Re: Unicode Keyboards

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Mon Aug 09 1999 - 02:15:28 EDT

At 15:41 -0700 8/5/1999, Erland Sommarskog wrote:
>Markus Kuhn <> writes:
>> There is no technical, cultural or ergonomical justification for the
>> many keyboard layouts that we have at the moment. For instance, it is
>> easily conceivable to come up with a single highly practical layout for
>> the West European and Panamerican Market.
>I'm skeptic to that. As a Swedish user, it's instrumental for me to have
> as keys on the keyboard. Danish and Norwegian users needs on
>their keyboards. For your letters home you need . Exactly how
>Mediterrenan users want their accents I don't know, but if you are
>to accomodate all needs, you will get a large keyboard. And, frankly,
>I don't really want a keyboard with keys that I use only rarely. It's
>OK for me to achieve by some two- or three-combination (although
>I would be glad to be relieved from being compelled to know the
>Latin-1 code, as I need today with my Swedish PC keyboard). But it
>would be completely unacceptable if I would need to that for Swedish
>Erland Sommarskog, Stockholm,

It seems to me that a European or even a full Latin Extended multilingual
keyboard design is possible, but that most people will want the ability to
add a wider variety of accents and other modifications to alphabetic
letters while keeping their current layouts of letters, numbers, and
punctuation. This would cover Latin Extended A and more than half of Latin
Extended B, and most of the Combining Diacritics as well.

There is no reason why software should coerce people to change ingrained
typing habits. This is the principle behind "transliteration" keyboard
layouts which put letters of non-Latin scripts on roughly corresponding
Latin letter keys, by pronunciation or shape. E.g.

Q Theta
W Omega
E Epsilon
R Rho
T Tau
Y Upsilon

Usercs should be able to map a transliteration keyboard to the Dvorak ASK
(',.PYF), or to AZERTY or QWERTZ or whatever.

Edward Cherlin
"It isn't what you don't know that hurts you, it's
what you know that ain't so."--Mark Twain, or else
some other prominent 19th century humorist and wit

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:51 EDT