Romanized Singhala got great reception in Sri Lanka

Jean-François Colson jf at
Sun Mar 16 14:52:40 CDT 2014

Le 16/03/14 14:10, William_J_G Overington a écrit :
> Thank you for starting this thread.
> It is good to read of developments.
> I remembered a system that I designed many years ago for entering Esperanto text using an ordinary keyboard.
> Some years ago I included it in a story.
> The idea was that characters not on an ordinary QWERTY keyboard could be entered using an ordinary QWERTY keyboard.

That’s the raison-d’être of the Compose key available on most Linux/Unix 
you type compose, apostrophe, e and you get a é;
you type compose, a, e and you get a æ;
you type compose, question mark, plus, o and you get a ở;
you type compose, 5, 8 and you get a ⅝;

> If that idea were implemented today

It is! But neither on Windows nor on MacOS.

>   then it could be used to enter Esperanto text,

That is possible.
For Ĉ, you can type compose+ ^ + C.
For ĉ, you can type compose + ^ + c.
For Ĝ, you can type compose + ^ + G.
For ĝ, you can type compose + ^ + g.
For Ĥ, you can type compose + ^ + H.
For ĥ, you can type compose + ^ + h.
For Ĵ, you can type compose + ^ + J.
For ĵ, you can type compose + ^ + j.
For Ŝ, you can type compose + ^ + S.
For ŝ, you can type compose + ^ + s.
For Ŭ, you can type compose + U + U or compose + b + U.
For ŭ, you can type compose + U + u or compose + u + u or compose + b + u.

The problem is that, for a letter as frequent as ĉ in Esperanto, typing 
compose + (shift + 6) + c isn’t very ergonomic: a dedicated keyboard 
layout is better.

>   with the keystrokes converted into Unicode characters.
> However, that system was just for entering a few accented characters into a text written in Latin script and Esperanto does not have ligatures.
> Is the Romanized Singhala system a way to enter the characters into a computer using only a QWERTY keyboard?
>> It is easy to input (phonetically) using a keyboard layout slightly altered from QWERTY.
> How is the keyboard altered from QWERTY please?
> Are you publishing the font please?

In fact, I think he was speaking of the bare American (US) qwerty. An 
international version of it should do the job.

Looking at his site and making a copy and 
paste of the page contents, you see he uses 7-bit ASCII, a few Latin-1 
accented vowels, and a few additional “letters” such as ð, Ð, þ, æ and µ.

Naena Guru’s aim is not to make an input method to type Sinhalese. 
Sinhalese keyboards layouts already exist:

His aim is rather to make an 8-bit font to replace that “difficult” and 
“expensive” Unicode compliant Sinhalese.

> So, everyone, can the Romanized Singhala system be used with a QWERTY keyboard to produce Unicode-encoded text, thereby producing a good combined system?

Of course. Everything can be produced with a QWERTY keyboard ifever you 
provide an appropriate driver.

> William Overington
> 16 March 2014
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