Why Bengali keyboards can't be found on XP 64 bit

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/05/10 15:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2008/05/10/8484238.aspx

One of the interesting benefits of reading this blog is that it can provide answers to questions that you run across later.

For example, I got mail the other day that was forwarding a question from someone:

A friend was happily using the Bengali language keyboard on XP SP2 (32 bit) until he moved to the 64 bit version on a new box (more RAM).   He’s able to see most other Indian lang keyboards except the Bengali one.  He found kbdinben.dll was missing in the 64 bit box.    He tried to grab the dll from the 32 bit box and manually registering it, which didn’t resolve the issue.

Anyone faced a similar issue, know a workaround or know someone in the XP team that can help?

There are actually several different issues going on here.

The first one is that of course that keyboard DLLs are not really suject to regsvr32.exe for manual registration.

Though this doesn't matter since 32-bit keyboard DLLs won't work on a 64-bit platform (people may recall how is what led to the MSKLC 1.4 update).

And of course it is a violation of the license agreement to copy the DLLs around anyway, though the fact that they won't work does seem like the biggest deterrent here. :-)

Note the licensing issue would also apply to fonts!

And there is the fact that one of the tricks of XP 64 bit is that it was built out of the Server 2003 source tree, not the XP one.

Remember back in December of 2005 when I mentioned that ELKs aren't roaming where the servers are?

It's funny, I never mentioned it but it was right after I posted this that I was told that contrary to prior discussion, there were going to be additions here. If only they had told me, I probably would have worded that post a little differently. Though after the blog was published anything I wrote would have sounded like a possible announcement, so I decided to keep quiet!

Then in April of 2007 in Don't forget to reboot, please, in the context of describing a bug I casually mentioned

Well, I guess you could blame it on Service Pack 1 of Server 2003....

ELKs aren't roaming where the servers are?

Well, they fixed that and added a whole bunch of ELKs to Server 2003.

That means they added a whole bunch of registry keys saying that these locales were present and an updated locale.nls that contains the data for those locales.

People didn't really notice that I didn't really get deeper into it --  I didn't give the list of ones that were added.

I'll do that now:

Impressive list?

Well, yes -- everything from XP I had mentioned before in Lions and tigers and bearsELKs, Oh my! and ELK stampede!, with the exception of two entries:

The reason these two were left out? Well, there was no Uniscribe language update in SP1, so there was no good way to add support for the shaping. So with both of them not able to be supported, adding keyboards and fonts for them wouldn't make that much sense.

But now you have why there is no Bengali keyboard layout on Server 2003 SP1.

And from there you have why it does not exist on XP 64-bit, either.

Now using MSKLC 1.4 you can create the keyboard (you can even base it on the Bengali keyboard from an XP or Vista platform where it works), but this does not give you the locale, the font, or the Uniscribe support -- so you do have other work to do beyond just building a keyboard layout. So this could be a case where even providing the answer may not help to enable the situation to work.

Sorry about that.

But if nothing else it finally got me to print that ELK list from Server 2003 SP1!

This blog brought to you by(U+09ac, aka BENGALI LETTER BA)

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