Re: Much better Latin-1 keyboard for Windows

From: Alain LaBonté (
Date: Mon Jul 26 2004 - 10:34:00 CDT

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    À 11:15 2004-07-26, Mark Davis a écrit:
    > > a European national keyboard is by itself in general a keyboard group
    > composed of three levels (one unshifted, one shifted, one obtained with
    > AltGr).
    >In practice, the keyboards I have seen with an additional level generally
    >need and use a pair of additional levels. The issue is that if a lowercase
    >character x is on a level, then you want to be able to get the uppercase
    >version of it X by using that same level plus a shift key. So in practice
    >you end up with plain, plain+shifted, alternate, alternate+shifted.

    [Alain] ... which means 2 groups of 2 levels in ISO terms.

    Commercial keyboards in Europe (at least those using the Latin script) are
    limited to 3 levels in general (3 states: unshifted, shifted, or AltGr
    state). In general the third level is for special characters and not for
    letter pairs.

    I'm just curious: what keyboards have you seen? Was it outside Europe or
    the two Americas? Or do you talk about virtual keyboards shown on a screen?

    Of course if one needs to use other script beyond the Latin script (or many
    languages), one must go beyond 3 levels, i.e. beyond one group.

    Alain LaBonté

    PS: Canadian national standard CAN/CSA Z243.200-92 uses 2 groups strictly
    for the Latin script, the first group with 3 levels, the second group with
    2 extra levels (if you want to *not use* the "group" notion, this means 5
    shifted states, 5 levels; fortunately the ISO framework has limited groups
    to 3 levels at once).

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