Combined Yoruba characters with dot below and tonal diacritics

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Thu Apr 16 13:08:45 CDT 2015

2015-04-16 18:53 GMT+02:00 Doug Ewell <doug at>:

> Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
> > Another candidate key for modifiers that you can use on PC keyboards
> > is the useless "NumLock" key on 101/102-keys keyboards (there's
> > actually no need to switch the working mode of the numeric keypad,
> > given you have also a separate set of keys for cursor movements, which
> > remain active independantly of the NumLock setting).
> [+544 words]
> Speaking only about Windows here, not other platforms:
> 1. AltGr is the industry standard for this sort of "Level 3" shifting
> function. Users would probably not expect NumLock or Scroll Lock, which
> are far from the normal typewriter keys, to perform this function.

I have not contested the use of AltGr key on 101/202 physical keyboard for
that shifting function. But for adding other modifier keys (e.g. emulating
a Japanese keyboard that has another "kana" modifier).
Also this working mode for physical keyboards is absolutely not a
requirement for visual input on virtual onscreen keyboards which are
absolutely not required to use or even emulate these layouts with the same
working modes.

And yes Numlock is useless on keyboards that have BOTH a cursor control
keypad AND a numeric keypad; you use the cursor control keypad directly and
want the numeric pad to remain in numeric mode (so logivally, the Logitech
driver proposes to disable Numlock completely). Numlock is a very old
feature inherited from initial IBM PC keyboards (and it had no equivalent
before the PC) when there was no separate cursor control keypad.
Many notebook don't even have it (or if you activate it, it remaps the
inexistant numeric keypad on top of the main alphabetic keys, the cursor
keys remain active where they are and independantly of Numlock state!)

So, Numlock is not a standard even in the PC/Windows world. Where it still
really exists (only external physical keyboards), it is most often useless.
Its existence was justified only on keyboards with about 90 keys (ignoring
other multimedia/powercontrol keys or the newer modifier keys for
Windows/OS, Appl/Menu, and Fn). As well not all physical keyboards have
separate keys for ScrollLock, PrintScreen, Break/SystReq (they are remapped
on other keys by combining them with the "Fn" key, directly in their
internal firmware, without control by Windows itself).
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