Dead and Compose keys (was: Re: Romanized Singhala got great reception in Sri Lanka)

Doug Ewell doug at
Sun Mar 16 18:47:24 CDT 2014

Jean-François Colson <jf at colson dot eu> wrote:

> The idea here was “that characters not on an ordinary QWERTY keyboard
> could be entered _using_an_ordinary_QWERTY_keyboard._” Are there any
> dead keys on an _ordinary_ (i.e. not one using an international(ized)
> driver) QWERTY keyboard?

Not on the standard vanilla U.S. keyboard. It has to be provided by the 
OS, via a driver, just as Compose key support has to be provided by the 

The standard vanilla U.S. keyboard also doesn't provide the accented 
letters and other non-ASCII letters like ð that Naena Guru uses for his 
font hack.

> If a character is available by a dead key, isn’t it on the keyboard ?

It depends on what you mean by "on the keyboard." Thanks to John Cowan's 
delightful Moby Latin keyboard layout, I can type AltGr+\ followed by 7 
to get the fraction ⅐ (one-seventh). That character is not "on the 
keyboard" in any sense other than what the driver provides.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, USA | @DougEwell ­ 

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