Re: How can I input any Unicode character if I know its hexadecimal code?

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Nov 15 2003 - 15:14:13 EST

  • Next message: Michael \(michka\) Kaplan: "Re: How can I input any Unicode character if I know its hexadecimal code?"

    From: "Peter Kirk" <>
    > If a rendering engine doesn't do what it should, it is not for keyboards
    > to fix the problem. The point of Unicode is not for typing what one
    > displays oneself but to interchange information between different
    > systems. So in general the typing and the rendering are done on
    > different systems.

    I'm not speaking about the way to render Unicode, but to the way a keyboard
    can be built to respect the encoding constraints of another standard. Think
    about the Latin script for example, not all combinations of dead keys plus
    base letters are implemented in keyboard, just because they are generating a
    combined character which has no correspondance with a default ISO-8859
    character set. Of course you can extend your keyboard to support more
    characters, but then, you expose applications with input sequences that
    cannot be mapped in a text they are creating within a restricted character

    As far as I know, an application has little control on the subset of
    character it can accept from an IME, or keyboard driver, and if some
    characters in the generated combining sequence are ignored, and some other
    are accepted, it creates a new sequence which may not be appropriate in the
    target subset.

    So clearly this is not a Unicode issue, but an issue with the usability of
    keyboards and IMEs with all applications that are assuming the complete
    support of the keyboard subset in the text they accept (if you don't know
    what I mean, just look at the remaining number of games that are just
    interpreting keycodes or that are assuming a US keyboard layout, and that
    are hard or impossible to use with their default keyboard control
    assignments, as they are mapping for example Alt+digit keystrokes, when some
    keyboards will not be able to generate these keystrokes without an
    additional shift key modifier, and you'll get a good example about the
    usability of a enhanced keyboard in a context where it was assumed that all
    keyboard sequences were possible).

    You've got similar issues with some APIs that use "keyboard accelerators" or
    mnemonics to call menu options. Here again Unicode is not the issue, but
    this is another example of where adding support for additional characters on
    keyboards is not that simple: there's a compromize to find with its
    usability within softwares which were not localized to support them.

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