10.
>
> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with the
> patch itself, here:
> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm
>
> I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
> request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.
>
> My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate
> this patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If so,
> then great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!
>
> If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the
> enhancement through BugZilla.
>
> Anyway, I hope you like it.
>

Bruce Hartley
2005-01-18, 01:03
Is there not a patent issue with this patch.
Preumably someone owns the rights to this T9 type of text entry??

Other than that minor issue, great, this is something I have wanted for some
time.

Rgds,
Bruce.

"Stuart Hickinbottom"
<stuart (AT) hickinbottom (DOT) demon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:41EC4F0F.3050509 (AT) hickinbottom (DOT) demon.co.uk...
> If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch is for
> you.
>
> I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always been a
> slight irritation is searching for music with the remote control. Having
> to squint at the display from across the room while tapping the correct
> number of times on each key was a bit hit-and-miss for me. No doubt if
> you're a teenager with genetically enhanced triple-jointed thumbs you'll
> be used to banging in text on a mobile and could have rattled out this
> whole message in the time it takes my creaky old bones to tap out "Peter
> Green's Fleetwood Mac", but I wanted an easier way!
>
> I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386
>
> As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a while
> I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.
>
> I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server source
> file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs by just
> tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about multiple-taps on
> each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you could feel the noize
> and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233", and you wouldn't even
> need to pause or press right-arrow between those two "3"s, or those
> feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED" by pressing "287833" and
> relive the good times.
>
> This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that you
> don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've put in the
> correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit before the cursor
> advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD" comes down from 22 key
> presses to just 10.
>
> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with the
> patch itself, here:
> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm
>
> I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
> request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.
>
> My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate this
> patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If so, then
> great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!
>
> If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the enhancement
> through BugZilla.
>
> Anyway, I hope you like it.

Stuart Hickinbottom
2005-01-18, 01:36
I did think of that, but couldn't find any mention on any websites of it
being patented. I found lots of things for methods for foreign language
entry, but nothing for English. Also, it's not really predictive in that
it's not narrowing the search and displaying the results in the same way
that mobile phones do. In the phone world, there are also competing
implementations (my Sony doesn't have T9, for example, but it does
predict), so I'm not sure it can be patented.

To be technical, it's comparing a digest of the string held by
SlimServer with a digest of the string entered by the user - that kind
of idea is used in many places to reduce the size of indexes.

Of course, I could be wrong!

Stuart

Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:

> If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch is
> for you.
>
> I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always
> been a slight irritation is searching for music with the remote
> control. Having to squint at the display from across the room while
> tapping the correct number of times on each key was a bit hit-and-miss
> for me. No doubt if you're a teenager with genetically enhanced
> triple-jointed thumbs you'll be used to banging in text on a mobile
> and could have rattled out this whole message in the time it takes my
> creaky old bones to tap out "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac", but I
> wanted an easier way!
>
> I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386
>
> As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a
> while I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.
>
> I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server
> source file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs by
> just tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about
> multiple-taps on each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you
> could feel the noize and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233",
> and you wouldn't even need to pause or press right-arrow between those
> two "3"s, or those feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED" by
> pressing "287833" and relive the good times.
>
> This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that
> you don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've
> put in the correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit
> before the cursor advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD"
> comes down from 22 key presses to just 10.
>
> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with
> the patch itself, here:
> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm
>
> I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
> request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.
>
> My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate
> this patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If
> so, then great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!
>
> If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the
> enhancement through BugZilla.
>
> Anyway, I hope you like it.
>

Steven Moore
2005-01-18, 03:42
Could this be incorporated into the new version 6 of the server? I
think with the new database it might be easier.

