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

Philippe Verdy via Unicode unicode at
Tue Jan 30 01:18:49 CST 2018

I have always wondered why Microsoft did not push itself at least the five
simple additions needed since long in French for the French AZERTY LAYOUT:

 - [AltGr]+[²] to produce the cedilla dead key (needed only before capital
C in French) : this is frequently needed, the alternative would be
[AltGr]+[C] to map "Ç" without the dead key; spell checkers forget the
frequent words: Ça or Ç'.

 - [AltGr]+[1&] to produce the acute accent dead key (similar to
[AltGr+7è`] giving the grave accent deadkey) : this is the most frequent
missing letter we need all the time.

 - [AltGr]+[O] to produce "œ" (without ShiftLock or CapsLock mode enabled),
or "Œ" (in ShiftLock or CapsLock mode), and [AltGr]+[Shift]+[O] to produce "Œ"
(independantly of [ShiftLock] which is disabled by [Shift], but without
[CapsLock]) or "œ" (independantly of [CapsLock], but without [ShiftLock]) :
this is needed occasionnaly for very few common words, the most frequent
omission is "Œuf" or its plural "Œufs".

 - [AltGr]+[A] to produce "æ" (without ShiftLock or CapsLock mode enabled),
or "Æ" (in ShiftLock or CapsLock mode), and [AltGr]+[Shift]+[O] to produce "
Æ" (independantly of [ShiftLock] which is disabled by [Shift], but without
[CapsLock]) or "æ" (independantly of [CapsLock], but without [ShiftLock]) :
this is rarely needed, except for a few words borrowed from Latin used in
biology or some legal/judiciary terminology.

 - Adding Y to the list of allowed letters after the dieresis deadkey to
produce "Ÿ" : the most frequent case is L'HAŸE-LÈS-ROSES, the official name
of a French municipality when written with full capitalisation, almost all
spell checkers often forget to correct capitalized names such as this one.

This would allow typing French completely including on initial capitals.
All other French capital letters can be typed (ÂÊÎÔÛ with the circumflex
dead key, ËÏÜŸ with the dieresis dead key which already allows ÄÖ not
needed for French but for Alsatian or some names borrowed from German).

But we have mappings already in the AZERTY layout for:
 - the tilde as a dead key on [AltGr]+[2é~], even if it is not used for
French but only for "ñ" or "Ñ" in names from Spanish or Breton, " ÃÕ" not
needed at all, /ãõ/ needed only for standard French IPA phonetics where we
still can't type /ɑɡʀɔɲ/ for French phonetics
 - the grave accent as a dead key on [AltGr]+[7è`], needed for "ÀÈ" but
allowing also "ÌÒÙ" not used at all in French.

There's not any good rationale in the French AZERTY layout to keep it
incomplete on capitals while maintaining other capital letters with
diacritics composed with dead keys but not needed at all in French, except
the case of "ŸœŒ" missing from ISO 8859-1 but present in Windows-1252.


Using the Windows "Charmap" accessory with the "Unicode" charset and
"Latin" subset is still too difficult to locate the missing letters, as it
is only sorted by code point value but still does not cover all Latin
letters; the Windows "Charmap" tool is usable for French only when
selecting the Windows-1252 charset (aka "Windows : Occidental").

But I don't understand why this accessory cannot simply add some rows at
top of the table for the current language selected on the "Languages Bar",
or why it does not simply features the complete alphabet of the current
language, sorted correctly according to CLDR rules for that language (not
sorted randomly by code point value) to make it really usable. If we select
another subset, it should also be sortable according to language rules (or
CLDR default root otherwise) and not according to code point value: this
could be a simple checkbox or a pair of radio buttons (binary sort, or
alphabetic sort).

Finally, the Charmap tool should be updated to add missing characters that
are not covered in the "Unicode" charset selection, even if they are
encoded in Unicode and really mapped in fonts: the coverage of proposed
"subsets" is an extremely old version of Unicode.

2018-01-30 6:31 GMT+01:00 Marcel Schneider via Unicode <unicode at>

> OnMon, 29 Jan 2018 11:13:21 -0700, Tom Gewecke wrote:
> >
> > > On Jan 29, 2018, at 4:26 AM, Marcel Schneider via Unicode  wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > the Windows US-Intl
> > > does not allow to write French in a usable manner, as the Œœ is still
> > > missing, and does not allow to type German correctly neither due to
> > > the lack of single angle quotation marks (used in some French locales,
> > > too, and perhaps likely to become even more widespread). Of course
> > > these are all on the macOS US-Extended.
> >
> > They are also all on the MacOS "US International PC", provided since
> 2009 by Apple
> > for Windows users who like US International.
> I suppose that this layout ships with the Windows emulation that can be
> run on a Mac.
> Itʼs hard to find through especially when I canʼt see the layout or find
> on the internet.
> Thanks anyway. They seem to be always first, and then, other wendors canʼt
> copy nor
> invent something else people wonʼt like.
> >
> > œ Œ are on alt and alt-shift q
> >
> > ‹› are on alt-shift 3/4
> Then this is ported from the Apple US layout, where these characters are
> in the same
> places. However that does not include correct spacing, as required for
> French.
> >
> > (US Extended has also been renamed ABC Extended back in 2015)
> Presumably because it is interesting for many locales worldwide accustomed
> to the
> US QWERTY layout. That tends to prove that Mac users accept changes, while
> Windows users refuse changes. However I fail to understand such a
> discrepancy.
> Regards,
> Marcel
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