Windows keyboard restrictions

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Sat Aug 8 09:22:57 CDT 2015

On 08 Aug 2015, at 15:01, Richard Wordingham  wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Aug 2015 14:05:17 +0200 (CEST)
> Marcel Schneider  wrote:
> > 2. Supposed that Windows supported more than four characters per
> > ligature:
> > 2.1. Why has the MSKLC been limited to four characters per
> > ligature?
> Because that was believed to be the architectural limit. Note however,
> that it isn't 4 *characters* that is the limit, but 4 UTF-16 code units.

I'm very puzzled about this being UTF-16 code units, as stated also in the MSKLC Help. In the driver source kbd*****.c, each of those entities is referred to as WCHAR, which is meant to mean (^^) "UNICODE CHARACTER". Indeed we can write 0x1234 for a given WCHAR in a driver source, but also 0x101234 for another given WCHAR if that's its code point. Nowhere there is any UTF appearing. Despite of having looked up the Unicode FAQs about Unicode transformation formats, I'm unable to make the link.

> Because that was believed to be the architectural limit.

I'm urged not to speculate, and to stick with facts and documentation. Now look here an authoritative expert who is reduced to stand upon his believes about keyboard limitations while working as an employee of the company where the same keyboard limitations were designed, implemented, compliled, released and shipped from-----or NOT. At his place I would have asked my boss for accessing the Windows keyboard layout framework source files and development roadmaps. Turning it the other way round, Microsoft must not ask somebody to write some keyboard creating software without granting him full access to all documentation.

At least that's my opinion. 

BTW, I would like to have everybody note that a Help section of another software is *not* documentation (with the meaning the word has in this thread). Nor is a PowerPoint. Nor are third party keyboard software websites. Nor is anything that is not a comment in a source file, or a technical document issued by the department that really worked out the discussed software; or a code line, because in my belief, this is strong evidence.

Thank you for your comment. 

Further, we're awaiting the responses from Mr Glass at Microsoft.

Best regards,

Marcel Schneider
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