Key-Train Launched

In the spirit of "Release Early/Release Often" I've shipped the first version of key-train (

Here's a screenshot:

Features include:
  • Training for all the lowercase keys on the main part of the keyboard in two languages (English/Brazilian Portuguese) and two keyboards (qwerty/ABTN).  More languages and keyboards should be easy to add.
  • Easy for others to contribute better lessons and new keyboards.
  • Easy for others to translate the software using the standard gettext package (I recommend using poedit). The key-train.pot file is created automatically - so don't edit it.  For your language, you would create a .po file like, this one.
  • A reasonable progression of keys and training (27 lessons).
  • Speed and accuracy training by typing in parts of Wikipedia articles.
  • Only one lesson file is required for different languages and keyboards.
But the program isn't complete, here's a list of the biggest problems:
  • The package is way too big, I have to split out the Wikipedia parts and drop the articles/paragraphs which would never be used (because they are too long/short or have ö∂đ  ĉȟᴀɹâçťêƦƨ).
  • Although you can change the keyboard, the keyboard displayed on the screen doesn't yet change.
  • The Portuguese translation is both incomplete and of poor quality.
  • The lesson plan needs work.
  • A students progression is stored.  It doesn't continue where they left off.
  • There are no graphs, problem keys, etc.
  • Even though most parts use SVG for display, it still looks pretty ugly.
  • The doesn't automatically install the dependancies (i.e. python-yaml).
  • It's doesn't use pip, distribute, nor does it have a debian package.
  • There are known bugs.

If you'd like to contribute you can say so on the discussion list or send me an email (at scott @


ian said…
Thanks for the informative post and for actually replying to your readers’ comments. That’s something I don’t see very many blog owners doing and that makes me frustrated. Keep up the good work and I’ll continue coming back here to learn more....
umtech said…
Can you post a quick user guide and dependancies.. I tried to get it to work in windows but i had problems with gtk and python (pygtk) now some other libraries which are not included by default python installation.... I hope to test it in ubuntu soon.

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