Wogb3 j3k3: Pre-Unicode substitutions for extended characters live on

Marcel Schneider charupdate at orange.fr
Fri Oct 14 08:17:14 CDT 2016

On Tue, 11 Oct 2016 15:52:20 +0000, Don Osborn wrote:
> The problem is input systems, not availability of fonts as it once was. Keyboard
> layouts exist for Ga and other Ghanaian languages, and these enable typing needed
> extended Latin characters. But a number of them, including possibly all for mobile
> devices, work by substituting selected key assignments, which in the case of
> multilingual text would apparently mean switching keyboards to accommodate
> characters not present in both/all languages used. Not ideal.

AIUI, what is drawing people away from getting able to efficiently input 
Extended Latin alongside with Basic Latin, is the fear of becoming unable 
to efficiently input digits as soon as these donʼt show up in the Base shift 
state any longer.

Thus IMHO it could be interesting for many more of the worldʼs languages 
to see that there is a good reason to depart from the typical layout pattern 
that has the digits in the Base shift state, and to see that this is in 
practice feasible inside the system input framework, which doesnʼt have 
so much of the severe limitations that are often pointed. These mainly 
result from the appearance that the Windows keyboarding framework is given 
in the MSKLC UI, while the author of this useful software himself invited 
his users to expand the features by using the included Keyboard Table 
Generation Tool (Unicode) 3.40.
So do I, FWIW.

While still being very busy with the French keyboard layouts that Iʼm 
working on, Iʼm already able to share one more feature for keyboards that 
have the 102d/105th key, next to left Shift. It is obtained by mapping on 
this key e.g. the 0x10 modifier, and by allocating this new level to an 
emulated numerical keypad with hex digits beside Arabic digits, a comma 
key beside the decimal separator dot key, double and triple zero keys, 
the zero doubled on VK_0 to complete and to facilitate input of binary 
numbers, with % and $ and much more, and U+202F on the space bar. 
In many languages, this is used as a tousands separator, and in all 
languages before the unit (as in ‘1,234.56 $’).

This new “Num” modifier is optional, as is the extra key proper to ISO 
keyboards. But I strongly recommend to always add the extra toggle Iʼve 
already mentioned, on key E00 (or instead of Capitals Lock if this is 
disliked in the target locale). 

I believe that such keyboards will address the issue.

Best regards,


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