Re: Unicode character entry

On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 6:46 AM, Joe Smith <jes martnet com> wrote:
> Joe Smith <jes <at>> writes:
>> For the past few years using Gnome on Fedora, I have been able to enter
>> arbitrary Unicode characters in any Gnome/Gtk application using
>> Ctrl+Shift+U followed by the character's code point as hex digits.
>> I just upgraded to Fedora 13 which includes Gnome 2.30, and this handy
>> feature seems to have disappeared!
>> ...
>> Is there any way to get the old behavior?
> I was given a method that restores the old behavior for Fedora 13; I
> expect it will work in F12 also. See
> Remove the xim package:
> $ sudo yum remove gtk2-immodule-xim

This is a special input method for GTK+ 2.x apps which says, 'bypass
any gtk+ input methods and simply use the core X Input Method (XIM)
that is provided by the X server.
The X server (Xorg) provides an input method which supports verbatim
all the compose sequences found in
XIM does not support Ctrl+Shift+u, which is a GTK+ feature for the
default gtk+ input method (gtk-im-context-simple).

This Fedora situation which forces XIM for gtk+ applications is
probably either a bug or there must be some special justification for
having it. Normally gtk+ applications use the default gtk+ input
method, and having XIM should be considered simply a regression (and
bug report to fix). If you remove the gtk2-immodule-xim package, what
you get is a workaround around the true problem which is the enabling
of gtk2-immodule-xim. gtk2-immodule-xim should not be the default in

Note that old applications that do not use the gtk+ libraries, such as
'xterm', have no facility to use the GTK+ input methods, so they end
up using the X Input Method (XIM) which is provided by the X server.
All these old apps are being deprecated.

> The script, /etc/X11/xinit/xinput.d/none.conf, checks whether the xim
> package is installed and sets GTK_IM_MODULE=gtk-im-context-simple only
> if xim is not installed.
> Xim was installed with F13, in an en_US locale, and even though no input
> method was configured and xim was not active, its presence on the system
> prevented the gtk-im-context-simple module from being loaded.
> Removing the xim package will change the default for all users on the
> system. A particular user should still be able to configure the ibus
> input methods, but xim will not be available.
> I can still get characters using the compose key as well.
> Creating/modifying ~/.{gnomerc,xinputrc,gtkrc,xinit} did not work for
> me, but I can't say for sure that I correctly spake the necessary
> incantations ;-)
> I still don't know if there is any general policy regarding the default
> input method for Gnome/gtk+. In my experience, many users can benefit
> from a single, standard, documented method for entering characters by
> code point; I hope this will be clarified soon.

This is a situation where if we indeed had a single framework for
input methods that all environments could reused, we would have solved
all issues.
People tried this a few times. For example, IIIMF, was one such candidate.
It had support for many environments such as gtk+ and qt (I think even
for the framebuffer so that you could type in many languages on the
terminal without Xorg!), and I think it was used at some point in the
place of IBus in Fedora.


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