Questions and thoughts about input method protocol

Yichao Yu yyc1992 at
Sun Feb 3 05:14:05 PST 2013

On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 2:56 AM, Bill Spitzak <spitzak at> wrote:
> On 02/02/2013 09:12 PM, Yichao Yu wrote:
>> E.g. for non-cjk input method, there is likely to be only one per
>> language (which is likely to be a keyboard layout). They normally
>> never need cursor following window, don't have dozens of internal
>> states. Even the use of preedit is not that common.
> Actually it would be really nice to have compose-key interfaces support
> pre-edit. Right now to get an æ, you type the compose key (which causes
> nothing visible to happen), type and a (which also causes nothing visible to
> happen), then type an e and finally see the result. Also if you type 'j'
> instead of 'e' then both keys vanish as though nothing happened.
> I suspect because preedit was a pain to support under X it was never tried.

Not at all, especially if you are using im-module or if you don't need
cursor following. Yes, preedit can be used in some input method/layout
but other features that I mentioned are rarely used in non-CJK input

> I hope wayland makes this easy enough that we can get this behavior: 1. you
> type the compose key, and the cursor changes because a zero-length preedit
> was sent, so you have visual feedback. Then you type an 'a' and you see an
> a, perhaps highlighted as preedit. Then you type an 'e' and you see the
> committed æ. Furthermore if you type 'j' you will in fact commit the 'a' and
> see 'aj' which is a lot more useful.

That should be just a feature / bug / option of the input method. And
you should just report a issue to the input method you are using (or
you can try fcitx and tell us what's the missing feature of

> This sort of preview also allows 1-letter compose keys. For instance
> compose,1 can produce the super-script ¹, assuming the user does not type 2
> next (which would produce ½).
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