XKB and the Dutch

Rene Herman rene.herman at gmail.com
Fri Feb 23 10:57:07 PST 2007

On 02/23/2007 07:24 PM, Simos Xenitellis wrote:

> AFAIK, the source of xkeyboard-config is still on Freedesktop CVS, and
> the Dutch file you may need to edit is at
> http://webcvs.freedesktop.org/xkeyboard-config/xkeyboard-config/symbols/nl?view=markup

Unfortunately not -- the source of the problem is the fact that nobody 
in the Netherlands uses a Dutch keyboard. 99% of Dutch computer users 
use a "standard" US international keyboard. In fact, I have seen _no_ 
Dutch keyboards in use probably in over 10 years by now so even that 99% 
is significantly understating it.

This fact is not widely known internationally since, as you point out 
there _is_ a Dutch keyboard in (paper) existence, and due to the very 
fact that the Dutch have always used US international keyboards, they 
them selves have grown completely accustomed to not being able to type 
everything they want -- I've never been able to type my first name 
(René) directly for example. So we also don't complain...

Enter the Euro. As a EU rule, it's sitting on the "AltGr position" of 
the E on our keyboards (and/or on that same position on the 5 for 
keyboards that were made just before that EU rule was drafted) and in 
Windows, AltGr-E and AltGr-5 indeed produce the EuroSign.

The US layout in X does not have it there though -- the "intl" variant 
of the us layout does, but is unworkable. It's almost possible to add 
the EuroSign to either key ourselves by using "XkbLayout" "us" with

"XkbOptions" "lv3:ralt_switch,eurosign:e,eurosign:5"

but although this works, this makes the xkbcomp compiler complain -- see 

Moreover, I feel that not an entire country should be expected to use 
something like the above "XkbOptions" line anyway -- what we really 
want/need is a "XkbVariant" "euro" (or "XkbVariant" "nl", for all I 
care) of the "us" layout so that us poor Dutch folk can get our keyboard 
functioning without black X config magic.

Thanks for the opportunity to explain once more. I'll now go and try the 
list Alan pointed me to...


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