Keyboard layouts and CLDR (was: Re: 0027, 02BC, 2019, or a new character?)

Doug Ewell via Unicode unicode at
Mon Jan 29 17:07:11 CST 2018

Marcel Schneider wrote:

> Prior to this thread, I believed that the ratio of Windows users
> liking the US-International vs Mac users liking the US-Extended was
> like other “Windows implementation” vs “Apple implementation” ratios.

For many users, it may not be a question of what they like, but rather
(a) what they are aware of, (b) what comes standard with their Windows
installation, and (c) in the workplace, what their IT overlords have
granted them permission to use.

I use a modified version of John Cowan's "Moby Latin" layout on all my

which allows me to type about 900 characters *in addition* to Basic
Latin, with 100% backward compatibility with U.S. English (i.e. none of
the apostrophe and quotation-mark shenanigans we are talking about). But
(a) I happen to know about Moby Latin, (b) it doesn't ship with Windows,
and (c) I am able to install it (and even modify it). Many users do not
have all or even any of these luxuries.

There is perhaps another factor: many Americans, who are probably the
majority users of US-International though not the only ones, simply do
not know or care about accents and other "foreign stuff." Even those who
know a language other than English often write it in ASCII, and see it
that way in marketing and other professionally created material. For
example, menus in Mexican restaurants often list "albondigas" and

The non-phonetic spelling of English may further encourage English-only
speakers to ignore the squiggles and dots that are necessary to indicate
correct pronunciation of other languages.

Given that, interest among potential users of US-International to find a
better solution is probably very low.

> If so many people like it, why was Windows Intl not updated, then?

1. I'd be surprised if there were "so many people," or much demand to
update it. Microsoft might have a few other items on their backlogs.

2. I don't speak for Microsoft, but there is often fear of making
changes to existing standards, even changes that fill in holes in the
standard. Users who type a formerly invalid sequence and get a valid
character, instead of the beep or question mark they once got, and
complain about the change, might seem to be a low-priority constituency,
but you'd be surprised.

> To like a particular layout does not mean to want to stick with it
> when anything better comes up. Userʼs choice is always respected.

See above regarding what users might like if only they had a choice.
Doug Ewell | Thornton, CO, US |

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