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(1) Greetings; (2) UK-German (3) US-International-Dvorak

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  • Steven Marzuola
    Greetings. I came across this group today while looking into the following situations. In another Yahoo group focusing on computer problems of interest to
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 7, 2004
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      Greetings. I came across this group today while looking into the
      following situations.

      In another Yahoo group focusing on computer problems of interest to
      translators, a group of us in the USA recommended and defended our
      use of the US keyboard along with the US International keyboard
      layout (in Windows). However, during the discussion the following
      questions came up.

      1. One reader is in the UK but regularly works in German. I'm not
      sure what method he uses for German characters, but he sounded very
      interested in the US International layout. Unfortunately, some of
      the characters available in that layout conflict with the arrangement
      of the keys on a UK keyboard.

      I don't know why he doesn't use a German keyboard, it would seem that
      it would do the job nicely. But anyway:

      Does anybody have any suggestions about a layout that would work for
      this user? It would have the convenience of the US International
      layout (German characters easily available) but intended for a UK
      keyboard.

      2. Somebody else brought up the Dvorak keyboard layout during the
      discussion. I used it a few years ago, and for a couple of reasons
      now is a good time to try it again. My problem is that I often type
      in Spanish, and so I need these characters: áéíóúñ, and ¿¡ to go
      with ?!.

      The US Dvorak keyboard doesn't help with the non-English characters.
      I found a driver that adds a "Latin International Dvorak". It's
      intended for all languages that use the Latin alphabet, and includes
      support for a very large number of languages.

      http://www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml

      Unfortunately, support for all those languages comes at a small
      price; mainly, the ñ and Ñ are less convenient and the ' and - keys
      are reversed (the former removed from the home row).

      What I guess I would like is a "US-International-Dvorak" layout, that
      is closer to the "US-International" layout from Microsoft. Any
      suggestions?

      I want to avoid the ".NET" framework from Microsoft. I'm not a
      regular Bill-Gates basher, but I don't see any need for that piece of
      software.


      Steven Marzuola
      Houston, Texas
      http://www.geocities.com/marzolian/Translation.html
    • P Scott Horne
      1. One reader is in the UK but regularly works in German. I m not sure what method he uses for German characters, but he sounded very interested in the US
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 7, 2004
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        1. One reader is in the UK but regularly works in German. I'm not
        sure what method he uses for German characters, but he sounded very
        interested in the US International layout. Unfortunately, some of
        the characters available in that layout conflict with the
        arrangement
        of the keys on a UK keyboard.

        Which ones, specifically? The US and UK QWERTY layouts are quite similar.

        I don't know why he doesn't use a German keyboard, it would seem
        that
        it would do the job nicely.

        Y and Z are interchanged on a German (QWERTZ) keyboard.

        Unfortunately, support for all those languages comes at a small
        price; mainly, the ñ and Ñ are less convenient and the ' and - keys
        are reversed (the former removed from the home row).

        I am the developer of that layout. It is true that it is not ideal for
        people working primarily in English and Spanish or any other pair of
        languages. My intention was to produce a Dvorak keyboard for those of us
        who use numerous languages. (A QWERTY version is also available, for the
        dactylographically retrograde.) Some 700 characters can be typed with
        relative ease.

        If I were to alter the keyboard for Spanish, I would create a separate key
        for ñ/Ñ and place ¡¿ªº in more convenient places. For German, I would
        definitely create keys for ÄÖÜß, and I might find better locations for the
        German quotation marks.

        I've produced a few custom versions. People with special requirements may
        write to me. The driver as it is is free of charge.

        Scott Horne
        Horne Translations
        www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml
      • Ulf Bro
        Hello, ... It is probably a matter of taste. ... This is absolutely no problem. I have designed a number of Dvorak international keyboards, keeping in mind
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 7, 2004
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          Hello,

          > I don't know why he doesn't use a German keyboard, it would seem that
          > it would do the job nicely. But anyway:
          >
          > Does anybody have any suggestions about a layout that would work for
          > this user? It would have the convenience of the US International
          > layout (German characters easily available) but intended for a UK
          > keyboard.

          It is probably a matter of taste.

