Input methods at the age of Unicode

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Thu Jul 16 09:44:20 CDT 2015

On 16 Jul 2015, at 13:21, Hans Aberg  wrote:

> On 16 Jul 2015, at 11:21, Marcel Schneider  wrote:
>> Now I've just downloaded the two versions of ConTEXT, which might well be the enhanced text editor I'm looking for since a while. LuaLaTeX will be very interesting too if I can edit source files with (however the bulk job is done in spreadsheet software which is Unicode; actual versions include even the UNIC[H]AR and UNICODE functions).

Knowing nothing about, I mixed up ConTeXt you referred to, and ConTEXT, and ended up downloading and istalling a new text editor. At least, this time, that is very useful to me, as ConTEXT will replace for me the use of Gedit, because ConTEXT handles correctly the Kana shift states (about a half of my keyboard layout). However, as it is new, the support of characters like U+2610 or simply precomposed letters with macron or double acute is not yet ensured. When I've some time left I'll write to them, because the project is very promising.

> It is simplest to just download the whole Tex Live:
> There is special package for OS X.

Unfortunately I've no OS X machine at home nor otherwhere, nor have I Linux at home. Where I use Ubuntu I cannot install this. I'll check if there is a Windows version, but it seems to move me from my urgent goal, so it'll be for a bit later.
> Though large, the main distribution lives in a single directory, so it is easy to throw away.

Nor will I throw away this software, could I install it.
>> I'll try if ConTeXt recognizes the Kana shift states (Gedit seemingly doesn't).
> It seems to depending on the font:
> When trying a OS X systems Arabic font, the ligatures where broken. However, when trying Khaled Hosny's , it seemed working.

First I'll have to learn the language. This is a very valuable purpose, but it needs some time I don't have actually.
> There is a ConTeXt users list , as well as support pages 

I'll save, thank you.

On 16 Jul 2015, at 15:20, Hans Aberg  wrote:

> On 16 Jul 2015, at 11:53, Marcel Schneider  wrote:
>> Do you mean that the US American English keymap should be thoroughly reengineered too, additionally to the solutions of ANSI, ISO, and August Dvorak?

> It may suffice with a logical layout, letters in alphabetical order. The traditional layouts were designed for speed typing on physical typing machines, specifically, with fixed finger positioning, in order not having look at the keyboard while typing.

This is an important point, not to look at the keyboard. Even with alphabetical order, one *must* learn typing. Often suggested for computers, the alphabetical order is also often rejected, because it needs much more finger move than its couterpart, the ergonomical order as proposed by August Dvorak, and very actively promoted in a French version by the association ERGODIS [].

> Speed typing is not so important in these days, as it is mostly for secretaries that write down material in other format. And the computer keyboard does not have the physical limitation of mechanical typewriters.

Yes for the hardware, but no for the need of speed typing. By the time, secretaries were almost the only people using typewriting. Today, more and more managers do their own mailing by themselves, without dicting to a secretary, while their employee manages much more than writing (as they did already by the time). Personally I wonna look at my keyboard when typing text, nor do you nor does anybody at all.

> It is also considerably faster with moving finger positioning, which can be done if one does not have too look at some text while typing.

I don't understand well how to speed up with moving fingers except towards the dedicated keys, the little fingers having much more of these, and the thumbs acting the central modifiers if any, and/or the central Compose key, additionally to the space bar. Central means on the Alt keys. Alt itself at this favorite position is counter-productive, it should be moved on Left Windows, this on Apps (Menu), which is not suppressed by a set of netbook manufacturers. If it is, then use the mouse/trackpad.

I believe that at this juncture of imminent climate change and global destruction, we should stick with the existing hardware. For France neither I am not going to propose a completely *new* layout, I will bring something you can use by simply thinking at the little set of useful modifications, even without needing keyboard stickers. A reuse-what-you've-got concept.


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