Re: Dead keys

From: Wulfy (
Date: Fri Sep 23 2005 - 19:57:54 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: French accented letters"

    Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin wrote:

    >On 2005.09.19, 07:36, Jukka K. Korpela <> wrote:
    >>I think the difference is that normal writing of Portuguese requires
    >>several different letters with diacritic marks and the Portuguese
    >>keyboard does not contain all of them as precomposed characters.
    >Yep, we have only the c-cedilla in a separate key. Everything else is made
    >with dead keys, which (as said) produce every combination cp-1252
    >includes, even those not used in Portuguese (this is about the most usual
    >105-key windows-PC keyboad and its driver, whose real name I forgot).
    Respectful question. Why do we have to put up with a limitation of
    mechanical typewriters on computer keyboards?

    >I have nine dead keys (actually three keys in three shift states) and they all result
    >in diacritcals over the following letter, either Unicode precomposed or
    >with combining diacriticals Quite funny for unadvised users making typos.
    > ;-)
    On my UK keyboard, I can only produce the acute accents easily, they are
    <AltGr>vowel combinations. I have to resort to <Alt>xxxx on the numeric
    keypad, use a character map or change keyboard map (which changes all
    the positions for my punctuation and sometimes other keys) to get any
    other accented character or ligature. As I write essays which contain
    Old English or Old Norse words, getting "", "", and "" and their
    capitals is quite difficult.

    Surely there is a better solution? Perhaps a <compose> key? So to get
    "", would be <compose>e', to get "" would be <compose>a", and so on.
    This, to me, seems more logical as I think of e-acute rather than <acute>e.

    Since it's easy to redefine all the keys at once (different keyboard
    map), wouldn't it also be easy to produce some which had just one
    dead-key which could be used to compose all the modified Latin letters?
    Touch typists would have to retrain somewhat, but it would mean that any
    European language could be typed from any European keyboard. It would
    have to be tailored to each layout of main keys so I could keep my
    QWERTY, the Germans their QWERTZ and the French their AWERTY, (among
    other layouts I'm not aware of) . Whatever layout is used, the new
    system would allow easy typing of all accented and ligatured letters.

    Wulf Credo:
    Respect the elders. Teach the young. Co-operate with the pack. 
    Play when you can. Hunt when you must. Rest in between.
    Share your affections. Voice your opinion. Leave your Mark.

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