Re: Universal Keyboard

From: Andr Szabolcs Szelp (
Date: Fri Dec 21 2007 - 05:31:29 CST

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    > E.g., the average user in the office may not distinguish between
    > ogonek, cedilla and comma below. I have adressed this problem for my
    > "Europatastatur" design by adressing a diacritics key "comma-thingie
    > below" (see ).
    > [In ISO 9995-1 terminology, the key thus is a "group selector" rather
    > than a diacritics key.]

    Oh, actually, I would be more offended to see a wrong diacritic on my name than to see it omitted. It is common practice and accepted (while not desirable) to use base characters if specials are not availabe. This was used in typographies and orthographies already before the digital era. You can always argue with avareness but inability. If you get it wrong, however, that shows (cultural) ignorance, and can be offending.

    I don't know if such a "comma-thingie-below" key is a good idea.
    I mean, for most European languages, the ogonek and the cedilla _are_ in complemetary distribution. However this is already not true for comma/cedilla, where you have both for s (Turkish vs. Romanian). And than we have not addressed minority orthographies around the word (if I recall correctly, Americanists like to use the ogonek for writing Native American langauges...)

    Also, creating such a thing is like creating a "group selector" for macron, umlaut, tilde and double acute, and having to enter for the "average user", as you put it, by "top-broad-thingie" key and then the o for both

    ann<o> (in Latin with indicated length), G<o>teborg (Swedish), Sa<o> Paulo (Portugues), and Gy<o>r (Hungarian).

    Very bad idea.

    With experiences of Hungarian, which has suffered a lot from the fact, that Latin-1 has "similar" but very wrong characters for Latin-2's Ő,ő,Ű,ű, namely Õ,õ,Û,û; Unfortunately one sees the wrong characters on the net partially in Unicode text as well. (In these cases the 8-bit input-encoding was probably selected wrongly as Latin-1 when transcoding to Unicode).

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