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

Doug Ewell doug at
Mon Mar 17 11:38:47 CDT 2014

Naena Guru <naenaguru at gmail dot com> wrote:

> Making a keyboard [layout] is not hard. You can either edit an
> existing one or make one from scratch. I made the latest Romanized
> Singhala one from scratch. The earlier one was an edit of US-
> International.

I've made a couple dozen of them myself, with MSKLC.

> When you type a key on the physical keyboard, you generate what is
> called a scan-code of that key so that the keyboard driver knows which
> key was pressed. (During DOS days, we used to catch them to make
> menus.) Now, you assign one or a sequence of Unicode characters you
> want to generate for the keypress.

Precisely. As Marc Durdin said, you can create a keyboard layout just as
easily for Unicode characters as for ASCII and Latin-1 characters. You
can also assign a combination of characters to a single key.

So it is not true that "typing Unicode Sinhala requires you to learn a
key map that is entirely different from the familiar English keyboard,
while losing some marks and signs too." Unicode does not prescribe any
key map. You can have whatever layout you like.

As Marc also said, if you think there are "marks and signs" missing from
Unicode, that is another matter.

Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, USA | @DougEwell

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