Accessing the WG2 document register

Doug Ewell doug at
Mon Jun 15 10:46:02 CDT 2015

Marcel Schneider <charupdate at orange dot fr> wrote:

> This makes me remember the idea I got about ISO when I considered the
> ISO/IEC 9995 standard. This standard specifies that on all keyboards,
> there should be a so-called common secondary group, and that this
> secondary group should contain all the characters that are on the
> keyboard but aren't for a so-called strictly national use.  This
> sounds to me as if it were fascistic or neofascistic.

Please read the history of attempts to standardize keyboard layouts
across national boundaries. National standard bodies have always
insisted on their particular differences in layout (Q/A, W/Z, Y/Z) and
convenient access to characters specific to their languages. This is not
imposed from the outside.

> The way this secondary group is accessed seems rather complicated and
> been engineered in disconnect from actual OSs and keyboard drivers.
> The result was that when it went on to be implemented on Windows, the
> secondary group was not accessed like specified but as Kana levels,
? which is very consistent with a real keyboard. But in the meantime,
> this ISO/IEC 9995 standard wastes a whole shift state by excluding it
> simply from use, on the pretext that you need to press more than two
> keys: Shift + AltGr + another key. This restriction to a maximum
> number of two simultaneously pressed keys was so fancy Microsoft
> didn't bother about. Really, to enter a character from the second
> level of the secondary group, you need to press Shift + Kana + another
> key.  That's all OK, but the ISO/IEC 9995 standard is *not*. 

At least it was possible to implement the old ISO 9995-3 standard on
Windows, treating Group 2, Levels 1 and 2 as if they were Group 1,
Levels 3 and 4 -- in other words, by using AltGr and Shift+AltGr.

The new ISO 9995-3 standard isn't implemented anywhere, and can't be as
long as no specification exists to access the additional groups and
shift states without adding more physical keys. "Figure it out for
yourself" is not a specification.

Doug Ewell | | Thornton, CO ����

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