Re: Much better Latin-1 keyboard for Windows

From: Michael Everson (
Date: Thu Jul 22 2004 - 16:16:29 CDT

  • Next message: John Cowan: "Re: Much better Latin-1 keyboard for Windows"

    At 16:38 -0400 2004-07-22, Alain LaBonté wrote:

    >It would have been nice if this keyboard would
    >have been based (for its second layout) on
    >ISO/IEC 9995-3 International Standard. The
    >latter is based on the following philosophy:
    >-Group 1 is the national (or prefered layout)
    >[in the USA that would be the standard US
    >keyboard; in this case AltGr could be added to
    >show exactly what « qwalla » documented in his
    >first figure (it is obvioulsy what he prefers).
    >Group 1 normally corresponds to unshifted,
    >shifted and AlGr layouts (3 levels, called level
    >1, 2, and 3)
    >-Group 2 is a supplementary group whose purpose
    >is to supplement national usage for the Latin
    >script, based on the ISO/IEC 6937 repertoire
    >(roughly 330 Latin characters), for European
    >languages using the Latin script. Subsets can be
    >implemented [I would friendly recommend that «
    >qwalla » slightly modify his figure 2 layout to
    >fit with this international standard]. Group 2
    >needs a group select mechanism, which is so far
    >left to implementation (it could be AltGr and
    >AltGr+Shift to access the two levels described
    >in this group in ISO/IEC 9995-3 -- however in
    >this case that would not be sufficient for some
    >keys of the Canadian Standard keyboard -- in at
    >least one case we have 5 characters on the same
    >key, see below how we do that).

    I've never understood this keyboard philosophy.
    Its "groups and planes" terminology just doesn't
    make sense to me (as someone who has designed
    keyboard layouts for well over a decade). I like
    good old-fashioned dead-keys and four keyboard
    states (plain, shift, alt, and alt-shift.

    >With UNICODE/UCS now of age, this in our opinion
    >would be highly desirable to go beyond
    >international standardization of the Latin
    >script support limited to some languages as now.

    Please see the specification of the Irish
    Extended keyboard for Unicode, at

    A liberal use of dead-keys enables the user to
    type a very, very large number of Latin letters.

    Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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