An SDK for the OSK? No way. Though if I may, I'll just say...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/01/30 07:01 -05:00, original URI:

So the other day, I was contacted by hal hubschman, with a message.

Kind of a request for information.

It went like this:

Subject: on screen keyboards

i read a number of your blog entries which i found informative.  i have been trying to find a osk sdk with no luck.

do you know if one exists ?

thank you for the blogs you have created



I usually hate questions like this.

Because they force me to answer with a rather hopeless negative.

I mean, since there is no public Software Driver Kit (SDK) for any version of the On Screen Keyboard (OSK) shipped with any version of:


I hate that - very frustrating, why even cover this one in a blog?

But then, after writing the above, I looked over next to me.

To my Amazon Kindle.

On the screen?

The book I had just finished re-reading: Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card.

 And I suddenly wondered whether if Ender Wiggins expressed such a depressing thought, if Bean wouldn't push him past this seemingly unbreakable wall.

As a by the way, and not for nothing, for those of you have never read Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card, you're truly missing a really good book. You should look into it!

I suddenly realized I was looking at this the wrong way.

Each of those On Screen Keyboards, those Soft Keyboards, were designed to wrap the various keyboards provided by Windows and kbdtool.exe, by MSKLC and kbdutool.exe.

So perhaps there was no SDK to let anyone control any aspect of any version of the OSK.

But you could, through MSKLC, control any exposed aspect of the OSK's behavior anyway!

Okay, this is not exactly the answer hal hubschman was perhaps hoping for -- maybe he wanted a way to extend an actual OSK, any OSK.

The only supported way to do that, however, is to create one's own OSK.

That would take a bunch of blogs worth of knowledge, though a lot of them technically already written....

It would be a huge effort to try to string them all together like jigsaw puzzle, filling in the gaps representing missing blogs, though not completely impossible.

Just highly improbable!

For now I'll hope that my other answer is sufficient for hal hubschman's question. :-)

Simon Buchan on 30 Jan 2012 6:14 PM:

I'm just guessing, but he could be meaning an SDK* that supported creating OSKs, since as you mention it otherwise requires a bunch of special knowledge - exactly the situation SDKs exist for!

* Which I've normally seen expanded as "Software Development Kit", meaning a kit for (making it easier to) develop software. I'm not sure how to parse the expansion you gave!

cron22 on 1 Feb 2012 9:07 AM:

I woudl assume that same thing.  

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