Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spanish keyboard, dead ~ or not?

If you are using a Spanish keyboard layout, you may have noticed that in some Xorg update, AltGr+4 stopped typing a ~ and then you had to do AltGr+4+space or AltGr+4+AltGr+4 to get a ~.

This is because a non spanish user requested that change and Xorg people changed it.

I asked it to be reverted as there's no use for a dead ~ in Spanish as we don't have ã nor õ (we have ñ but we have a whole key for that) and the xkb maintainer asked me to run some kind of votation so that people decides what they like more.

So please, if you have an opinion on that issue go to http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=477197 and http://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=9763 to get all the facts and write your opinion to 477197@bugs.debian.org


Anonymous said...

Greetings, read your problem via PlanetKDE. I'm a spanish speaker and user of openSuSE. so I have an spanish keyboard (note the difference between spanish and latinamerican keyboard)
When I want to type ~ I press AltGr + ñ (I hope you're able to read the n with ~ over it) and it appears instantly. I also know some portuguese (Eu posso falar muitos linguages, but don't ask me if I'm proficient in them) So, sometimes I need to type special characters like ä or á or à or the ã. So I'll appreciate this tip (about AltGr + ñ) will help you and won't eliminate AltGr + 4.
Thank for your Attencion.

Lisandro D. N. Pérez Meyer said...

I also read your post trough planet KDE. I am argentinian, and I use Alt Gr + ¡ (yes, the opening admiration mark) It always worked fine for me.

Regards, Lisandro,

Kevin Kofler said...

I consider the request not to use a dead ~ very short-sighted. Many people have to enter more than one language with their keyboard, some people have a keyboard which doesn't match the language they primarily enter. Therefore, the "that character doesn't exist in Spanish" argument is a weak justification. I don't think reducing keyboard coverage in the favor of laziness is a good idea.

I also think US keyboards should default to us_intl, for the same reason. (And yes, I've personally used that one, I always use it when I'm on a US keyboard. There too, it's coverage vs. laziness.)

And finally, I think Shift+RAlt (Shift+AltGr) should always be Compose, even if it means that Shift+AltGr is not the same as AltGr+Shift, once again, the more coverage, the better.

Thiago Macieira said...

I'm all for allowing one to use dead keys if they want to. In fact, I use us(alt-intl) exclusively, since that's the one I was taught (even DOS supported it, with the "KEYB BR" command). It's useful if you write in more than one language that's not English (my case: Portuguese, French and Norwegian).

However, changing the default is stupid. The default layout should be what people are used to.

Andy Teijelo said...

Hi, something similar happened with the Latin American keyboard layout, already some months ago. I posted my opinion on the bug page:


but there have been almost no more comments and the patch remains unreversed. My feeling about this problem boils down to: do not change the default, many people are used to it; but don't think that no one will need the dead tilde, I myself write sometimes in other languages needing it. Instead, set the dead tilde to an unused or little used key combination.

It would be good if more people post their opinion in the bug page.

Gracias, Andy Teijelo.