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I have to type extensively in Sgaw Karen. As far as I have discovered, ready made keyboard layouts for this language exist only on Windows. So, my question is, what is the preferred approach one should use to make a keyboard layout for a new (to Linux) language?

A good solution should...

  • Work on my Arch Linux/Gnome 3 install
  • Be able to input characters into all applications
  • Work on other Linux's, particularly Ubuntu, Mint, and Mandriva
  • Be easy to share with other Linux users
  • Be robust
  • Be 'the correct' way to do it

The language characteristics are...

  • It is a subset of the Myanmar script, with 4 or 5 additional characters
  • It doesn't need anything fancy (like dead keys, character reordering, etc.)
  • With two exceptions, it maps a single key to a single code point.
  • For two keys, one keypress should output two code points.

So far, I have used KMFL on the SCIM framework. With some tinkering, I successfully installed these keyboards on Mint 13, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. The main problem with SCIM is, it's not able to input characters into a number of programs (geany for example). Also, it doesn't seem to be readily available on Arch Linux, and it doesn't seem to be well supported or documented. Whether it's a limitation of KMFL, or a deficiency in my abilities, I don't know, but I was unable to get caps lock working the way I wanted.

Is using XKB to make custom keyboards (like here) the right way? I've been working on it, but so far haven't succeeded with this method.

Should I go with Ibus? I tried on my Ubuntu desktop to get KMFL working with Ibus, but wasn't yet successful. Or should I look into one of the other input methods, such as ibus-table or KeyMagic?

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1 Answer 1

IBus is pretty good too. I created one for a language for IBus. I used ibus-m17n extension which allowed me to write a mim file and it was done. In simple cases you just write mappings from one keypress to unicode character to be inserted. But it is much much more powerful.

Look at some layouts implemented in m17n-contrib source. Its in some dialect of lisp but you dont necessarily need to know the language, I just managed to tinker around and get things done. And here is the documentation

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