          > 2. Somebody else brought up the Dvorak keyboard layout during the
          > discussion. I used it a few years ago, and for a couple of reasons
          > now is a good time to try it again. My problem is that I often type
          > in Spanish, and so I need these characters: áéíóúñ, and ¿¡ to go
          > with ?!.
          >
          > The US Dvorak keyboard doesn't help with the non-English characters.
          > I found a driver that adds a "Latin International Dvorak". It's
          > intended for all languages that use the Latin alphabet, and includes
          > support for a very large number of languages.
          >
          > http://www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml
          >
          > Unfortunately, support for all those languages comes at a small
          > price; mainly, the ñ and Ñ are less convenient and the ' and - keys
          > are reversed (the former removed from the home row).
          >
          > What I guess I would like is a "US-International-Dvorak" layout, that
          > is closer to the "US-International" layout from Microsoft. Any
          > suggestions?

          This is absolutely no problem. I have designed a number of Dvorak
          international keyboards, keeping in mind that the occasional user might not
          want to find anything at all at an unusual place. If you look into the former
          discussions you will see that I suggested classifying international "Dvoraks"
          as Class I, Class II ande Class III depending on how much difference it would
          show to the original Dvorak (not original Dvorak, but Microsoft Dvorak).

          A Class I keyboard would - using this nomenclature - be a keyboard which is in
          no way distinguishable from a Microsoft Dvorak but does add some additional
          features.

          I have designed a German Class I too - just for the fun of it - I never use
          it.

          If you want to design a Dvorak keyboard yourself you have tho following ways
          of doing this:

          On Linux:

          Open a terminal window and enter:
          xmodmap -pke > ~/.Xmodmap.original

          Load this keyboard in you editor and edit it to your heart's desire. Then save
          it as ~/.Xmodmap.new.

          Entering this command:
          xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap.new

          will then give you the new design to work with. If you want the change to
          become permanent then save this file as .Xmodmap

          On Windows:

          Download the freeware Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator. Use the menu to "load
          existing keyboard". In this case load "Dvorak". Edit it and save it.
          Afterwards double click on the saved file and install it. That's it.

          ====

          A class I German and/or Spanish keyboard could be made like this:

          Simply add the feature of an Alt-Gr Key to the right Alt Key. That is what we
          all have here in Europe. That means, the left Alt key is an Alt Key, the
          right Alt key is now an Alt-Gr Key.

          Holding down Alt-Gr and any key on the keyboard gives you the possibility of
          entering characters otherwise not enterable with a Microsoft Dvorak.

          A Spanish keyboard could have:

          É and é on Alt-Gr-E
          Á and á on Alt-Gr-A
          Ú and ú and Alt-Gr-u

          Signs like "¡" (Downward exclamation sign) and "¿" (Downward question mark)
          you can put wherever you like - on Alt-Gr-1 ande Alt-Gr-2, "€" (Euro sign) I
          always have an Alt-Gr-4 and "£" (Pound sign) on Alt-Gr-3 - for example.

          etc.

          You may then determine if you want to have the "Ñ" and "ñ" on the Alt-Gr-N
          (logical but not very nice - on the other hand you don't use this letter
          often) or if you want to put it somewhere else, on Alt-Gr-. (Alt-Gr-Period
          that is). This is not very logical but is fast to type.

          A Class I German keyboard you can make with the same technique:

          Put "Ä" ond Alt-Gr-A etc. Remains of course the "ß" which is not very good to
          have on Alt-Gr-S (although it is of course a logical place to put it). You
          can of course place it somewhere else, just remember where you put it so you
          can find it again.

          ====

          We must at this place notice that this is only a technique that would satisfy
          a "real American" only occasionally writing German or Spanish.

          A "real European" has a keyboard with one extra key on it. It is found on the
          left lower row under the pinky. Europeans may use this key for a dead key and
          then still have a Class I Dvorak keyboard. Americans can't do that because
          they don't have that extra key. This is the place to put "ß", "ñ",
          "EuroSign", "Paragraph (Section) Sign", and all of the other strange things
          we have here in Europe. Don't forget the citation signs (the double quote)
          which are written at the bottom in the beginning of a word and at the top at
          the end of a word if you write German, but if you write French you have
          completely different quoting signs. These are all things to consider.

