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

Naena Guru naenaguru at
Mon Mar 17 19:21:00 CDT 2014


Making keyboard layouts for Unicode Singhala is hard not because of fault
of Unicode. It is the complexity of letter assembly. I have use the
Wijesekara keyboard on a 24in Olympia Singhala keyboard in 1970s. It is
radically different from US-English.

I tried to make a phonetic one to kind of relate to the English keys.
Still, you need to have many shifted keys to get common letters.

On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 11:38 AM, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:

> 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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