From: Erkki I. Kolehmainen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jan 04 2010 - 18:16:02 CST
I'd like to point out that a nearly completed work by the CEN Workshop on Funtional Multilingual Extensions to European Keyboard Layouts (MEEK) is available as document N43 at the MEEK website http://www.csc.fi/english/pages/meek.
This work was preceded by the work that led to the publication of the Finnish national standard SFS 5966, Keyboard layout: Finnish-Swedish multilingual keyboard setting.
The need for the new Finnish-Swedish keyboard layout was highly practical: Since the European single market allows for free movement of people and goods, one should be able to correctly enter the names of people, places, products, and companies and other legal entities in a consistent, easily comprehensible manner. Since the requirement is not just for public authorities or linguists, the design is based fully on the prior Finnish-Swedish de facto keyboard layout, in order not to introduce disturbing changes to the users, especially if they don't feel like needing the new functionality. Since the local keyboard has traditionally employed the dead key method, this has been extended to all relevant diacritics as well as the stroke. In addition, all Latin letters used in the official EU languages (in addition to the Nordic minority or regional languages) are included, as well as a number of useful punctuation marks. Several implementations of the new standard have been available for quite some time.
(The standard also defines the option to place the diacritics after the base character, thus allowing e.g. the Lithuanianian accented characters to be entered, although they have not been encoded as precomposed characters.)
Since similar requirements exist in all EU member countries, the MEEK Workshop was set up to document the considerations and possible guidance on how to extend existing national keyboard layouts to meet these requirements, especially for the Latin script. It should be noted that most European keyboards (other than UK) traditionally employ the dead key method. For this reason, the functionality of the Finnish standard is summarized as an example in annex 1 of the MEEK document. Other approaches are also described in the document.
Erkki I. Kolehmainen
Tilkankatu 12 A 3, FI-00300 Helsinki, Finland
Puh. (09) 4368 2643, 0400 825 943; Tel. +358 9 4368 2643, +358 400 825 943
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