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Re: Reworking the Keyboard spoke

On Thu, 2014-01-23 at 11:30 -0800, Leslie S Satenstein wrote:
> While addressing keyboard spoke, etc. There are a few points I would
> like to address.
> I would like to bring up a reference to the first Anaconda beta
> version.  On the opening screen where all the languages were listed,
> there was no default keyboard established. The default was later
> selected after choosing the default language. Ergo, we chose the
> language, then on a following spoke we chose the keyboard layout to be
> used for installation. An implicit default was English.
> Regarding keyboard layouts.
> Many newer keyboards(1995) are of a PC105 model, with an extra
> physical key between the Z and the left Shift Key (Qwerty layout) At
> different times I use two keyboards, cafr and Latam. Old keyboards
> were PC101. 
> CAFR . EURO symbol should default to the E key. There is currently no
> Euro symbol on this layout. This is a good location, as many boards
> have the E keytop embossed with that symbol and it is already
> appearing along side the E key  on laptops sold in Quebec Canada. The
> key between Z and left shift contains regular case «» and  on shift,
> an °  

None of this is remotely relevant to the topic at hand. We are
discussing the *selection* of keyboard layouts, not the *definition* of
keyboard layouts.

Fedora does not involve itself in the *definition* of keyboard layouts.
Our keyboard layouts come from the Xkb project -
http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/XKeyboardConfig/ - and the kbd
project - www.kbd-project.org . Those links should provide the
appropriate channels for feedback on details of the existing layouts.
Fedora intentionally does not second-guess the upstreams in these areas,
as they are considered to be the domain experts.

> The missing key bug has been in three successive bugzilla error
> reports (F18,19,20), repeated with each release since Fedora 18. 

You are reporting it to the wrong people.

> Latam  (Latin America) and Canadian French (ca(fr). These keyboards
> have the extra keytop between the Z key and the left shift key. This
> is not shown on the keyboard layout after Fedora 17. (It was OK with
> F17, as it was shown therein, but not with later Fedora versions.)

This is also not relevant to the topic at hand, but for the record, it
is essentially an impossible problem to solve.

There are different keyboard layout preview rendering widgets. Some just
assume a PC104 layout. Some respect the 'XkbModel' setting to determine
which layout to paint - note that in almost all cases, this is the
*only* function of the XkbModel setting in the modern day.

There is, as far as I'm aware, no mechanism by which a keyboard can
signal to the OS what its physical layout is, so we cannot reliably
determine what physical layout your keys have and set 'XkbModel'
correctly so the preview is rendered correctly. We *could* start trying
to guess at the most common physical layout for each logical layout - as
you suggest above, most keyboards for which people would select the
'ca(fr)' logical layout have the PC105 physical layout - but this would
be a huge odyssey of data collection for a very trivial benefit
(correctly rendered keyboard previews), and still would not be 100%
correct, as people can and frequently do use "PC105" layouts on "PC104"
keyboards and vice versa.

anaconda would not be the place, or the team, to do such collection if
it were to be done: the natural place for it would be langtable -
https://github.com/mike-fabian/langtable .

To be clear, the only issue here is the rendering of illustrations of a
keyboard's physical layout. No Xkb or kbd logical layout's behaviour
changes depending on the setting of the XkbModel parameter, to my
knowledge. The 'extra key' will still work and do what the logical
layout configures it to do, whatever that parameter is set to, just as
the Super keys still work if it's set to 101 or 102.

Adam Williamson
Fedora QA Community Monkey
IRC: adamw | Twitter: AdamW_Fedora | XMPP: adamw AT happyassassin . net

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