          ====

          A keyboard which can write BOTH German AND Spanish and does NOT have the extra
          european key at the left pinky is of course a difficult thing to make...
          Honestly I don't understand why anyone should want to make a thing like that,
          but IF you want to, here is the way to do it:

          Put a "dead accent aigu" (dead acute accent) on Alt-Gr-A
          Put a "dead accent grave" (dead grave accent) an Alt-Gr-O
          Put a "dead circonflexe" (dead circumflex accent) on Alt-Gr-E
          Put a "dead tilde" on Alt-Gr-U
          Put a "dead diaeresis" on Alt-Gr-I
          Put a "dead cedilla" on Alt-Gr-' (Alt-Gr-Apostrophe)
          Put "ß" on Alt-Gr-s ande "§" on Alt-Gr-S
          Put Inverted Exclamation, Inverted Question, Pound and EuroSign on Alt-Gr-1
          till Alt-Gr-4.

          You can then write German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian,
          Catalan, and Turkish. What you can't write, of course, is Danish, Swedish,
          Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic and Faeroeic. Therefore you must have another
          design.

          BUT - as I already said - who would want to do such a thing???

          Even if I am a European of flesh and blood and do read and write German,
          Spanish, Danish and Swedish I use a different Dvorak for each. I absolutely
          don't want to sit there all the time and press Alt-Gr keys.

          If you want to study my German layout (which is called Dvorak Bro) you can
          have a look at:

          http://ulf.bro.bei.t-online.de

          Even if the text is in German it should be fairly obvious what the design
          looks like. That is a keyboard design that enables you to write 300
          characters per minute after 6 months of training and it is just as fast as
          the original Microsoft Dvorak. It's exactly as suitable for writing English
          as the original one is. And it can write Spanish, French and Portuguese too.
          It is however a Class III, meaning that it das Period and Colon on the left
          special European key. You need a European keyboard to use this design.
          Otherwise you miss one key.

          Whenever I write Danish or Swedish I switch to a similar design that has
          AE-Ligature, O-Slash, and A-Ring on the place where now Ä, Ö and Ü are. This
          is the fastest way to write Scandinavian.

          ====

          There are many ways of skinning a cat.

          We have had the discussion in this group several times and I have given up
          finding any keyboard that could satisfy all Europeans. The design I have made
          is unique but I believe it is the fastest German Dvorak that exists.


          Ulf
        • P Scott Horne
          Even if I am a European of flesh and blood and do read and write German, Spanish, Danish and Swedish I use a different Dvorak for each. I absolutely don t want
          Message 4 of 10 , Nov 7, 2004
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            Even if I am a European of flesh and blood and do read and write German,
            Spanish, Danish and Swedish I use a different Dvorak for each. I absolutely
            don't want to sit there all the time and press Alt-Gr keys.

            You don't have to. Simply use some of the existing keys as dead keys. My keyboard uses the five keys nearest the backspace as dead keys. I seldom need to use AltGr.

            Scott Horne
            www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml
          • Ulf Bro
            ... Since I work wich Linux things aren t so simple. You can t (so far as I know) program a key to be dead acute accent when pressed once, but bracket left
            Message 5 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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              > You don't have to. Simply use some of the existing keys as dead keys. My
              > keyboard uses the five keys nearest the backspace as dead keys. I seldom
              > need to use AltGr.

              Since I work wich Linux things aren't so simple. You can't (so far as I know)
              program a key to be "dead acute accent" when pressed once, but "bracket left"
              if pressed twice. With a Windows driver this is possible.

              So far I have only considered solutions which were possible for Linux and
              Windows as well. But you are of course right. One can make very attractive
              solutions in that manner.

              Ulf
            • Marc Amans
              ... AFAIK, you need the .NET frameworf for creating a keyboard driver using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, but you don t need it to use it. So if you
              Message 6 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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                Steven Marzuola wrote:

                >What I guess I would like is a "US-International-Dvorak" layout, that
                >is closer to the "US-International" layout from Microsoft. Any
                >suggestions?
                >
                >I want to avoid the ".NET" framework from Microsoft. I'm not a
                >regular Bill-Gates basher, but I don't see any need for that piece of
                >software.
                >
                >
                AFAIK, you need the .NET frameworf for creating a keyboard driver using
                Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, but you don't need it to use it.

