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keyboard layouts

From: Carles Pina i Estany
Subject: keyboard layouts
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 2010 21:47:43 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)


I'm looking again to the keyboard layouts task.

- Use the X11 layouts that usually are in /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols .
- Create a new module that reads the layout from an environtment variable.

* Approach 1
The module will load the layout from /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/XX
replacing the array map that currently exists in

Negative points:
-Grub needs acces to /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols to load the
-xkb files doesn't look specially nice to parse (I think that I prefer
the .mo files :-) ). They are text files easy to understand for humans

* Approach 2
Small program (I guess that you prefer C, Python would be nice too) that
when Grub is installed would process the /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols
files and generates the files that Grub will read. Code to read this
files would be much easier than before.

This way, the layout tables could stay in /boot/grub/layouts . These
files would look like keycode - symbol pairs. Everything already in
binary, and only for the things that differ from English.

So, if a layout has 40 different keycode-symbol pairs compared with
English, this would be 80 bytes per layout. Probably will be more, but
it should be of this order of magnitude.

* End of Approach 2

Opinions? What I'm forgetting?

Here appeared some suggestions:

Like Shift+Caps Lock could write special symbols, or the very advanced
(combo, dead-keys) things. I will consider it, now I'm mainly thinking
about the basic layout.

Carles Pina i Estany

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