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Author Topic: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos  (Read 7545 times)

Offline frimical

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[ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« on: May 03, 2010, 06:17:43 AM »
hello  roberts,
can you consider this suggestion please:


   Is it possible to use 'us-acentos.kmap' as the default one?

thank you

Offline curaga

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Re: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 06:52:58 AM »
Why? How does it differ, why would it be better?
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Offline frimical

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Re: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 07:03:15 AM »
I thought of mentionning the reason, but I went concise...

the us-acentos keymap is a normal 'us' keymap + the possibility to type accented letters as found in different other languages like french/spanish or so.
It can be helpful to people they use english and other languages on the same machine without the need to switch keyboard accordingly (it's not practical and not possible sometimes).
 

Offline roberts

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Re: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2010, 01:01:17 PM »
Sounds good.  I have it in there for 3.0 alpha arriving real soon. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Offline maro

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Re: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2010, 07:52:15 PM »
Well, I'm not sure if this is really such a good idea for the majority of the TC users.

Let me first explain that English is not my native language, but that I happen to live since a few years in an English speaking country were computers by default come with an US keyboard layout. Unlike my situation some years ago I have now only a very limited need to use "special characters" for which I might benefit from having a different key map. My experience with key maps is therefore rather limited, and I'm open to be convinced (by sound reasoning) that my observations and conclusions are wrong.

To test what would actually happen if 'us-acentos.kmap' would become the default I started by booting a "plain" TC 2.11 system (no persistence, no backup, i.e. "cloud" mode), installed the 'kmaps.tcz' extension and loaded the kmap with sudo loadkmap < /usr/share/kmap/us-acentos.kmap. I did this before I started the X server (with startx). After a bit of searching I concluded that 'us-acentos.kmap' actually represents the US-International keyboard layout.

This seems to work via the use of so called "dead keys": single quote ('), double quote ("), back tick (`), caret (^) and tilde(~) which can alter the "meaning" of the following key. And there is where the problem starts: I guess it depends how you use your computer, either
  • as a tool to do some "programming",  (e.g. a lot of CLI use which requires those "dead keys" to be used), or
  • as a "glorified typewriter" and to write text containing international (i.e. non-English) characters
In my case it's 99.9% of the former, and I feel hugely annoyed when I'd tried to write for example: a=`echo $b | sed ... and end up with a=ècho $b | sed ... or when I type echo 'a' in a 'xterm' and end up with
Code: [Select]
tc@box:~$ echo ´a´
´a´
At least in my view all these problems (and there are many more cases like this) are not worth breaking with the user experience (at least of what one would have expected how a TC system performs until now). I am aware that I could have prevented some problems by using an additional space key after the "dead key" to eliminate the special meaning, but that would be a significant change of my behavior for no apparent gain. I also noticed differences in behavior whether one uses a 'xterm' or a "console" (e.g. booting TC with bootcode 'text' or using MC instead of TC), but I don't want to go much further with my argument.

I'm therefore pleading to not change the default key map. I guess those users that need an "international" system will have done their setup accordingly. In particular I'm not convinced that changing the key map is the only change required ('xmodmap' comes to mind, or having the right fonts installed etc.)

I admit that other users will see things differently, but maybe we could make things a bit easier in the future for some without breaking it for all the others:
(1) Including 'us-acentos.kmap' in the ISO is not a heavy burden (less than 3k), which would allow to use it via boot code 'kmap=us-acentos' (or something even shorter). OTOH this argument might be a bit of a "slippery slope" which then leads to demands to include the key maps of all "major" languages to be included in Core.
(2) It might be a good idea to offer a simple script (e.g. 'load_kmap') which could shorten sudo loadkmap < /usr/share/kmap/us-acentos.kmap to load_kmap us-acentos.
(3) It might furthermore make sense to store the name of the current key map in a file like '/etc/sysconfig/kmap' to allow (at least to some degree) to find out which key map is currently in operation.

Whilst searching around I also found that another version of "US-international" keyboard layout exists. It uses the 'AltGR' (i.e. right 'Alt' key) as a modifier key (e.g. press 'AltGr' followed by 'double quote' and 'A' to get the 'Ä'). This version would not "mess around" with the use of the "dead keys" as described above. I tested this on a Ubuntu 09.10 system (by starting 'System' -> 'Preferences' -> 'Keyboard', adding in tab 'Layouts' the layout "USA International (AltGR dead keys)" and clicking the 'Apply System-Wide' button). If a suitable '.kmap' file exists for this kind of keyboard layout I'd be in favor to consider this as an alternative.

Edit: Whilst "cleaning up" all the web pages I had loaded whilst doing my "research" I came across a description about what the "evil empire" seems to support (i.e just using 'AltGr' as modifier without the use of "dead keys"). If that could be done via a '.kmap' file it might be even easier. Does anyone know more about it??
« Last Edit: June 07, 2010, 10:28:46 PM by maro »

Offline roberts

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Re: [ SUGGESTION ] default kmap as us-acentos
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2010, 09:12:06 PM »
You raise very good points. We will stay with default us.kmap.
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