ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 35 User Interfaces N0035



Title: International Register of Keyboard Layouts, Response to BSI

Action required: Forward to BSI.

Date: 1998-11-12

References: ISO/IEC JTC1/SC35 Document N0017


Response to BSI on the new work item request from J Clews.

ISO/IEC JTC1/SC35 have reviewed the presentation that was generated by John Clews on the subject of an International register of keyboard layouts. (Document N0017)

The topic was well discussed and the following was the outcome

We could not see who would benefit from such a registry other than manufacturers and we feel that is not really a subject for International Standardisation.

If such a registry was created it would need to be at a very detail level to cater for dead keys and accented key actual operations which vary in application country to country.

If it was restricted to quoting national country standards numbers which would be the source of national layouts then the registry would:

a) not be representative of actual preferred national keyboard layout (eg: French AFNOR standard which is a QWERTY layout or some countries with various national standards for layouts).


b) be in contravention of ISO rules by containing various national standards in a ISO document

However, to progress this further we believe that the construction of this database would be very useful for both users and manufacturers.

The national bodies will be invited to provide us with the standardised keyboard that they consider as being their countries keyboard layout. This database could be put on the web site of SC35 in the future.