Re: Keyboard layouts

From: Mark Leisher (
Date: Mon Aug 09 1999 - 18:31:16 EDT

    Torsten> On Mon, 9 Aug 1999 12:40:07 -0700 (PDT), Mark Leisher wrote:
>> I have finally stolen enough time to start putting some keyboard
>> layouts out where people can use them. I currently have the Arabic and
>> Persian keyboards up, and will eventually be adding a lot more. If you
>> find errors, please let me know.

    Torsten> Regarding the mapping tables: identifying the keys by their
    Torsten> corresponding characters on a US layout is a little bit
    Torsten> problematic. How do you identify positions on the numeric key
    Torsten> pad? Windows' Arabic keyboard layout uses the two upper right
    Torsten> keys on the numeric key pad (normally assigned '-' and '+') for
    Torsten> non-joiner and joiner (when shifted).

I will only be doing the main keys. The physical geometry of the keyboards
can be dealt with, but I just haven't had time to make it all work right.

    Torsten> Apart from that, _my_ keyboard looks different and has one
    Torsten> additional key that can produce characters. First of all, it
    Torsten> should be mentioned that the keyboards in question are the so
    Torsten> called MF II keyboards with 101 or 102 keys. The normal keyboards
    Torsten> used in Germany have 102 keys (and I think the same is true for
    Torsten> other European keyboards). The positions of some keys (e.g. in
    Torsten> the "areas" <enter>/<backspace>, <left shift> and <esc>) vary
    Torsten> often on keyboards.

The current key arrangement is for a Unix keyboard. That is what I will keep
using until I get around to changing the code to show a PC key arrangement.

    Torsten> And I guess there exist a lot of other layouts and assignment
    Torsten> (e.g. manufacturer specific). Therefore mapping tables for
    Torsten> keyboard layouts cannot be generally applied.

    Torsten> I wish there would be a solution to all that.

One of my keyboard display programs uses the geometry descriptions available
in the xkeycaps ( package for X11. There are a
lot of them, but the list will always be incomplete as long as keyboards are
manufactured. Not to mention that users generally have a hard time choosing
the correct keyboard geometry and keycode assignment when they have a list of
approximately 200 to choose from.
Mark Leisher
Computing Research Lab The more I see of the representatives
New Mexico State University of the people, the more I admire my dogs.
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL -- Alphonse de Lamartine, 1790-1869
Las Cruces, NM 88003

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