[IAEP] [Localization] [Fwd: Re: #7116 NORM Never A: Possible European G1G1 program needs appropriate keyboards]

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Jun 3 06:11:49 CEST 2008

Sorry for so much cross-posting, but this affects us all.

On Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 12:59 PM, LASKE (or possibly LASKÉ), Lionel
(C2S) <LLASKE at c2s.fr> wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just to add my one cent on the "appropriate keyboard issue":

Merci beaucoup.

> My name is Lionel Laské. Like others people I love the OLPC Project. So like others, I talk a lot about OLPC, and I show the XO that I've bought via G1G1 (thanks to a good friend of mine in USA). Of course every people here which viewing my XO say "WOW" and say "where I can get mine ?". So it's really frustrated to say: "no way today". So yes, here in France like elsewhere in Europe, we're waiting for "our" G1G1 from month.
> I think that G1G1 is a very good way to promote the OLPC project and to help the OLPC Foundation. But I really think that a G1G1 in France without a French keyboard is not a good idea.

It is important to understand that the standard Fedora Linux French
AZERTY keyboard layout ships on the laptop. You invoke it with

setxkbmap fr

from the Terminal activity to use the file containing

    key <AD01>	{ [         a,          A,           ae,           AE ]	};
    key <AD02>	{ [         z,          Z, guillemotleft,        less ]	};
    key <AD03>	{ [         e,          E,     EuroSign,         cent ]	};
    key <AD11>	{ [dead_circumflex, dead_diaeresis, dead_diaeresis,
dead_abovering ] };

and so forth. Note that this provides the dead key accents that the
French expect, rather than the Compose key sequences used in the US
layout. For example, Compose ' a produces á, Compose ` e produces è,
Compose , c produces ç, and similarly for combinations containing ^ ô
" ïÿ and others, such as Compose A A producing Å. On the French
layout, dead_circumflex o produces ô, and similarly for other
combinations. This comes from the century-long tradition of using
deadkeys on French typewriters, keys that typed an accent symbol but
did not advance the carriage, so that the letter could be typed
without backspacing.

There are two questions before us concerning GiveOneGetOne for Europe,
in addition to the question of the countries to be included.

* Which layouts will be printed on the keytops?

* Which standard Linux keyboard layout files on the XO will be
modified for the special keyboard arrangement on the XO? Among other
things, we should be able to use the ×÷ key as is, or for switching
keyboard layouts, as defined in keyboard configurations for customer
countries and GiveOneGetOne target countries.

Arranging for printed key tops for every standard layout in Europe
would be a logistical nightmare. The most recent proposal is to ship
US International, although the question of Greek and Cyrillic has been
raised. Some compromise might be in order. Spanish is certainly
available for manufacturing. Haiti does not use the French layout, so
French has not been done.

Since keyboard layout files are Open Source text files, the community
can do the necessary modifications if someone will document the
requirements. If we can't get it from people who have done the work,
we can compare the XO versions of files for Spanish and other
languages of target countries with the more usual versions.

You can make the French keyboard the default on your own XO by
following the instructions at
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Customizing_NAND_images#Keyboard. We need
someone to create a script to automate the process, and we should get
those instructions translated and customized for various countries and
language choices.

Anybody who wants to volunteer for such documentation, keyboard file,
and scripting work should let me and Kim Quirk know.

Outside of G1G1, for example, in Rwanda, different users might want
English International, Pan-African, and French keyboards in any
combination. Some Arabic-speaking countries will want Arabic together
with AZERTY or QWERTY, and so on for the rest of the Francophonie, and
in a similar way for other former colonies. Presumably Mongolia will
eventually want Cyrillic, traditional Mongolian, and US, and
individuals may want to add one or another of the Dvorak keyboards.
India has ten writing systems, and will require more discussion and

