type ahead search and typing speed

Jim Ault JimAultWins at yahoo.com
Thu Jun 28 20:27:08 EDT 2007


Without looking, I would say that you might be in the category of showing
the match in a field behind/above the entry field, thus the user selection
remains in the typing mode and the lookup merely updates the viz field with
the closest match.

How do you handle backspacing by the typist?

What if the typist thinks 'Ander" is good enough, then decides that another
char or two is required after seeing the match string filled in?

Some programs show the choices in a dropDown menu and only do the complete
if the user chooses, let say, down arrow then tab key (like Excel)

Are you showing all choices or just one that is the closest?

Jim Ault
Las Vegas


On 6/28/07 5:02 PM, "Devin Asay" <devin_asay at byu.edu> wrote:

> Hi all,
> 
> I have looked at this one until I'm cross-eyed, and I can't figure
> out the problem.
> 
> I am working on a program in which there are a couple of fields that
> need to be filled in with user names. I keep a list of users in a
> separate field. With some help from some of you here, I have
> implemented a "type-ahead", auto-completion search that searches the
> list of names with each keystroke, and auto-completes the entry field
> if it finds that the string I have typed matches the beginning of one
> of the names in the list. The rest of the matched name, the part I
> haven't typed yet is added to the field, but remains selected. If I
> hit return or tab, the matched name is left in the field. It's a
> common feature, you see it in web browser URL fields, for example.
> 
> It all works fairly well, except for one big problem. If the user
> types very rapidly, after 2 or 3 characters typed, and a name is
> matched, the insertion point jumps to the end of the field, *after*
> the selected auto-completed text, then characters are entered at the
> end of the field, instead of staying at the original insertion point.
> 
> I'm afraid I'm not explaining it very well, but if anyone has a
> couple of minutes and a pair of fresh eyeballs, would you mind
> looking at:
> 
> go stack URL "http://asay.byu.edu/typeAheadSearch.rev"
> 
> Just start typing, say, my name, starting with the last name. You'll
> see the list pop up and it will start to match "A" names. As long as
> you type slowly you're fine. But as soon as you start typing fast--
> try "anderson", for example--you'll see the problem I'm running into.
> 
> This example stack leaves out some of the details of key handling,
> but demonstrates the problem.
> 
> I would appreciate any suggestions, and I'll be happy to share the
> completed code with anyone who's interested.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Devin
> 
> Devin Asay
> Humanities Technology and Research Support Center
> Brigham Young University
> 
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