Re: Ways to show Unicode contents on Windows?

From: Ilya Zakharevich <>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:11:24 -0700

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 08:28:07AM +0100, Richard Wordingham wrote:

> > Just in case: do you realize that out-of-BMP must be specified via
> > LIGATURES section?
> Yes, for 'character' read UTF-16 code element. Even worse, you can't
> use dead keys outside the BMP, which prevents one using MSKLC for
> typing in natural language in cuneiform orthography.

  [I’m switching to “pedantic” mode since there are so many posts on
   this list which FALSELY accuse Windows' keyboard system of
   shortcomings. There ARE many shortcomings, but they are usually
   buried under an avalanche of misinformation.]

I suspect that you meant to put the stress on “USE dead keys” instead
of “dead keys OUTSIDE the BMP” — but initially, I read it the second
way. So let it be stressed that:

  a) dead keys are just “states of a finite automaton” (and they are
     explicitly described this way in the Apple’s approach). So to
     support “complicated deadkeys” it is enough to support
     sufficiently many of them… (On other words: their “identities”
     are irrelevant; it makes no sense to distinguish a
     dead-key-in-BMP from one outside of BMP.)

     Windows itself supports 2¹⁶ - 1 dead keys. Due to bugs in MSKLC
     (in kbdutool), one is restricted to having 2¹² - 1 dead keys in a

     (And I use about 95% of the latter space in my keyboard layouts.
     I may need some greediness optimizations to add some more
     convenient accessors, which would eat many more states in the
     automaton. ;-)

  b) A significant limitation of Windows keyboard system is that one
     cannot enter an OUT-of-BMP character via a deadkey. (And this is
     probably what you meant above.)

Received on Mon Jul 29 2013 - 21:09:35 CDT

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