                So if you really distrust Microsoft, you could create the keyboard
                driver on an old computer for example and use it on your main computer.
              • P Scott Horne
                That s right. Drivers produced with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator can be installed on any recent version of Windows. Scott Horne Horne Translations
                Message 7 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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                  That's right. Drivers produced with the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator
                  can be installed on any recent version of Windows.

                  Scott Horne
                  Horne Translations
                  www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml


                  _____

                  AFAIK, you need the .NET frameworf for creating a keyboard driver using
                  Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, but you don't need it to use it.








                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • P Scott Horne
                  How about acute accent plus space yields left bracket ? Is that possible under Linux? I don t blame you for creating special layouts for Danish and German.
                  Message 8 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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                    How about "acute accent plus space yields left bracket"? Is that possible under Linux?

                    I don't blame you for creating special layouts for Danish and German. You really want to have keys dedicated to ÄÖÜßÆØÅ if you type primarily in those languages, but there aren't enough keys to spare on the keyboard.

                    Scott Horne
                    Horne Translations
                    www.hornetranslations.com/keyboardsenca.shtml



                    _____

                    From: Ulf Bro [mailto:bro@...]
                    Sent: 8 novembre 2004 03:10
                    To: altkeyboards@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [altkeyboards] How to make a German and an International Dvorak


                    > You don't have to. Simply use some of the existing keys as dead keys. My
                    > keyboard uses the five keys nearest the backspace as dead keys. I seldom
                    > need to use AltGr.

                    Since I work wich Linux things aren't so simple. You can't (so far as I know)
                    program a key to be "dead acute accent" when pressed once, but "bracket left"
                    if pressed twice. With a Windows driver this is possible.

                    So far I have only considered solutions which were possible for Linux and
                    Windows as well. But you are of course right. One can make very attractive
                    solutions in that manner.

                    Ulf


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                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Ulf Bro
                    ... As to my knowledge, I fear this is indeed not possible. I do however only work with the .Xmodmap method of reprogramming the keyboard. There is a newer
                    Message 9 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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                      > How about "acute accent plus space yields left bracket"? Is that possible
                      > under Linux?
                      >
                      As to my knowledge, I fear this is indeed not possible. I do however only work
                      with the .Xmodmap method of reprogramming the keyboard. There is a newer
                      method which I haven't cared to learn (xkb). This is actually the way to go
                      for new keyboard developers because it enables you to choose keyboards in a
                      graphical manner (at least for those who use KDE). On the other hand, the
                      .Xmodmap method is very simple and it does its job.

                      Ulf
                    • Steven Marzuola
                      ... Marc, thanks for the idea. I probably won t do it because as soon as I started making plans to tinker with my keyboard and setup, I have been flooded with
                      Message 10 of 10 , Nov 8, 2004
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                        --- In altkeyboards@yahoogroups.com, Marc Amans <mark.amans@w...>
                        wrote:

                        > > I want to avoid the ".NET" framework from Microsoft. I'm not a
                        > > regular Bill-Gates basher, but I don't see any need for that of
                        > > piece software.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > AFAIK, you need the .NET frameworf for creating a keyboard driver
                        > using Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator, but you don't need it to
                        > use it.
                        >
                        > So if you really distrust Microsoft, you could create the
                        > keyboard driver on an old computer for example and use it on your
                        > main computer.

                        Marc, thanks for the idea. I probably won't do it because as soon as
                        I started making plans to tinker with my keyboard and setup, I have
                        been flooded with new work (I'm a technical translator).

                        As for the .NET framework, it's not so much distrust of Microsoft,
                        it's a disappointment in the inefficiency. For me, the only benefits
                        of this package would be to create a new keyboard layout or to login
                        to Hotmail.

                        I don't get it. It is as if I wanted to upgrade the windshield
                        wipers on my car, or drive in a particular neighborhood of my city.
                        To do this, the manufacturer wants me to replace the transmission.
                        It's free of charge, but I have to leave the car with them overnight
                        and it adds several hundred pounds to the weight of the car.

                        Steven
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