Indic keyboards

Date: Thu Apr 20 2000 - 09:51:43 EDT

I have some questions about computer keyboards for Indic languages. I would
specially like to hear the experiences and/or opinions of Indian

1) Can you point me to any online example of keyboard layouts?

2) Are Indic keyboard character-oriented or glyph oriented?
I.e. are keys assigned to ISCII/Unicode logical characters (e.g. ka, kha,
... ra... virama...), or are they assigned to glyphs (e.g. ka, half ka, kha,
half kha... ra, repha ra...)? Are dead consonants entered typing virama
(halant) or do they have their own keys?

3) Are keys typed in logical order (as in ISCII/Unicode) or in visual order?
I.e. imagine writing "mirc" in Devanagari: is the key sequence "ma + i + ra
+ halant + ca", or is it "i + ma + ca + repha ra>?

4) What is, if any, the relationship between vowel letters (word initials)
and vowel signs (matras)?
I.e. are they on the same keys? If yes, which one is shifted?

5) Do Indian keyboards have any "dead keys"?
I.e. is it ever necessary to type two keys to get a single character?

6) How are typewriters' keyboards different from computer keyboards?

Thank you.

_ Marco

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