Help with making keyboard for French (Togo) including symbols from local languages

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at
Sat Jul 25 17:13:06 PDT 2015

On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 06:08:53AM +0200, Mats Blakstad wrote:
> Thanks all for these interesting and useful inputs!
> *Adding new combinations to XCompose:*
> Should I do this locally or is there a shared compose repo where we should
> ask to push those changes? Is there a good link with documentation?
My memory says that Jim probably maintains this.  ISTR that patches
against the current version (not necessarily the same as the current
version in any particular distro) are likely to be the way to go.
Git trees are at freedesktop

> *How to install on several machines?*
> As we need to modify several files, is there an easy way to make one file
> so we can install the keyboard on several computers later?

If you have root, anything is possible.  8)  More realistically,
first get it working on _one_ machine.  You might need to change
fonts to get the results looking reasonable.  For my own weird and
wonderful gb keyboard additions I picked a couple of names which I
hope will not get used upstream (deader - extra dead keys, and
rusphon - russian phonetic keyboard mapped to a british keyboard
with a few extra additions) and created a diff against the xkeyboard
source (I always build from source).  For things which go upstream,
best to agree an acceptable variant name as soon as possible, and
certainly before you ship anything to users (otherwise they might
later need to alter their setups).

After it works, you need to do two things: get it upstream so that
eventually you will no longer have to provide it as a separate
addition [ i.e. send patches for libX11 (Xcompose) and
xkeyboard-config (the keyboard) ].

But also, until your intended users are likely to be using the
upstreamed versions, get it into whichever distros (probably,
broken down by version) you intend to support.  Ubuntu-derivatives
seem to have a concept of PPAs (personal package archives).  Other
distros do things in their own ways.  All that is distro-specific
(in the very broad sense of distro, including the BSDs).

> *Where do people mostly share keyboards?*
> I checked and looks like we should build this on the Azerty Layout. However
> in Ubuntu I can't find the azerty layout in simple form like this:
> I only find with many extra symbols added that we don't need.
> Where do people share their keyboards mostly? And should we also share our
> own keyboard somewhere later?
For anything which is intended to be generally usable in Xorg,
xkeyboard-config.  Many people have produced their own additions
over the years, me included, but for obscure things which are not
generally required.  I found a nice guide which added anglo-saxon
and served as an indication of how I could get started.

And yes, each keyboard/language combination might have _many_
variants - on this machine (my packages are nearly a year old)
/usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/fr has about 20 variants, including
occitan, breton, and georgian.  I am guessing that might be the
correct place for your new keymap, but that is only a guess.

In this case, your project sounds like something which will be
generally useful in one country, so it probably ought to be
upstreamed.  I suspect that may mean that you need to adhere to
specific guidelines for e.g. naming.

Probably the xorg-devel list is the right place to send patches.

This one goes up to eleven!

More information about the xorg mailing list