> Of course, French people are often arrogant and rude but they really love their language and they really love their accents: é, è, à, ô, ë and some other funniest. And French keyboard allow very easily to type accents.
> My son (7 years old) use a XO since February. It took one month before he successfully typing one accent on the English keyboard. Thought he learn reading and writing this year at school I must confess that today, he forget very often to type accent in the Write activity.
> Note also than no laptop are sold in France without a French keyboard. Nobody (except geeks may be) could seriously think to buy a computer here with a QWERTY keyboard.
> I'm working with other guys to OLPC France Grassroot. Because XO is a great tool for children in every country, we try to promote the XO to the French government. I'm afraid that one of the first remark we've got could be: "Hmmm it's a funny machine, do you have a French Keyboard ?"
> So, yes I'm really think that we need an appropriate keyboard in France, like in Deutschland, in Italy and in others countries.
> My name is Lionel, Lionel Laské (please, don't miss the accent on my name).

Oui, bien sûr.

> Regards.
> Lionel.
> ------------------------------
> Message: 3
> Date: Sat, 31 May 2008 08:18:10 -0700
> From: "Edward Cherlin" <echerlin at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Localization] [Fwd: Re: #7116 NORM Never A: Possible
>        European        G1G1 program needs appropriate keyboards]
> To: "Kim Quirk" <kim at laptop.org>, "Chuck Kane" <chuck at laptop.org>,
>        "Nicholas Negroponte" <nn at media.mit.edu>
> Cc: OLPC Localization list <localization at lists.laptop.org>,     OLPC Devel
>        <devel at laptop.org>, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org>,        "Community Support
>        Volunteers -- who help respond to help AT       laptop.org"
>        <support-gang at lists.laptop.org>
> Message-ID:
>        <e574f6eb0805310818t5e84bd10n3f7f0ba5aa245909 at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> On Fri, May 30, 2008 at 7:09 AM, Kim Quirk <kim at laptop.org> wrote:
>> Adam and Support gang,
>> A second G1G1 program will still be only US/International keyboards
>> (http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_Keyboard_layouts#US_International_keyboard).
>> There are too many logistics, production, forecasting, and shipping
>> issues associated with more than a couple of SKUs (different laptop
>> configurations) for a G1G1 program.
> I don't know whether that is acceptable to Europe. They want Cyrillic
> (Bulgarian and Serbian layouts are completely different from each
> other and from Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian, which are all quite
> similar), Greek, and Eastern European (Czech, Slovak, Polish...are
> nearly identical), at least. I can look up the standard layouts in
> more detail if that will help. You need to specify exactly which
> countries will be included in your version of Europe. Lithuania,
> Latvia, and Estonia are EU members. So are Malta and Cyprus. Turkey is
> a candidate. Croatia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia,
> Montenegro, and Albania are not members.
> You had better get the lawyers to check out EU regulations on computer
> sales. I suppose that you can get away with printing only US
> International on the keyboard as long as you say so, very clearly, in
> the announcements and ads, and explain how to access the other layouts
> in a document shipped with the laptops.
>> But, from a languages perspective, It would be great to point
>> translators for European languages (or any languages) to various ways
>> in which they can help translate our wiki pages and add to the product
>> translations through Pootle.
>> Here are some links:
>> Localization of XO files: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Localization
>> Translating wiki pages: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Translating
> Pootle page, including table of localizers: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Pootle
> Pootle: http://dev.laptop.org/translate
> Localization mailing list at http://lists.laptop.org/
>> Thanks,
>> Kim
>> On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 3:14 PM, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
>>> Dear Kim,
>>> Can we get some preliminary discussion going in the next couple weeks,
>>> towards helping people set up fuller support
>>> structure for those European languages?
> Talk to me about any language support issues that management isn't handling.
>>> Or if nothing else, an idea as to how many EU countries are liable to be
>>> supported for 2008's G1G1?
>>> Whether it's 2 countries or 12 countries makes all the world of difference
> Uh, actually there are 27 countries in the EU, and 8 candidates.
> Non-members include Switzerland, Norway, and the new countries formed
> from former Yugoslavia (except Slovenia).
>>> ;)
>>> --A!
> %-[

Edward Cherlin
End Poverty at a Profit by teaching children business
"The best way to predict the future is to invent it."--Alan Kay

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