Many keyboard problems fixed

I installed Mandrake 9.0rc1 yesterday, and it's a huge improvement 
over 8.2. KDE is also greatly improved in version 3. Thank you, and 
everyone else involved.

In particular, the keyboard handling is much improved. I can now type 
in kmail and other applications using almost all of the buit-in 
non-Latin keyboards with a Unicode font, thus

Arabic ش س ي ب
Armenian ջվգեՋՎԳԵ
Bengali োে্িওএঅই
Burmese ဩဧ္ိဩဧအဣ
Georgian ასდფ
Greek ασδφΑΣΔΦ
Gujarati ો ે ્ િ ઓ એ અ ઇ
Gurmukhi ੋ ੇ ੍ਿ ਓ ਏ 
Hindi  कोतेच्िौैाीूब
Inuktitut ᖑᐅᖁᑯ
Iranian (Farsi) ش س ی ب
Israeli (Hebrew) שדגכ
Russian фываФЫВА
Tamil ோே்்ிஓஏஅஇ
Thai ฟหกดฤฆฏโ
Ukrainian фіваФІВА

and other language keyboards using the same writing systems, 
especially Cyrillic.

Remaining issues:

 I don't know how to get the Japanese keyboard to give me kana or 
kanji. But I have installed the various CJK IMEs and will be testing 
them, as well. I will need some help to know which programs work with 
which IMEs. I look forward to adoption of the Li18nux standard for 
CJK IMEs, and its incorporation into future application releases.

The fact that I can type on a keyboard does not mean that the result 
will be displayed correctly. I need help to find out whether 
applications running on Mandrake can give acceptable results in the 
Asian scripts with complex rendering requirements.

The xkb options in the KDE keyboard control module are undocumented. 
Do any of them relate to setting a compose key?

These changes in Mandrake are not necessarily in other Linux 

We still need to finish Pango or Graphite for rendering, get fonts 
with the correct conjuncts for the Indic scripts, and add the missing 
keyboards. I believe the immediate ToDo list now is Oriya, Kannada, 
Malayalam, Telugu, Lao, Sinhala, Khmer, Tibetan, Mongolian, Ethiopic, 
Cherokee, and Thaana. I want a Yiddish keyboard, too, and I'm working 
on an APL font and keyboard. An IPA keyboard would be very helpful. 
I'm willing to leave Deseret, Shavian, and so on to another day, but 
I wouldn't complain if anybody else felt impelled to do that work 
right away.

Pablo wrote previously:
>I have such descriptions for Malayalam (taken from the XFree86 ml),
>Lao and Mongolian (in cyrillic); I included in upcoming MDK 9.0 the
>keyboards mal, lao, mng.

Excellent. What will the Mongolian/Mongolian keyboard be called?

>Probably Oriya, Kannada and Telugu follow the same general layout of 
>indian keyboards, but I'm not sure.

I'm volunteering my time to coordinate the data gathering. Should we 
set up a mailing list specifically for keyboard development? If we 
do, I would want to invite Windows and Mac users, too. I assume that 
it would be possible (though certainly not trivial) to translate a 
Keyman definition for a Windows keyboard into Microsoft's C language 
keyboard source format and get it compiled, if anybody has the MSDN 
data on it. Mac keyboards are now defined in XML. (How civilized!)

Edward Cherlin
New Maintainer, Unicode HOWTO

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