Friday, November 5, 2010

WeTab Improved Virtual Keyboard (and in ENGLISH)

So this one drove me up the wall for a bit. I found a video on youtube where some really cool person had created a script to switch the keyboard layout such that you had the Escape button, the Pipe, the F1...and I-can't-remember-what-else buttons. In any case, those come in handy when there is no USB keyboard around and you want to do some scripting or want to use vi to do a quick edit.

I was following the directions from this article and didn't realize that I would need to tinker around with the settings a bit since I am running my WeTab in English mode:

So the main gist of this is the fact that matchbox-keyboard looks up it's mappings in /usr/share/matchbox-keyboard/ specifically in the keyboard-tiitoo.xml file.

Well first off you should download wenation2.tgz from

If you are working in German, then all you have to do is untar that file inside /usr/share/matchbox-keyboard/ and you should be set.

******Please remember to back up the contents of that directory just in case things start misbehaving. Definitely keep a back up copy of all the xml files in there.

sudo cp /home/user/Downloads/wenation2.gz /usr/share/matchbox-keyboard/
cd /usr/share/matchbox-keyboard/
sudo mkdir backup
sudo cp * backup/ -r
tar xvfz wenation2.gz

For the English version, the keyboard-tiitoo.xml that comes with the package won't cut it, in fact it will make matchbox segfault...ugly! So what I did was I basically compared the original file with the one from the wenation2 package. I found that there is a < layout= "tiitoo english keyboard" > section in the original keyboard-tiitoo.xml file but none in the wenation2 one. What I did was then keep the original and cut and paste the mappings from the wenation2 file into the appropriate positions and switched around the Z and the Y mappings (fun stuff). Anyhow once that was done, I was able to get the ultra cool virtual keyboard without switching my WeTab Sprache to Deutsche (I'd love to be able to understand Deutsche well enough to work like that but as of yet I am still far too new to the language to do so).

I will attach my version of keyboard-tiitoo.xml just in case someone needs it. Once you have all the files in place you can run

sudo killall matchbox-keyboard

and then press on the keyboard button to get your nifty new keyboard to pop up on the screen.

Ok so attaching the file here looked ugly. I've uploaded my keyboard-tiitoo.xml here:

If it gets removed or you can't get to it, drop me a line and I'll make sure you get it.


  1. How do you change the language from german to english?

    In language settings I have marked the english language, but I can't find a "ok" button or something similar. So the changes doesn't appear?

  2. I've found that you need to restart the machine for changes to take effect...

  3. I wonder if someone can help me?
    I'm currently working in Germany for a few weeks and decided to get a Wetab, but thinking of taking it back unless i can sort out the following issues:-
    1. when i initially start up it comes up with the following error "dynamicc0a825c" has failed and i should attempt to instal it, but do not know how??
    2. Most of the apps are in German, can theses be changed to English?
    3. It does not like hotmail which is a problem as it my prefered e,mail addy.
    Can anyone please help with the above issues?

    Sean (a frustrated welsh man)

  4. Hi Sean, That's strange that you get that error fresh-out-of-the-box...did you change anything before the error started popping up? if yes then you might want to do a recovery ( otherwise take it back and see if you can get it replaced.

    About the language, you can manually install the English version of software provided that you don't mind getting your hands dirty. What I found convenient was to replace the entire OS with Ubuntu which pretty much gives me all the apps I need. Though I would still have to say that in comparison to the ipad the ipad is much much more user-friendly, and faster ( i believe it runs a single process at a time so it cuts down on the overhead of multitasking).

    About Hotmail, did you try to install google chrome from wetab market? see if that works out better...

    consensus is, if you don't feel like messing with the internals of the thing and don't mind paying for some of the ipad apps you might want (some ipad apps are for free also), you'd be better off exchanging it for an ipad... i hope the wetab community can some day make a more resilient yet flexible os for the wetab...hope that helped...

  5. Hi,

    I'm considering getting myself a WeTab as well, and since I don't know German as well I'd like to get some opinions from other "None-German-Speaking" WeTab users if I should get the device ?
    And how easy is it to install Ubuntu instead of the MeeGo ? (and does it support all the multi-touch, drivers etc ... )

    Thanks in advance


  6. Oh yes, im getting one myself. Only issue is how to change everything to english! I suppose i can use google translate. Anyway, can i install win7 just by plugging a usb bootable version of the dvd?

    Thanks guys, glad ive found this great blog

  7. The best setup for me so far has been running with Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10, I almost never bootup the original WeTab OS now except if I'm doing any firmware updates. Otherwise Ubuntu gives you the option to run whatever language you want and you have all the packages you could ever want to install on a device like that. I haven't tried Win7 but I know there are a couple of blogs about doing that.

    For Ubuntu Installation read this post: and also be sure to have a look at the multitouch setup post as well.


    glad you liked the blog... :)

  8. can you please rehost your keyboard file?

  9. Hi Murph, actually, I, shamefully, have lost it as well. I will have to recreate it, I've just been super busy lately and haven't had time to put back all the files that have been removed from the file server I was using. I think I have a raw image that might have these files, let me look through the junk I have on one of my Harddrives and see if I can't locate it.
    ...sorry about that...

  10. Murph,
    I've rummaged through a bunch of files but I couldn't find the mapping. I tried to rebuild it but when I copied over the files I found that the new OS 2.1.3/2.6.35 which I have running on my WeTab seems to have changed around the layout files quite a bit such that the method outlined above does not work anymore. I believe there is now a keyboard-eng.xml file for the english layout and further there is an extended.xml which I suppose carries the special buttons. I'll try to look further into this later on, but it's not a quick and easy fix anymore from the looks of it...

  11. Etheros,

    The new files are in /usr/share/meegotouch/virtual-keyboard/layouts/

    It's actually easier because they don't even need a pixmap!

    FYI, I just added a new file and this is my Greek layout. It got recognized immediately, as soon as I placed the new xml file in the directory. And I also squeezed a layout_menu key in there so I can change between Greek and English on the fly.

  12. Nice, thanks for the info Viva!