Keyboard layouts and CLDR

Marcel Schneider via Unicode unicode at
Wed Jan 31 16:44:05 CST 2018

On Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:05:17 +0100, Philippe Verdy wrote:
> Another idea: you can already have multiple layouts loaded for the same
> language : For French, nothing prohibits to have a "technical/programmer
> layout", favoring input of ASCII, a "bibliographic/typographical" one with
> improved characters (e.g. the correct curly apostrophe);

Czech, Polish and Romanian have Programmer layouts shipped with Windows 7.
But more than one single and easy keypress to switch between is inefficient.
And a French Programmer layout as I see it cannot be called French, and the 
Programmer mode is needed as an ALtGr Lock on the upper row digits for convenience.
Nothing of all these requirements is met by proposing two distinct layouts.

> the technical/programmer layout has the spell-checker disabled by default,
> while the other has a spell checker enabled by default: whever to activate
> the spell checker or not will depend on software where it is enable, but it
> will switch automatically it on or off according to the state defined by
> changing the layout for the same language.

I donʼt really see the point of spell-checking. Usually their libraries are so poor 
they donʼt even make the equivalence between U+2019 and U+0027. For me it 
suffices to see wavy underlines in the Google search bar. (And fortunately I 
donʼt do many searches a day with the Google search *bar.*)

> Switching from one layout to another is easy with the Language bar, this
> means that even if you keep the first layout unchanged to match the
> national standard, additional layouts can be tuned specifically.

The Language bar is a good feature, but it has little to do with what I try to achieve 
with the Programmer toggle. Itʼs part of the layout like CapsLock on bicameral layouts. 
Imagine that you had to toggle between a lowercase layout and an uppercase layout, 
and you understand why switching back and forth between two layouts is unpractical,
though many users must actually rely on it. Surely that impacts productivity, and 
therefore, all non-Latin scripts are sort of digitally disadvantaged. What we need is a 
real layout toggle on our keyboards. As most scripts are unicase, the CapsLock key 
is the best candidate. (The more as many Latin script users hate CapsLock.) And 
those locales that require typing in uppercase usually have also the ISO B00 key, 
where CapsLock can be mapped. (Too bad that US-QWERTY is lacking key B00.)

> For French fortunately there are two ISO 639-2 codes "fra" and "fre"
> (technical and bibliographic) which allows also defining the code "FRA" or
> "FRE" to display in the language bar (users should be able to tune the
> abbreviation or icon or emoji displayed in the language bar when they
> switch languages or input layouts, even if there are defaults, and Windows
> can infer a non-conflicting visual identification by adding a digit to the
> ISO 639-2 or -3 code (which would be the same as the layout ordering number
> in the list of loaded layouts, and used in shortcuts like CTRL+ALT+F1...F9). 

Isnʼt the fre/fra alternative linguistic only, like gre/ell? 
Otherwise, every non-ASCII language writing system should have two codes.
And it isnʼt as if tech writers shouldnʼt use correct French orthography.



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