Staying Ahead with “Typeahead”


Twitter’s Typeahead auto-complete typing app is gaining fans as the tool catches on among those of us who require a writing assistant. The app is open source and can be accessed on GitHub and MIT License. Twitter’s strategy to grow the app is by opening up the entire community to the very web developers who will incorporate the app into their web development projects. Community input is welcomed and necessary to move Typeahead forward in development.

Typeahead is the inspiration derived from’s autocomplete search functionality. Encompassing a complete auto-library, the app makes suggestions on how to complete a sentence. The app functions with both hard-coded and remote data. Suggestions are culled from a myriad number of data sets. It supports a customized set of templates that generates typing suggestions. The app is fully compatible with RTL languages and input method editors.

This type of software allows users to continue typing regardless of the program or computer being utilized. As a result, keys immediately being struck don’t always pop up right away. This type of program is referred to as a keyboard buffer. Ironically, the inception of Typeahead is rooted in the IBM Selectric typewriter. First introduced in 1961, the IBM device had a mechanical key lock feature that was utilized to smooth out the typist’s irregularity in his keystrokes and “felt” like Typeahead, thus the name’s origin.

The Typeahead’s buffer stores a limited amount of keyboard input until it is requested by the user. In some network situations, the buffer data may be transmitted over a network using the Typeahead function. The app is popular among those who find the function as helpful in composition and increased speed.

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