Windows keyboard restrictions

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Fri Aug 7 15:59:16 CDT 2015

On 07 Aug 2015, at 21:04, Richard Wordingham  wrote: 

> On Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:26:56 -0700
> "Doug Ewell"  wrote:
> > Michael Kaplan, author of MSKLC, reports that not only is the limit on
> > UTF-16 code points in a Windows keyboard ligature still 4, it is
> > likely to remain 4 for the foreseeable future:
> > 
> >
> It's good to see he's still with us.

I had a great meaning of the authors of the MSKLC. And I had still when I learned here that MSKLC is the work of a single author. I don't tell more.

> > "People who want input methods capable of handling more than four
> > UTF-16 code points really need to look into IMEs (Input Method
> > Editors) which are all now run through TSF (the Text Services
> > Framework), a completely different system of input that allows such
> > things, admittedly at the price of a lot of complexity."

Dismissing people to complex IMEs while a simple solution is (or can be) available at little expense, is symptomatical of user unfriendly software management.

I brought the good news that SIXTEEN UNICODE CODE POINTS can be generated by a single key stroke on Windows six dot one. The only bad news, because of which I've e-mailed to the List, is that that wasn't working in one single circumstance. It was obvious that the main thing to do, is to inform about this fact, so that other people mustn't search for a bug in the driver if it's only that.

> What we're waiting for is a guide we can follow, or some code we can
> ape. Such should be, or should have been, available in a Tavultesoft
> Keyman rip-off.
> In the mean time, I notice Micha Kaplan's comment:
> "even if there were, such a keyboard layout would not be compatible with
> any prior version of Windows;"
> I think that is exactly what Marcel Schneider encountered. 

Not really. We are talking of a ligatures feature that was programmed in 1991. So it may be possible that the same event is likely to occur on Windows Seven and later. But Mr Kaplan is addressing as "prior", Windows until Eight (dot one).

> Note further that Micha implied that he got the specification by reading a
> header file, exactly the sort of documentation you disallowed.
> The data structure (field cbLgEntry) allows for arbitrary lengths; its
> precise semantics may have been established by experiment. 

Without any false modesty I can tell that I established a limit as far as my machine is concerned, and that this limit is 16 characters per ligature; now I stated some exception but that doesn't invalidate the principle. To say it all, I have actually one ligature with 16 characters, one with 15, about one with 7 and so on.

> It is possible that it may have been broken for arbitrary sizes and has now
> been fixed.
> > This should settle the matter.
> MSKLC doesn't seem to be liked by Microsoft. Quite possibly they would
> like to get rid of the interface its keyboards generate. Supporting
> such user-defined keyboards may just be an overhead for them. Any
> comment from the Microsoft employees?

I'm impatient to read this comment, and I'm joining my expectations to Mr Wordingham's.

Best regards,

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