Re: Dead keys (was: "Re: Monetary decimal separators")

From: Marion Gunn (
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 05:27:49 CDT

  • Next message: Marion Gunn: "Re: Keyboard requirements - Irish and French"

    Scríobh Philippe Verdy:
    > ...
    > If displays did not have this limitation, diacritics would have been entered
    > normally and made immediately visible on display, without advancing the
    > cursor, and the next input character would have been composed with the
    > existing diacritic displayed under the cursor. You should really know that
    > some computers were behaving this way, and effectively produced a visible
    > glyph on screen immediately, without delay. It's just a shame that PCs have
    > abandoned this behavior.
    > But if it had not, Unicode would have probably been created by encoding also
    > the base characters AFTER the diacritics instead of before them (the

    That is true.

    I remember moving from typewriter to mainframe, where I had to get used
    to having no deadkey, and having to devise the workaround of using
    forward slash '/' for acute, backward slash '\' for grave, etc., AFTER
    the vowel.

    I got quite used to doing that at high speed on green or black screens
    in virtually dark computer rooms, I then had to readjust again when
    computers 'advanced' to having dead key characters entered BEFORE the
    vowel, which is how it works on all the machines I have now.

    > Teletext and Videotex encodings which are still in use today also encode
    > diacritics before the base character... and the French keyboards for the
    > associated devices also don't have "dead" keys but compose the diacritic; to
    > avoid composition errors however, for composed sequences that the display
    > can't handle, it was allowed to delay the input until the base character was
    > composed; then the whole sequence for the diacritic and the base character
    > was output; if a composed sequence was not supported by the display, the
    > whole input was not output, and there was an error indication with a audible
    > beep and a fast flashing cursor).

    Marion Gunn * EGTeo (Estab.1991)
    27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn, Baile an 
    Bhóthair, Co. Átha Cliath, Éire.
    * * *

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