TR35 § 3.1 and keyboards

Hugh Paterson via CLDR-Users cldr-users at
Tue Nov 20 18:47:03 CST 2018


I am reading over the TR35 documentation [1] for categorizing letters as
Auxiliary vs. Main for the purposes of designing keyboard layouts.

I read the following guidance for classifying letters between Auxiliary and

For a given language, there are a few factors that help for determining
whether a character belongs in the auxiliary set, instead of the main set:

   - The character is not available on all normal keyboards.
   - It is acceptable to always use spellings that avoid that character.

So my questions are as follows:
1. is "all normal keyboards" supposed to be interpreted with language scope
such that: "all normal German keyboards" when considering German "letters"
and the task of determining if they are Auxiliary vs. Main?

2. I'm not actually working on German. I am working with Eastern Dan, a
language of the Ivory Coast. If the answer to question #1 is "yes,
interpret with language scope", then I have a follow on question: Are
"keyboards" then in the TR35 context understood to be keyboard layouts
(such as may be switched with software) or are they considered to be
physical keyboards? In the Eastern Dan context keyboards are French or
English as those are the two types of physical computers which make it into
the language using context. However, it seems a bit silly to consider some
of the characters in the Eastern Dan orthography as "Auxiliary" just
because they don't appear on the set of "all physical keyboards".

3. When designing an new keyboard layout, or working with a language which
does not have a keyboard (or keyboard layout) how is one advised to
approach the distinction between Auxiliary vs. Main?


thanks, all the best

*Hugh Paterson III *Innovation Analyst
*Innovation Development & Experimentation*, *SIL International*

*Web*: Contact & CV <>
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