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

Alastair Houghton via Unicode unicode at
Tue Jan 30 04:20:46 CST 2018

On 30 Jan 2018, at 05:31, Marcel Schneider via Unicode <unicode at> wrote:
> 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.

No.  It’s included as standard with the macOS itself.  Go to System Preferences, choose “Keyboard”, then “Input Sources”.  Click the “+” button at the bottom left, then enter “PC” in the search field and you’ll see there are a range of “PC” layouts.

>> œ Œ are on alt and alt-shift q
>> ‹› are on alt-shift 3/4

More of a nitpick than anything, but Apple keyboards have *Option*, not “alt”.  Yes, some (but not all) keyboards’ Option keys have an “alt” annotation at the top, but that was added AFAIK for the benefit of people running PC emulation (or these days, Windows under e.g. VMWare Fusion).  The “alt” annotation isn’t on the latest keyboards (go look in an Apple Store if you don’t believe me :-)).

> 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.

Not sure what you mean about spacing.  That, surely, is a matter mainly for the software you’re using, rather than for a keyboard layout?

>> (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.

I don’t think it’s the users.

I think, rather, that Apple is (or has been) prepared to make radical changes, even at the expense of backwards compatibility and even where it knows there will be short term pain from users complaining about them, where Microsoft is more conservative.  This pattern exists across the board at the two companies; the Windows API hasn’t changed all that much since Windows NT 4/95, whereas Apple has basically thrown away all the work it did up to Mac OS 9 and is a lot more aggressive about deprecating and removing functionality even in Mac OS X/macOS than Microsoft ever was.

This is exemplified, actually, by the length of time Microsoft keeps backwards compatibility layers, versus the length of time Apple does so.  The WoW subsystem is (I think) still part of the 32-bit builds of Windows, so they can still run Windows 3.1 software, DOS software and so on (i.e. software back to the 1980s).  Apple, on the other hand, dropped support for “Classic” Mac apps back in 10.4 and has never supported running PowerPC classic apps on any Intel machine.  Indeed, six years ago now, in Mac OS X 10.7, Apple dropped support for running PowerPC apps built for Mac OS X, which basically means that software Mac users bought to run on their older PowerPC-based Macs is now not usable on new machines.

Kind regards,



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