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on.charIn is an event that catches the user's keypresses on the keyboard.

Here's an example on how to use it :

 input = ""   -- the string that will contain the user's typed message

 function on.paint(gc)
     gc:drawString(input,5,5,"top")  -- drawing the current string on screen

 function on.charIn(char)
     input = input..char   -- appending
     platform.window:invalidate()   -- refreshing the screen

You can here find a more detailed tutorial on how to use it to create a text input function : http://inspired-lua.org/index.php/2011/12/how-to-have-a-nice-little-input-function-in-lua/