The real problems with keyboard switching

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/03/07 03:00 -05:00, original URI:

I was at the birds-of-a-feather entitled "Design Principles for A Regional, Multilingual Keyboard" last night.

(More on some of the issues there another day....)

In any case, there was an interesting side conversation that brought into specific relief the real complaints that I have heard from users about the problems that come up when one handles multilingual text entry by switching to other keyboard layouts. The complaints generally fall into three categories:

Suddenly, it hit me that there may be other (and better) ways to try to address much of the above three issues without breaking features like language tagging via the input language.

I am going to keep thinking about this one and maybe I will have more to report on this in the future.

(In the meantime, I will remember that one of the cool things about MSKLC is that you can actually address all three of the above issues in many cases!)

I think it will be good to see what some of the results are with customers who use some of the multilingual keyboards like the ones described in the Swedish and Finnish standards. With so many smart people paying attention to the problem, I believe that only good things can come up in the future....


This post brought to you by "š" (U+0161, LATIN SMALL LETTER S WITH CARON)

Marvin on 8 Mar 2006 2:05 AM:

Regarding your third item I think it is a very important observation. Why should Cyrillic А and Latin A be in a different place? Why Hebrew מ should not be on the same key as the Latin M? Like it or not but there are lots of people whose native keyboard (but not language or place of residence) is the US one and for them "transliteraton" layouts can help a lot.
But note that some people prefer to group letters "phonetically" (for example Cyrillic Х corresponds to Latin H) while others like visual resemblance (and so Х comes with X)
Now thanks to MSKLC I actually can create such layouts that allow me to do what I like and type freely without having to "hunt" for each key ;-)

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referenced by

2011/01/07 Had I known that my last release would be *the* last release..., aka hindsight is 2020

2010/09/13 Olive, the other reindeer, gets to Sort it all Out too....

2008/10/23 Does MS just make up these punctuation-challenged keyboards to piss people off?

2007/06/17 The built-in attempt to support multi-monolingual keyboards is kinda broken

2006/04/25 Why do we call w 'double u' -- doesn't it look more like a 'double v' ?

2006/03/15 Multilingual keyboards and Microsoft Word

2006/03/08 Ideas about loading existing keyboards in MSKLC

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