[FEATURE] Perspective Workstation: Show numeric/text input on-screen keyboard for touchscreens

Hi @wdougmiller,

We are definitely aware of this pain point right now. We are working on a solution which hopefully should solve most of these issues for the long haul. I don't have a timeline for this yet, but its definitely a high priority for me to improve this experience, specifically the Kiosk mode problem as well as the related OSK issues people are experiencing here.

I'm sorry i don't have more information at the moment, but I just wanted to let you know that we are taking a serious look into these problems.

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You're a magician (quite literally)

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After doing some extensive Perspective Workstation testing here is some discussion.

We were surprised that the OSK didn't work in Linux and ended up testing about 14 different distros. I lost track of some of them. Most distros were based on Ubuntu 22.04 due to it being the latest LTS release.

Some distros that either Perspective Workstation would not work with the OS OSK or had other general issues with:
• Ubuntu 22.04
• Kubuntu 22.04
• Linux Mint Cinnamon 21.2 Victoria
• Linux Mint Mate 21.2
• Linux Mint Xfce 21.2
• Debian 12.1.0 Cinnamon
• CentOS Stream9
• Fedora Linux 38
• RHEL 9.2

Distros that had excellent OSKs, in order of preference:
• Linux Mint Cinnamon
• PoP!_OS 22.04 Cosmic
• Ubuntu 22.04. (Note that Ubuntu 22.04 does have an excellent OSK however it is not without issues, it can hang up in the settings and can have issues on the log-in screen)

Distros where Perspective Workstation worked with the OS OSK:
• Ubuntu 20.04. This is not surprising, this older version was very likely well tested with Perspective Workstation. However, support is ending for this version so it's not a great choice for us.
• POP!_OS 22.04 Cosmic. Perspective Workstation works fine with the desktop OS OSK and it is quite nice. The drawback is that POP!_OS does not really have any LTS version but it is based on Ubuntu. POP!_OS essentially has a custom desktop OS called Cosmic, this likely has something to do with it working with Perspective Workstation as it is not a pure GNOME Wayland Desktop OS like most of the others tested.

Workaround options:
• Use POP!_OS, or Ubuntu 20.04.
• Skip Perspective Workstation altogether. Use Ubuntu 22.04, Chrome web browser, and Auto Launch script to start perspective app in the browser full screen. For this to work download chrome with curl or a web browser and install with dpkg. DO NOT bother with Snap web browsers as they have issues with the OSK. Even the Snap Firefox that comes with Ubuntu 22.04 does not work with the OS OSK. Create the launch script in
/home/{user}/.config/autostart to launch the application.
• Use Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. (I myself always though that I would never install windows in the field, however I am warming up to this option). You do have to pay extra for this OS but there are reasons to do so:
○ In our testing it was undeniable that the Windows touch user experience is far superior to Linux, from multi-touch, gestures, and OSK it "just works".
○ Windows 10 IoT Enterprise is made intentionally for enterprise applications and kiosks.
○ LTS branch supported for 10 years is much better than most free Linux distros.
○ Complete control of when and how updates are installed. Updates are slow rolled and not nearly as bleeding edge as consumer windows updates.
○ Windows Kiosk Mode allows you to completely lock down the desktop so users can't inadvertently get to the desktop and fiddle or hack on things. Kiosk mode is not without peril as it only supports modern Microsoft Store apps so you will be using perspective in a web browser. The biggest issue with this is the kiosk browser often launches before the gateway is started, then you are stuck on an error page. I did not find a way to delay start the kiosk.

I feel all of these options have some undesirable tradeoffs. Unfortunately, in the end a traditional HMI will make more sense for some applications.

Another welcome update from IA would be any documentation on how to install Perspective Workstation on Linux, how to set up the "desktop" launch icon, and their suggested auto launch mechanisms.

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I've had similar findings. Thank you for posting your results! I went through too many distros / attempts before realizing that I should have been recording findings... Alas...

The latest project that I've had success with involves exclusive use of snaps:

  • Ubuntu Server (Minimal) 22.04
  • ubuntu-frame (snap)
  • ubuntu-frame-osk (snap)
  • firefox (snap, running as systemd service, not snap daemon)

Additional information in this post:

I'd love it if others could try their configurations out and see if issues are solved for them as well, and especially help with my goal to try Perspective Workstation on ubuntu-frame & ubuntu-frame-osk.

Checking to see if there are any updates on OSK improvements.
We are running into perspective workstation kiosk mode OSK issues like many others in this thread (Ubuntu 22.04)

Thanks for all the info on work arounds @jhottell and @Chris_Bingham
We are working to implement these and will follow-up with what worked for us.

Recently went through this and the most reliable was the latest version of PopOS for us.

For what it's worth, we ended up making our own in perspective. It's a re-usable popup number-pad (not a full keyboard). No OS dependency.

It definitely seems like this is something ignition should have built in.

We're (JJ is) actively working with TeamDev, the vendor who provides JxBrowser, to fix the OSK issue on Linux. As soon as they get the bug fix to us, we'll test it out and update Workstation to use the newer build of JxBrowser.

We've also got plans to possibly work around this with our own "soft" keyboard, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.

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The biggest issue for Windows that we have currently is that the Windows OSK doesn't even automatically show up in Windows itself on some hardware, let alone in any other apps like a browser or Perspective WS. Windows appears to believe that some hardware isn't supposed to have touchscreens attached to it and hence just disables and hides all controls relating to displaying the OSK automatically on input focus.

What we have in place to work around it is two things:

  • browser OSK extension installed to allow logging in
  • IA Exchange Perspective OSK components imported and incorporated into my input component views to allow OSK to open on Perspective input components

Note: browser OSK extensions, while they appear to be able to type into Perspective components, it's only superficial; the values never make it into the bound tags. Hence using the IA Exchange components as well (the Exchange components can't be used in the login form... hence needing both solutions).

It's a bit embarrassing, as one customer we converted over from using a VB application as an upgrade to Ignition, now has to install a browser OSK extension from a 3rd party on all of their machine clients to be able to login; they're also unable to use Perspective Workstation since you can't install extensions (?) so they won't be able to login :confused:

Any insight as to a full-Wayland solution for PW (Linux / Ubuntu-server)?
I believe the existing JxBrowser version supports Wayland, but starting PW via the persctiveworkstation.sh script attempts to connect to xorg display for the initial Java app.
My best experience with OSK so far utilizing is ubuntu-frame + ubuntu-frame-osk (on either core or server / non-desktop OS installations). I believe @David_Stone has shared similar experiences.

Java doesn't run native on Wayland, and won't until "Project Wakefield" gets further along: OpenJDK Project Wakefield - Wayland desktop support for JDK on Linux - OpenJDK Project Wakefield - Wayland desktop support for JDK on Linux - OpenJDK Wiki