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Re: Request to add a new layout for Malayalam

From: Mike FABIAN
Subject: Re: Request to add a new layout for Malayalam
Date: Sun, 05 Nov 2023 10:43:06 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13)

Ajith R <ajithramayyan@yahoo.co.in> さんはかきました:

> Dear Mike,
>> Great, thank you! I’ll try to make a new m17n-db release next week with
>> your new input method.
> That will be great! Thanks.
> QWERTY the common system layout, for example, has a set of characters you get 
> by pressing the keys by itself and another by pressing shift/caps.
> Malayalam has more than 100 unicode points. In the layout I submitted,
> uncommonly used characters are not included. I was not sure how to
> include them in my layout when the system layout has only the
> "unshifted" and "shifted" plains / layers. 
> If the system layout has more than two such sets - one set of
> 'unshifted' characters, another set of 'shifted' characters and an
> additional set of characters you get by pressing a third level
> modifier (say the window key), can ibus transform the characters you
> get when you press the third level modifier? Say, I have a modified
> system layout which returns, say Greek characters when I press the
> third level modifiers. Can I have ibus translate them to the malayalam
> archaic characters ( which are not included currently)? This was what
> I had in mind when I asked about support for more than two levels.
> Though I don't understand the
> example 
> https://git.savannah.nongnu.org/cgit/m17n/m17n-db.git/tree/MIM/bn-national-jatiya.mim
> completely, I think it implements most of the features I want in my
> pnC. A few doubts -
> 1) In expressions like ((G-i) "ঽ") ; U+09BD BENGALI SIGN AVAGRAHA, what does 
> G-i without the quotes represent?

The G- represents pressing the ISO_Level3_Shift key which is usually the
right Alt key (often also called the AltGr key). If you look at the
keyboard layout pictures in


you see that many of the QWERTY layouts have "Alt Gr" written on top of
the right Alt key. An exception is the US keyboard layout, which has a
second Alt key instead:

Wikipedia> The US keyboard layout has a second Alt key instead of the
Wikipedia> AltGr key and does not use any dead keys; this makes it
Wikipedia> inefficient for all but a handful of languages.

So don’t use the US keyboard layout if you want something like

((G-i) "ঽ")

to work, you can use the "English (India, with rupee)" keyboard layout
instead for example. It is basically a variant of the US layout changing
the right Alt key to ISO_Level3_Shift and adding a rupee sign on

$ grep -B2 -A 10 'xkb_symbols "eng"' /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/in

partial alphanumeric_keys
xkb_symbols "eng" {

    include "us(basic)"
    name[Group1]= "English (India, with rupee)";

    include "rupeesign(4)"
    include "level3(ralt_switch)"

$ grep -B4 -A3 'xkb_symbols "ralt_switch"' /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/level3 

// The default behaviour:
// the right Alt key (AltGr) chooses the third symbol engraved on a key.
default partial modifier_keys
xkb_symbols "ralt_switch" {
  key <RALT> {[  ISO_Level3_Shift  ], type[group1]="ONE_LEVEL" };

$ cat /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/rupeesign 
// keyboards having the RupeeSign on the 4 key
xkb_symbols "4" {
    key <AE04>  { [  NoSymbol,   NoSymbol,   U20B9 ]    };

As long as you use a keyboard layout which has ISO_Level3_Shift
somewhere, you can use the "G-" in m17n-db.

In Gnome you can select it like this (similar in other desktops):

Attachment: Screenshot-keyboard-with-iso-level3-shift.png
Description: PNG image

> 2) Can you please point me to the documentation of features ‌/commands like 
> variable, set, cond etc

Some documentation is here:


especially this page:


and I also found it helpful to look at the other .mim files which
already exist in m17n-db as examples.

Mike FABIAN <mfabian@redhat.com>

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