Input methods at the age of Unicode

Marcel Schneider charupdate at
Thu Jul 16 03:29:11 CDT 2015

On Sat, Jul 11, 2015, at 20:54, Hans Aberg  wrote:

> So for a Cherokee keyboard, as discussed in the video, one would need different images on the keys if one bothers, and a key map.
> One problem here is [...] that it is very time consuming to design such key maps. 

On Wen, Jul 15, 2015, at 16:07, Hans Aberg  wrote:

> > On 15 Jul 2015, at 11:06, Marcel Schneider  wrote:
> > Editing keyboard layouts is a job anybody can tackle who is willing to spend some time for a useful work (as opposed to a set of leisures like gaming, chasing and the like). 
> In mathematics, there are a couple of thousands of characters, including Latin and Greek styles, which would take some time to develop a key map for.

That is of course a hard piece of work. For mathematical symbols, rather than a keymap, I'd prefer a Compose tree.

For natural languages like Cherokee, Spanish, Welsh, English, or all languages together that use a given script, like Cyrillic, Greek, or Latin, developing keymaps is a very grateful job, regardless of the time we finally spend on, because the results will be useful to many people—at the condition that the results are good. Now, the better a keymap, the more it's likely to need time and personal investment (that is, we need to spend supplemental thinking time, additionally to the worktime). Obviously we can't rely on Apple, Google and Microsoft for doing this job, they simply *cannot* afford to spend so much time, which in this case is money, to develop absolutely free products that will never pay back all that money. 

By "pay back all that money" I mean that e.g. Microsoft would sell more Windows licenses for the sake of all the ultra-performative keyboard layouts the OS will be shipped with. I don't believe that things could happen this way. First, Windows will now be distributed as a free update; second, OEMs *cannot* afford neither to raise computer prices for the sake of keyboard layouts; third, these keyboard drivers are so transparent by nature that de facto they're open source; fourth, the goal being that *everybody* come into the benefit of those keyboard layouts, they *must* be shared for free; and last but not least, a keyboard driver is not a good spot to place ads.

This is why *everybody* is invited to tackle this job. The idea is that when we concede to do some good with our personal time (as opposed to gaming or chasing, which are just two examples of time consuming activities that personally I consider as doing no good), then time will stop to be in the foreground when talking about key maps and Compose trees.


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