Possible to add new precomposed characters for local language in Togo?

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at wanadoo.fr
Wed Nov 2 19:27:32 CDT 2016

My opinion is that MSKLC should be updated to support chained dead keys
(internally they are supported by the OS), using more keyboard maps.
This way we could enter diacritics in any order and still when typing the
base letter, the result would be the whole combination of characters in NFC
I don't think it is a good reason for encoding the double diacritic itself,
only because of a limitation of MSKLC (but the Windows keymap compiler
supports chained dead keys, it's only the visual editor that does not allow
it) !

2016-11-03 1:05 GMT+01:00 Mats Blakstad <mats.gbproject at gmail.com>:

> After managing to add the keyboard to XKB I started on a new venture of
> trying to make a windows version of the keyboard using this:
> https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/globalization/keyboardlayouts.aspx
> It is nearly impossible to replicate as it seems like you can only add
> dead keys if they have a precomposed character.
> Also, in Togo it is used double tones like these:
> And windows do not even allow dead keys with double symbols...
> So I wonder if it could be a solution for a precomposed double tone?
> So one unicode for tilde+acute and another for tilde+grave?
> The only way we manage to make the keyboard now is to add all the tones
> behind the letters instead of before the letters.
> I think in fact it seems easier than on French keyboard, but it will also
> break the French keyboard when it comes to what order you click buttons to
> add tones.
> I also think it would be a benefit to have the keyboard on windows and
> Ubuntu work mostly the same.
> Not sure if there are any other good ideas for how to solve it?
> On 25 February 2016 at 09:35, Marcel Schneider <charupdate at orange.fr>
> wrote:
>> On Tue, 23 Feb 2016 12:10:51 +0100, Philippe Verdy  wrote:
>> > 2016-02-23 11:21 GMT+01:00 Marcel Schneider :
>> >
>> > > I feel that people coming from―or studying languages of―countries and
>> > > communities on other continents should become able to type their
>> language
>> > > in that script on any computer in France as well as in any other Latin
>> > > script using countries,
>> […]
>> > > The only difference
>> > > between keyboard layouts of Latin script using countries should be
>> varying
>> > > accessibility depending on frequencies of use.
>> > >
>> >
>> > There will remain a resistance for the base layout of letters (basically
>> > QWERTY vs. AZERTY vs QWERTZ) and basic punctuation
>> > For all other characters (including shifted or non-shifted digits,
>> because
>> > this is only an issue on mechanical keyboards, not touche-on-screen
>> > keyboard, and mechanical keyboards almost always have a numeric keypad
>> > anyway), people can adapt easily, provided that the less frequent but
>> > essential punctuation (parentheses, apostrophe, hyphen) can be found on
>> the
>> > key labels, as well as the location of dead keys for all the essential
>> > diacritics.
>> >
>> > Indeed, if there's a new standard for French, there will be new physical
>> > keyboards placing the labels correctly for the essential punctuation,
>> plus
>> > the essential letters combined with diacritics with a single keystroke :
>> > but the later letters are language-dependant and not script-dependant,
>> so
>> > people writing in other languages for the same script may not find them
>> > useful, but should be able to locate the deadkeys to get the full
>> coverage
>> > they need. If a standard is adopted, the set of essential letters
>> combined
>> > with diacritics should be located on a small part of the keyboard that
>> is
>> > the same across all languages of the script, but tuned specifically for
>> a
>> > language (or a few languages of one country).
>> > There will remain keyboard layouts per country differing only on those
>> > locations in this small part, probably reduced to only 5
>> language-dependant
>> > keys (only designed for ease of access, e.g. "éèçàù" in French are very
>> > frequent and will be located in that part, but Italians would like to
>> have
>> > all vowels with acute, Spanish will want to have the "ñ" in this part).
>> On Tue, 23 Feb 2016 10:25:09 -0700, Doug Ewell  replied:
>> > Philippe Verdy wrote:
>> >
>> > > There will remain a resistance for the base layout of letters
>> > > (basically QWERTY vs. AZERTY vs QWERTZ) and basic punctuation
>> >
>> > Philippe is absolutely right here. Most of us on this list are
>> > character-set and i18n wonks, and some of us have customized our own
>> > keyboard layouts, but we should not delude ourselves into thinking we
>> > represent ordinary users. Many people are emotionally tied to a
>> > particular keyboard layout and become very confused when faced with
>> > something different. Trying to persuade them to adopt a "universal"
>> > keyboard, so they can type characters in a language they may not know,
>> > is an exercise in social frustration.
>> On Wed, 24 Feb 2016 01:38:59 +0100, Philippe Verdy  replied:
>> > And this is demonstrated since long by the epxerience of alternate
>> > "ergonomic" layouts, used by very few people.
>> >
>> […]
>> >
>> > We'll continue to live for long with the 3 basic layouts for Latin
>> > AZERTY, QWERTZ). And nothing will really change without a strong
>> national
>> > standard that will convince manufacturers to propose it at normal
>> prices,
>> > and force software vendors to include it in the builtin layouts for
>> their
>> > OSes.
>> When I wrote: «The only difference […] should be […]», I swapped over
>> into an ideal world… let alone that the historic swap from QWERTY to AZERTY
>> was triggered by an «accessibility» issue based «on frequencies of use». My
>> purpose being not to *enforce* ergonomics as about the alphabetical layout,
>> I fully agree with Mats Blakstad, whose «method of extending the main
>> layout is likely to be the only useful one» as I wrote in the same
>> e-mail―and with Doug Ewell and Philippe Verdy, whose valuable contributions
>> came on to sustain.
>> All parts of the Latin script as provided by Unicode, that are not used
>> to write local and national languages e.g. of Togo, or of France, may be
>> hidden as on keytops, but accessible on software side, i.e. in the layout
>> driver or in the configuration files. One other challenge in Togo would be
>> how to give easy access to the seven supplemental letters Ɛ, Ɩ, Ɔ, Ǝ, Ʋ, Ʊ
>> and Ŋ, while the five French precomposed letters are to be maintained, let
>> alone Œ and Æ―the latter being rather seldom in French however―that are
>> part of the new governmental requirements in France, among other characters
>> like the angle quotation marks, called guillemets-chevrons[1].
>> Generally talking, I canʼt help believe that providing the ability to
>> type any Latin script using language on any Latin keyboard would be a good
>> idea. Again, that is feasible without overloading the keyboard with dead
>> keys, just providing the most frequently used ones, six in Togo as I can
>> see.
>> Marcel
>> [1] Vers une norme française pour les claviers informatiques - Langue
>> française et langues de France - Ministère de la Culture et de la
>> Communication. (2016, January 15). Retrieved January 19, 2016, from
>> http://www.culturecommunication.gouv.fr/Politiques-ministerielles/Langue-
>> francaise-et-langues-de-France/Politiques-de-la-langue
>> /Langues-et-numerique/Les-technologies-de-la-langue-et-
>> la-normalisation/Vers-une-norme-francaise-pour-les-claviers-informatiques
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