Steven Moore
On 18 Jan 2005, at 8:36 am, Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:

> I did think of that, but couldn't find any mention on any websites of
> it being patented. I found lots of things for methods for foreign
> language entry, but nothing for English. Also, it's not really
> predictive in that it's not narrowing the search and displaying the
> results in the same way that mobile phones do. In the phone world,
> there are also competing implementations (my Sony doesn't have T9, for
> example, but it does predict), so I'm not sure it can be patented.
>
> To be technical, it's comparing a digest of the string held by
> SlimServer with a digest of the string entered by the user - that kind
> of idea is used in many places to reduce the size of indexes.
>
> Of course, I could be wrong!
>
> Stuart
>
> Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
>
>> If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch
>> is for you.
>>
>> I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always
>> been a slight irritation is searching for music with the remote
>> control. Having to squint at the display from across the room while
>> tapping the correct number of times on each key was a bit
>> hit-and-miss for me. No doubt if you're a teenager with genetically
>> enhanced triple-jointed thumbs you'll be used to banging in text on a
>> mobile and could have rattled out this whole message in the time it
>> takes my creaky old bones to tap out "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac",
>> but I wanted an easier way!
>>
>> I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
>> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386
>>
>> As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a
>> while I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.
>>
>> I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server
>> source file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs
>> by just tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about
>> multiple-taps on each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you
>> could feel the noize and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233",
>> and you wouldn't even need to pause or press right-arrow between
>> those two "3"s, or those feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED"
>> by pressing "287833" and relive the good times.
>>
>> This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that
>> you don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've
>> put in the correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit
>> before the cursor advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD"
>> comes down from 22 key presses to just 10.
>>
>> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with
>> the patch itself, here:
>> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm
>>
>> I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
>> request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.
>>
>> My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate
>> this patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If
>> so, then great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!
>>
>> If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the
>> enhancement through BugZilla.
>>
>> Anyway, I hope you like it.
>>

Marc Sherman
2005-01-18, 04:27
Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
>
> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with the
> patch itself, here:
> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm

That's cool.

If you want to _really_ impress me... disable the code that increments
the current letter on repeated key-presses (ie: 222 quickly should
actually produce AAA instead of C, so you don't need to do the mapping
of C back to AAA later on), and render characters with new symbols when
searching in this mode, so that A renders as "A/B/C" (perhaps stacked
vertically, using a double high font?)

- Marc

Jeffrey Gordon
2005-01-18, 06:22
Yeah I do not think this is a patent infringement. If say he used the
same algorithm as T9 maybe, but from what he described many many systems
would qualify as a patent infringement. Hell my BASH shell can do that,
hit the TAB key ;)

Good work, hopefully they can incorporate it.

Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
> I did think of that, but couldn't find any mention on any websites of it
> being patented. I found lots of things for methods for foreign language
> entry, but nothing for English. Also, it's not really predictive in that
> it's not narrowing the search and displaying the results in the same way
> that mobile phones do. In the phone world, there are also competing
> implementations (my Sony doesn't have T9, for example, but it does
> predict), so I'm not sure it can be patented.
>
> To be technical, it's comparing a digest of the string held by
> SlimServer with a digest of the string entered by the user - that kind
> of idea is used in many places to reduce the size of indexes.
>
> Of course, I could be wrong!
>
> Stuart
>
> Stuart Hickinbottom wrote:
>
>> If you search for music using the Squeezebox remote then this patch is
>> for you.
>>
>> I love the Squeezebox and SlimServer, but one thing that has always
>> been a slight irritation is searching for music with the remote
>> control. Having to squint at the display from across the room while
>> tapping the correct number of times on each key was a bit hit-and-miss
>> for me. No doubt if you're a teenager with genetically enhanced
>> triple-jointed thumbs you'll be used to banging in text on a mobile
>> and could have rattled out this whole message in the time it takes my
>> creaky old bones to tap out "Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac", but I
>> wanted an easier way!
>>
>> I looked at this enhancement request a long time ago:
>> http://bugs.slimdevices.com/show_bug.cgi?id=386
>>
>> As nothing had happened and I had been chewing some ideas over for a
>> while I thought I'd have a crack to see what I could achieve.
>>
>> I think I've come up with a pretty simple patch to just one server
>> source file that allows you to search for albums, artists and songs by
>> just tapping on the appropriate number keys, forgetting about
>> multiple-taps on each to get at subsequent letters. For example, you
>> could feel the noize and search for "SLADE" by just pressing "75233",
>> and you wouldn't even need to pause or press right-arrow between those
>> two "3"s, or those feeling a sad loss could search for "BUSTED" by
>> pressing "287833" and relive the good times.
>>
>> This saves a considerable number of key-presses, and also means that
>> you don't have to continually check the display to make sure you've
>> put in the correct number of multiple-taps within the time-limit
>> before the cursor advances. For example, searching for "PINK FLOYD"
>> comes down from 22 key presses to just 10.
>>
>> I've put a page describing the process in more detail, together with
>> the patch itself, here:
>> http://hickinbottom.demon.co.uk/SlimServer/lazy_searching.htm
>>
>> I've also attached the information and the patch to the enhancement
>> request on BugZilla that I mentioned earlier.
>>
>> My hope is that one of the developers with CVS access may incorporate
>> this patch in some way, making sure I've not left in any howlers. If
>> so, then great - all I ask is fame through a credit in the ChangeLog!
>>
>> If this patch works for you, then you could also vote for the
>> enhancement through BugZilla.
>>
>> Anyway, I hope you like it.
>>

