Re: Another take on the English Apostrophe in Unicode

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 17:28:58 +0200

2015-06-15 16:49 GMT+02:00 Marcel Schneider <>:

> It's indeed very useful to keep two Control modifiers. Because the
> modifiers at the left and right border of the block are acted with the
> little finger and should thus be symetrical. This does not apply to the Alt
> keys and other keys more or less centered around the space bar, which are
> acted with the thumbs. As Alt is less used than Kana (when there is a Kana
> key), Kana should be on left Alt, symetrical to the (on many keyboards
> already implemented) AltGr key. The Alt key comes then on the Applications
> key, which is mnemonic because of the contextual menu icon. Internally,
> indeed, the Alt keys (left and right) are called Menu keys (Virtual key
> Left Menu or VK_LMENU, and VK_RMENU). This contextual menu is then invoked
> pressing the right Windows key, which is consistently missing on laptops.
Not just laptops. My desktop PC only has a single Windows key, on the left.
Anyway there's little use of the Windows key that was introduced lately
(and there are still lot of keyboards that don't have this key). The same
remark applies to the ScrollLock key (which is now frequently remapped to
Fn+Pause/SysAttn or other similar combination using the single Windows key
when there's no Fn key which is typical of notebooks).

However I disagree with your opinion about AltGr+Shift combinations: it
works perfectly including with the ISO 9995 definitions: the unshifted and
shifted position are in the same "group".

However ISO 9995 allows CapsLock to be used to create other groups instead
of just reproducing the shifted/unshifted layout. It can be very useful for
users in India to switch between Latin and local abugidas. It could be used
as well by users writing in Arabic and Hebrew abjads, or with
African (Ethiopic) or North-American syllabary scripts that are complex to
map on a usable keyboard.

But I think that keyboard should all have a dedicated Kana key to easily
map additional groups without sacrificing other shift keys on the last row:
keyboards really don't need two windows keys and so the space bar can
remain with a cumfortable width (as well for the Shift key or Backspace
which is too narrow on many keyboards).
On the last row therre should never be more than 7 keys on both sides of
the space bar, and the most external keys (Ctrl) have to remain wide). If a
Kana key or present, in fact it should be to the right of the right
control, or ro the right of the right Shift

AltGr needs to keep some width extension compared to letter keys, and in
fact could be larger than the left Alt, because it is used for entering
text. The Application key is too large for me, just like the left Windows
key (its extra width should be better given to the left Control key to make
it a bit more central).

Those that design keyboard almost never test them for real usability: they
prefer slling them with many packed multimedia functions (or buttons for
Calc, Mail, Web or swtiching windows, and that are rarely used). Only
keyboards for gamers have some attention, but only to give them additional
programmable function keys for specific games... Keyboards on notebooks are
extremely poorly designed, a complete nonsense.
Received on Mon Jun 15 2015 - 10:30:30 CDT

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