Re: Updating gtkimcontextsimple.c (bug #321896)

Tor Lillqvist wrote:
 Unicode's combining characters are
 supposed to be typed after the base letter, while dead keys are typed  before.

I don't think how you *type* stuff on a keyboard is something Unicode
attempts to say anything about. What Unicode says about combining
characters is that in a stream of Unicode code points (like in
computer memory, or other storage medium, or in a communication
stream) they combining characters follow the base character.
I think *I* wrote that fragment above.
I was talking in the context of keyboard layouts in xkeyboard-config, and how the end-user types in order to get the resulting characters (either combining marks or precomposed). This is the existing behaviour, when implementing a keyboard layout.
I don't see any problem in having various software layers handle dead
keys so that they turn into combining characters which then are placed
in the generated stream of Unicode code points *after* the base letter
which they apply to.
I think the design question here is whether to enable any combination of combining characters/dead keys (max 4 + 1 base character), or only allow those that are used in scripts (we would need to provide appropriate tables for this). This decision would be for the default behaviour of GTK+ (not as a special input method module).

I really want to hear a third opinion on this.

 - Users expect their already existing dead keys to act as dead keys,
  i.e. be typed before the base letter on which to put the accent.
 - Users don't see the technical difference between î and n̂: it's just
  letters with circumflex above (be they precomposed or not).  And so
  they will very naturally want to just use the existing dead key to
  type n̂.

I fully agree with these points.


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