Simon Still
2005-01-18, 06:56
On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:22:33 -0500, Jeffrey Gordon <jeff (AT) thetank (DOT) org> wrote:
> Yeah I do not think this is a patent infringement. If say he used the
> same algorithm as T9 maybe, but from what he described many many systems
> would qualify as a patent infringement. Hell my BASH shell can do that,
> hit the TAB key ;)
>
> Good work, hopefully they can incorporate it.

It's an odd one this - it was discussed on the dev list. Many aspects
of T9 are patented but not all predictive text on mobiles is T9. It
cetainly would be nice.

one of the things i really like about iTunes is the 'active' search -
when you key stuff into the search field it reduces the number of hits
in real time with each letter you add. What's interesting is that
it's not searching for the 'words' but the individual letters in any
sequence so you sometimes get some very odd hits.

What would make for a really nice interface to the Slim would be
active searching on predictive/lazy text with a counter on the right
of the display showing the number of hits. As you put in additional
letters the counter would fall and when it became quicker to scroll
the list of hits than enter additional letters for the search you
could hit 'right'.

kdf
2005-01-18, 11:36
Quoting Steven Moore <steven (AT) mooreni (DOT) freeserve.co.uk>:

> Could this be incorporated into the new version 6 of the server? I
> think with the new database it might be easier.

The developers' list is probably a better place to post and open discussion on
patches, if you wish to have it included in the server. Many of the key
parties involved in the server development side are not necessarily taking part
in both lists.

cheers,
kdf

Michael Scott
2005-01-18, 12:23
Quoting Stuart Hickinbottom <stuart (AT) hickinbottom (DOT) demon.co.uk>:

> I did think of that, but couldn't find any mention on any websites of it
>
> being patented. I found lots of things for methods for foreign language
>
> entry, but nothing for English. Also, it's not really predictive in that
>
> it's not narrowing the search and displaying the results in the same way
>
> that mobile phones do. In the phone world, there are also competing
> implementations (my Sony doesn't have T9, for example, but it does
> predict), so I'm not sure it can be patented.
>
> To be technical, it's comparing a digest of the string held by
> SlimServer with a digest of the string entered by the user - that kind
> of idea is used in many places to reduce the size of indexes.
>
> Of course, I could be wrong!
>
> Stuart

I believe you are correct. T9 is a much fancier predictor where it guesses words
or phrases. This patch seems more akin to when you call a company and their
automated switchboard lets you select a person by entering their name using
letters on the phone keypad.

However, my Slim remote isn't in front of me, but I don't recall letters on the
numeric keypad. It could probably be done easily by changing the label that
goes around the buttons.

Anyway COOL IDEA! I'd like to see it implemented.
----------------------
- Mike Scott
- mscott (AT) pyewacket (DOT) org