From: Philippe Verdy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 15:36:20 CDT
This is not the topic. We currently have already the solution for avid Unicode users, without needing to buy an extra device.
There are lots of cheap keypads available in common superstores that are programmable and used mainly by notebook users that want a separate keypad, but that can be used as well as supplementary keys. some of them are even wireless, include a small LCD display, and a calculator with currency conversion, that can be used independantly of the PC. Such device is appreciated by those working on accounting data on notebooks. Clearly devices is not a Unicode issue, and not a solution for MOST users that just want to input a few missing characters.
What we were really discussing here about the default keybaord layouts in France, and why it is not standardized to include some missing characters needed for French (or other languages, like Italian discussed here too). This is really a localization issue, which really impacts the way French texts are encoded and used.
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----- Original Message -----
To: Philippe Verdy ; Doug Ewell ; Unicode Mailing List
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2005 4:44 PM
Subject: Re: French accented letters (was: Re: Monetary decimal separators)
Here's a solution: We have a new keypad that places each accented letter on a display above its own unique key (for French or Spanish or other languages, at the selection of the user). This means the keypad displays all accented letters all the time. To get a capital with an accent, th user presses either shift and the key, or only the key for slightly longer (without pressing shift - a "long press caps"). There is no need for ctl, alt or other key combinations, and no need to memorize key combinations with no visual cue as to what accented letter you are getting. It enables all this with a smaller footprint and fewer keys than a QWERTY keyboard.
Currently, a "virtual" version of this keypad is available, which is helpful immediately because the keypad sits in a corner of your screen (and can be minimized), so you can simply use your mouse to select and enter any accented letter, then go on typing your usual way. We're working on getting a physical version out as soon as possible.
This is our company's keypad, but since it seems directly relevant to this conversation, I thought I would bring it to your attention (in conformity with this Unicode email list policies).
(The keypad is designed, in addition to French and Spanish, to provide a new and much more effective ways to give people access directly to and all the languages enabled by Unicode (we've begun this process, but it is in its early stage - a hardware version of the keypad will be open architecture so anyone expert in a language can enable it to display that language's components above each key).)
You can find more information, and download this "virtual" keypad at www.yuvee.com.
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