Re: ISIRI 2901 to Unicode map

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Sat Aug 03 2002 - 17:39:51 EDT

Michael (michka) Kaplan <michka at trigeminal dot com> wrote:

> Although the Ctrl and Ctrl+Shfit states are not recommended, they are
> allowed by Windows for people are using the DDK to develop a keyboard
> layout.
> And Shift+AltGr is definitely used by many keyboards.

Which is fine if your solution only needs to run on Windows.

> I am not sure I see this as any better or worse than the system that
> the DDK uses which refers to keys by their virtual key numbers -- VK_A
> has the advantage of being meaningful to anyone who has an English
> keyboard, and for those who do not they are not any worse off than
> they would be with an arbitrary system.

It could be worse if a French user sees "VK_A" and instinctively maps it
to his own "A" key (which, as you know, is where our "Q" key would be).
With 9995, at least, the key reference is equally meaningful to all and
doesn't require the French user to provide the missing translation.

ISO 9995 is definitely not "an arbitrary system." It's based on
physical key locations, which are easy for a user to figure out. Once
you know the symbology -- the rows start with the space bar (A) and go
up, the columns start with the "1" key (01) and go left or right -- it's
really quite easy.

> Sometimes people go a bit too far to prove they are not
> English-centric. :-)

And sometimes not far enough. ;-)

> I do not know much about ISO 9995 -- but does it have a nomenclature
> for ligatures? And does it have one for dead keys?
> How about the "SGCAPS" functionality found in the Windows Swiss
> German and Czech keyboards?

I'm only talking about the row-column nomenclature. AFAIK, there isn't
even a requirement that the keys be expressed in Unicode code points. I
would imagine you could say "U+094D + U+0930" for a digraph, for
instance. As for SGCAPS, ISO 9995 does technically restrict
implementations to those 3 levels.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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