Re: simple vs. complex keyboard, was: Re: Proposal to add 2 Romanian characters

From: Cristian Secarã (
Date: Tue Apr 27 2004 - 21:05:26 EDT

  • Next message: R.C. Bakhuizen van den Brink [Rein]: "Re: Romanian and Cyrillic"

    On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 00:10:08 +0200, Philippe Verdy wrote:

    > Did you try the [Windows+U] keystroke to start the visual keyboard (also
    > available in the login screen)? It is shipped with Windows XP...

    It's not the same thing.
    As far as I remember, on Mac, when I "press" a dead key character on
    that program, the keyboard picture shows the new composed status of
    each character, where applicable.
    On Windows, without a specific tool (like MKLC), I have to test
    physically each <dead_key + key> etc., just to find out what characters
    are covered / if the accented character I am looking for is available.

    > Additionally, nothing forbids a user to have two simultaneous keyboard layout
    > for the same language: a simplified/standard version and an extended one. That's
    > what I use...

    Sure, but if the physical keyboard is labeled according to keyboard
    layout 1, how is the user aware of what can be achieved by using
    keyboard layout 2 ?
    I am more than involved in this kind of thing, because I have just
    defined two keyboard layouts in the national Romanian keyboard standard
    (the origin of this thread is in part because of this).

    Basically, the main layout has full [International + Romanian specific]
    character set directly available, with limited extra regional language
    support by use of dead keys - like German and Hungarian.
    The second layout (a so called Programmers layout) *is* the US English
    layout, with the Romanian specific characters available via AltGr.
    However, both layouts have the same extra regional language support (by
    use of dead keys), on exactly the same positions, with the same
    additional accented character support. It is supposed that the dead
    keys are shown on a physical keyboard (labels), so the user should not
    be much confused when switching layouts.

    It is true that for complex layouts this is not always possible -
    that's why my question here ("how is the user aware of what can be
    achieved by using keyboard layout 2 ?")

    > Why that? Keyboard labelling can be simple if the layout is correctly made: you
    > don't need to put both lowercase and uppercase letters, and using dead keys will
    > greatly limit the number of glyphs to label your keycaps.

    True, but my question still remains, if one dead key can be used in
    conjunction with *many* base characters.
    On Mac, the users have just to take a look at that program to see the
    final result of each dead key action.
    On Win, the users have to type some garbage (in WordPad, for example)
    to see the final result of a dead key action.

    I have never used a Mac computer for myself, but I requested much
    information about it because of the keyboard standard related work and
    the explanations I received were demonstrated this way.


    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Apr 28 2004 - 00:33:55 EDT