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Re: dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration (Swedish with "|")

Hi David!

Thanks for helping me sort out my thoughts!

Den 2019-05-06 kl. 22:42, skrev David Wright:
On Sun 05 May 2019 at 20:52:40 (+0200), Erik Josefsson wrote:
Den 2019-05-05 kl. 16:26, skrev David Wright:
Is this some sort of ticking off for wondering why the OP is*so*
keen to be able to type ¦ directly on the keyboard that they are
almost willing to use a USB keyboard with a laptop to get it?
Particularly as the wiki page referred to above has a reference to
which states "It is advisable to avoid using this character, since its
code position is occupied by another character in ISO Latin 9 (alias
ISO 8859-15), which will probably widely replace ISO Latin 1 at least
in European usage."

Now, using Unicode might avoid this danger, but it's still odd to
want this character so much when it appears to be as much of a relic
as the aforementioned ECU is. And, after all, the answer is that
they didn't.
For what it's worth, I had the foggy idea that I had to figure out how
to make the Teres keyboard reproduce the output from the Scandinavian
USB keyboard. What else would be "right"?
[Disclaimer: I'm not familiar with the Teres keyboard beyond looking at
(assuming this is it), and I've no idea of what keys your USB keyboard
has, nor knowledge of Swedish keyboard conventions.]

Yes, that's the Teres keyboard.

The wikipedia picture of ISO/IEC 9995-3:2002 applied to the US keyboard layout has 3 keys to the left and 4 keys to the right of the spacebar. Teres has 4 keys to the left and 3 keys to the right, otherwise they look the same (also the print on the keys):


This similarity makes me wonder why I cannot find any information from Olimex (or elsewhere) whether the Teres keyboard is fully compliant with the ISO standard that seems to be the one at hand (and which also seems current):


If it was compliant, then I guess that would make an informed choice of "Keyboard model" easier than it is now.

I also guess that compliance would not only mean that the number of keys, their relative positions and the print on the keycaps would be defined, but also, and more importantly, that the digital output would follow certain rules.

And there's my major hick-up: 7 keys would be plenty if the output would suffice to consist of about 100 different signals since 2^7=128 (to later map on characters, numbers and whatnot). 8 keys would be excessive. I do understand the historical reasons for 105 keys (or 80), but how they relate to what really matters (the digital output) is a mystery.

It cannot really be physicality of the "Keyboard models", nor the (brand) names of the them, but rather the digital output that is defining whether one "Keyboard model" is different from the other. Or am I completely wrong here?

If I am not wrong, the next question is if there are really 193 different keyboard models in that sense?

I mean, with the same keyboard layout (e.g. Finnish), how many of the 193 would give the exact same result on screen with one particular keyboard (e.g. the Teres laptop)?

I guess more than two (which I now know is the case).

When the 105 and 102 options then gave the same result, it got
completely lost.

And I'm still kind of lost since I don't really understand what a
"Keyboard model" is. So already at the first menu choice of
dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration I don't really know what I'm
doing there.

In the dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration menu there are [193
different keyboard models] to choose from.

But two of them are the same, at least from the point of view of a
Teres laptop.

How does that work?
I guess that with only 80 keys on your keyboard, many of the
differences between these different models are dealing with keys you
simply don't have. I can use pc105 for all my laptop, however many
keys they have.

As far as I can see, the "source code" to Teres' keyboard does not say anything about that, but the Schematics file lists 25 different keys (KBD_X0 to KBD_X16 and KBD_Y0 to KBD_Y7), and there is a micro controller ATMEGA16U4-AU.


I'm fine with thinking that KBD_X0, KBD_X1 etc on the "inside" are connected to the 40 physical keys on the "outside". Actually with 23 electronic keys to combine, it would be enough with an unique output per electronic key plus <Shift>, <AltGr> and <Shift>+<AltGr> to get 92 different combinations. That should be enough, no?

What's more important is the layout: for example a British layout
puts \| left of z, whereas a US one will make that key <> and the
\| will be 3 keys right of p. In response to that, and deleting
£, many of the other punctuation characters get shuffled around.

The "key that's missing" usually refers to that left-of-z key,
(i) because the fact that it's the only punctuation character
thereabouts makes it rather obvious that it's missing, (ii) small
US keyboards don't have it whereas British (and I assume many
European) ones usually do.

You mentioned your Scandinavian USB keyboard with it's "broken bar"
in that left-of-z position. The "broken" appearance has been a
traditional engraving on the pipe keycap for years and doesn't
have any particular significance significance: the key produces
pipe when typed normally (ie shifted).

I don't know how they decide which glyphs should be typed when
the AltGr key is used. Perhaps it's not too surprising that they
place ¦ on the | key as a mnemonic. To what end, who knows? The
glyph is virtually useless. But what does your USB keyboard produce
when you type this key with just shift pressed?

The "missing left-of-z key" on my "scandinavian" USB-keyboard  gives "<" with no key pressed, ">" with <Shift>, "|" with <AltGr> and "¦" with <AltGr>+<Shift>.

It is a 5 dollar cheapest possible off the shelf keyboard . It says made in China and comes with spelling errors on the box. So it's probably not even made in China.

But I have finally found that 102 and Finnish gives me the pipe with <i>+<AltGr>+<Shift>. So all is fine, except for that I don't understand why.

I would have left it at that if it wasn't for my plan to introduce the Teres laptop as a DIY project in school. And I would be very unhappy with my answers to why I should choose 102 and Finnish if I was a student of mine.

Btw, I have found a recent bug report against the package keyboard-configuration complaining about translation errors wrt "Keyboard model" names, so I guess I could file a wish-list bug too:


Thanks for your time David.

Best regards.