US-Intl keymap (was: Re: X server acting funny when displaying remote KDE session)

Stefan Heinzmann
Thu Jun 19 13:11:00 GMT 2003

 --- Alexander Gottwald
<> schrieb: 
> On Wed, 18 Jun 2003, Stefan Heinzmann wrote:
> > Fair enough. What do I need to know (read) in order to
> create
> > that map?
> You need to know how the english international keyboard
> differs
> from the norml english keyboard and extend the us_intl map
> with
> these combinations.

Well, I know how the keyboard differs, but I have
difficulties converting that into the format used by Xfree86.
I did some reading but am not much wiser. Let me first
describe in prose how the keyboard behaves, maybe you can
give me a few tips how to turn that into a keymap file:

The keys are marked exactly as on an ordinary US keyboard (I
have found noone who sells keyboards with the special
characters printed onto the keys). The US-international
keymap is aimed at making most of the symbols in a Latin-1
charset (or the Windows extension of it called CP-1252)
available. It therefore supports the following languages
directly without switching the keyboard layout: French,
Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Portuguese, Italian, Albanian,
Rhaeto-Romanic, Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian,
Finnish, Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, Scottish, English,
Afrikaans and Swahili. The main problem is that the Euro sign
is mapped to code position 0x80, which is only defined in the
Windows extension.

The following 5 keys are dead, that is they combine with the
key typed after it. They provide their literal character when
followed by pressing the space key or a key that does not
combine with it:
  ^ produces ÂÊÎÔÛâêîôû
  ~ produces ÃÑÕãñõ
  ` produces ÀÈÌÒÙàèìòù
  ' produces ÁÇÉÍÓÚÝáçéíóúý
  " produces ÄËÏÖÜäëïöüÿ
Note that the y with diaresis has only a lowercase form and
that the single apostrophe can also be used to form the c
with cedilla. (I hope that the mail system doesn't garble the

The right-hand Alt key is used as a shift-key to produce
alternate characters together with most of the other keys in
the same way as the AltGr key on german keyboards. The left
Alt key keeps is traditional meaning. Below are the
characters that can be produced using this method. The four
lines show the character unshifted, Shift, AltGr, and

¡²³¤€¼½¾‘’¥×¬ äåé®þüúíóö«»áßð     ø¶´æ ©  ñµç ¿
¹  £       ÷¦ ÄÃ
É ÞÜÚÍÓÖ  Á§Ð     Ø°¨Æ ¢  Ñ Ç  

Note that the Euro sign is entered with AltGr-5, but this
will not work with Latin-1 (ISO-8859-1).

Note also that there are a few characters in the Latin-1
character set that can not be entered using the
US-international keymap, for example · or ±. Since there are
a few blank spots in the above 4 lines, it would be
conceivable to fill them with the missing characters so as to
support the complete Latin-1 charset.

In order to turn that into a keymap for Xfree86, I would need
to know a few things:

o  How do I specify which keys a dead key combines with and
what the resulting character is for each of those

o  Each character seems to have a symbolic name which I have
to use in the keymap (such as 'asciitilde'). Where is the
mapping between symbolic name and character code documented?

o  The keys themselves also have symbolic names, where is the
mapping between key scan code and symbolic name documented?

> > have a remote session. And it can't just be a frontend
> for
> > the X tools because I get a display of the layout in the
> > taskbar at the bottom, and I doubt that they bother
> asking
> > the (remote) X server for that info.
> Zou can disable this feature

--^-- Keyboard confusion between US and German? :-)

> and AFAIK the layout changer
> does 
> query the server which layout is currently set. You can
> test
> it by changing the map with setxkbmap.

You're right, there seems to be more to it than I noticed
originally, I'll experiment some more. Deep waters...



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