Recently I bought a second hand tablet computer to experiment with thinking that it would make a great living room computer for quick tasks while setting at a couch; I first considered iPad but it's not exactly a personal computer, plus I love having a Linux tablet handy. I was pleased to see all hardware worked OTB with Ubuntu 10.10, including the Wacom pen digitizer.
However, I was taken back with the feature gap between Windows and Linux when it comes to handwriting recognition. I spent a couple of days searching the internet for open source handwriting recognition and came up with virtually nothing that compares to Windows offering. Still, I found Cellwriter which is great handwriting character recognition software, and its sure handy, but is not a natural handwriting recognition software by design as it recognizes characters not words. I came across STIHRS which seemed to be neglected. I also came across Zinnia library, but couldn't find a GUI application written for it.[
I know that Cononical is developing a new desktop environment called Unity that is planned for Ubuntu 11.04 and emphasizes touch UI, but I didn't find anything to speak of handwriting recognition features. I used to think that Linux can out perform other OSs when it comes to functionality, not polish (although the polish gap has been decreasing over the years). But I now believe I may have stumbled on an area where it may not hold true. Maybe this is what an R&D budget like Microsoft's brings to computer users; it's been developing this for the past 15 years.
What do you think? And do you know of any current development efforts that address this gap?