AW: 'de' keyboard layout issues (Re: AW: AW: AltGr key mostly fires an additional CONTROL key)

Wed Aug 10 12:12:00 GMT 2011

On 09/08/2011 00:17, Paul Maier wrote:
> 1. Tilde sign
> -------------
>>> Tilde sign (~) should be a normal (not a blind) key.
>>>     In Windows I hit AltGr+"+" to get ~, in XWin I need to type AltGr+"+" then space to
>> get a ~.
>>>     See attachment for the initial XWin xmodmap -pke table.
>>>     Possible xmodmap correction (works fine):
>>>     keycode  35 = plus asterisk plus asterisk asciitilde
>> This is a can of worms I don't want to open :-)

In case it wasn't clear, the can of worms here is ensuring that XWin selects a 
keyboard layout which matches the Windows one in all cases.

>> At the moment, in the 'de' layout, the tilde deadkey will add a macron
>> diacritic, e.g. AltGr + "+" + a = ã.

Obviously I meant to write 'tilde diacritic' here :-)

>> I really lack the expertise to determine if this is a bug in xkeyboard-config
>> (if this german keyboard behavior is something no german keyboard user would
>> ever expect or want)
>> The xkb configurations we use come from the xkeyboard-config project, and
>> aren't trying to be identical to Windows, but to conform to the appropriate
>> national standards and user expectations.
>> However, I can see in the case of XWin this is problematic, as it will be
>> confusing to switch between X and normal Windows windows which have different
>> keyboard behavior.
> I did some research: German computer keyboard layout is defined in DIN 2137-2.
> And to my surprise I found, that tilde is a dead key there.
> That means, that the xkeyboard-config project perfectly matches the DIN norm,
> while Windows (where the key is not dead) does not match it.
> So I understand, that you may want to stick to the DIN norm.

Usability comes before standards compliance :-)

> A workaround for guys like me, who want the XWin keyboard work the same like Windows,
> is possible with xmodmap, so yeah ... let's close this point.

Doing some more research, I found an upstream bug [1], which seems to make the 
opposite claim about DIN 2137-2(1998)

I also discovered that the nodeadkeys variant of the de layout was at one 
stage the default used by XWin when a German Windows keyboard layout was 
reported [2]

Maybe the 'correct' solution is possibly to create a 'nodeadtilde' variant of 
the de layout in xkeyboard-config, and then to arrange for that to be the 
default used by XWin when Windows reports a German keyboard layout.

Perhaps you'd like to try the attached patch to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/de, 
which adds a nodeadtilde variant, which you can then select with -xkbvariant 

Or perhaps the correct solution is to use one of the existing deadgraveacute 
or deadacute variants as the XWin default when Windows reports a German 
keyboard layout?


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