Re: Full Unicode Computer Keyboard

From: Hans Aberg (
Date: Tue May 10 2005 - 04:45:54 CDT

  • Next message: Dominikus Scherkl: "Re: help required"

    At 00:09 -0500 2005/05/10, Donald Z. Osborn wrote:
    >From what I understand, the first step is a question of determining what is
    >needed, and this in turn responds to who the users are (IOW, what they need).
    >If I understand correctly, you're talking about something to facilitate input
    >of all unicode characters?

    Yes, even though I should have said that I am mainly interested in
    entering Unicode math characters. I have started doing that for a
    theorem prover I am writing on, by using the Unicode Character
    Palette that comes with Mac OS X. The use of Unicode is very helpful,
    making the formulas readable to me, which is needed for debugging
    purposes. But it does not seem to very convenient for extensive use.
    So therefore I think something better is needed.

    >I still think that a technofix of a keyboard with LED keys which would display
    >the characters assigned to each key for each layout selected would be the
    >ultimate solution (I believe we discussed this on this list a while back).
    >There are LED keyboards available, but without the ability to change the
    >displays in the keys. At any rate, the physical durability of such keyboards
    >may not be as much of an issue as it was. The issue seems to be whether we can
    >make the next step to connect variable LED key displays with the
    >information in
    >the software about which layout is active.

    I have also thought of such solutions, except with LCD keys. However,
    from a typing point of view, it is better to have a screen. It is
    probably better to just have a keyboard map on the screen. This kind
    of keyboards do not solve the fundamentals problem, if one needs
    thousands of characters, they will not fit on the keyboard, and even
    if one maps them using modifier keys, it will not be easy to learn
    where they are. So another approach for general use is needed.

    One should note that any hardware solution, such as specialty
    keyboards, will in general be very expensive. Most will not afford to
    buy them. The exception is if one can design one keyboard that covers
    all script. One is then essentially back at a solution for the full
    Unicode set.

       Hans Aberg

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