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    Colemak Greek Version in Ubuntu

    • Started by dkun
    • 15 Replies:
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    • Registered: 06-Jul-2012
    • Posts: 4

    Hello fellow Colemak users

    I am Demetris from Greece.

    I've been using this Layout since April and it suits my need and smoothed out any typing problems that i had with QWERTY.
    However a Native Greek Version doesn't exist so i had to make one so i could use constanly this Layout on my PC
    and i had to switch back and forth from English Colemak to Greek Qwerty. That was a major drawback.

    after some trial and error i made this xkb code that i add to the GR file (i am not that good with linux so that i could make a .sh to patch it easily)

    default partial alphanumeric_keys alternate_group
    
    xkb_symbols "colemak" {
        
        include "gr(simple)"
        
        name[Group1] = "Greek (Colemak)";
    
        include "eurosign(e)"
        include "level 3 (ralt_switch)"
        
        key <CAPS> { [BackSpace,BackSpace,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // Replaces CapsLock with Backspace 
     
        key <AD01> { [dead_acute, dead_diaeresis,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ´ ¨
        key <AD03> { [Greek_phi, Greek_PHI,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // φ Φ
        key <AD04> { [Greek_pi,Greek_PI,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // π Π
        key <AD05> { [Greek_gamma,Greek_GAMMA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // γ Γ   
        key <AD06> { [Greek_xi,Greek_XI,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ξ Ξ
        key <AD07> { [Greek_lamda,Greek_LAMDA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // λ Λ
        key <AD08> { [Greek_theta,Greek_THETA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // θ Θ               
        key <AD09> { [Greek_upsilon,Greek_UPSILON,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // υ Υ
        key <AD10> { [semicolon,colon,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ; :
       
        key <AC02> { [Greek_rho,Greek_RHO,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ρ Ρ
        key <AC03> { [Greek_sigma,Greek_SIGMA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // σ Σ   
        key <AC04> { [Greek_tau,Greek_TAU,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // τ Τ 
        key <AC05> { [Greek_delta,Greek_DELTA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // δ Δ 
    
        key <AC07> { [Greek_nu,Greek_NU,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ν Ν 
        key <AC08> { [Greek_epsilon,Greek_EPSILON,EuroSign,NoSymbol ] }; // ε Ε
        key <AC09> { [Greek_iota,Greek_IOTA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ι Ι    
        key <AC10> { [Greek_omicron,Greek_OMICRON,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ο Ο    
        key <AC11> { [apostrophe,quotedbl,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // ' "
    
        key <AB06> { [Greek_kappa,Greek_KAPPA,NoSymbol,NoSymbol ] }; // κ Κ        
    
    };

    this it the latest version that i made
    and i would like your opinions,positive & negative comments

    and i really hope in the future to see my code added in xkb

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
    • Registered: 13-Dec-2006
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    Did you do it like mine? :)

    See my sig. I just moved the keys around from the default Greek keyboard layout. I kept the lv3-4 mappings that allow you to type some old Greek and such, too.

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Jul-2012 16:53:25)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    • Registered: 06-Jul-2012
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    not exacly

    mine is really simple compared to your version
    but it's a start (i would say that i am on version 0.5)

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    • From: Oslo, Norway
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    If you end up making an enhanced version with more lv3-4 mappings and such, maybe we could use it in my files? :)

    In that case, I recommend making it similar to existing works for consistency. For a creator, consistency may not seem so important. But it's very important for acceptance and utility.

    Last edited by DreymaR (06-Jul-2012 21:34:53)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    • Registered: 06-Jul-2012
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    my thoughts exactly

    i want to keep it simple
    and add only a 3rd layer for some special and dead characters that a greek speaker/writer might use

    after creating this i might start composing an advanced layout
    with many layers but for now i am still revising and tweaking this one

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    • Registered: 04-Nov-2013
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    Hi dkun,

    I used KeyTweak to switch to Colemak across the board - UK extended and Greek layouts - on my Windows PC, and would like to add an observation and a suggestion (nothing to do with programming, mind you).

    TBH, I'm a Colemak newbie, but one of the first things I noticed was the awkward position of the ;: (Greek accent) key in the top row. Maybe my pinkie is just short, but since this is a key we hit in practically every word we type in Greek (much more often than P, which was assigned in that position in QWERTY), I soon felt the strain.

    So, I made a simple change: I switched around the ;: and /? keys in Colemak so that the Greek accent is now in the bottom row, next to the right shift - much easier to reach with the pinky IMHO.

    Have you come upon similar difficulties when typing Greek? How did you manage them?

    Last edited by edervis (04-Nov-2013 08:35:36)
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    Ah. I put the ;: on the QWERTY Q key because that's where it is in all the other Greek layouts on Ubuntu, but I see your point I guess. I don't understand why you call ;: an accent and it's used in nearly all words though? It's a question/exclamation mark and it's the acute accent that's used in nearly all words (that's on the key above O in my layout and very easy to reach there in my opinion). I'm quite happy to keep the question mark on QWERTY Q as that sounds about right.

    [Edit: Oh hang on – you're calling the ´´ key ;: for some obscure reason. Is that commonplace? So it *is* the key above O you don't like. I may have strong pinkies, but it seems easy for me to hit that.]

    I wouldn't be very happy about moving the /? key myself: It adds complexity and confusion so it had better be damn necessary. I've tried moving it around and it doesn't like being put away. Also, since I use a Wide mod your change would make matters worse for me instead of better – but that only applies to us Wide modders of course. ;)

    Last edited by DreymaR (04-Nov-2013 10:22:30)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    Fyi, Greek Colemak has been included in xkeyboard-config as gr(colemak), so starting from the next release, you will have it by default:

    greek.png

    It is just the standard Qwerty-based Greek layout rearranged to Colemak, with no further modifications.

    AltGr combinations, mostly alternative or archaic letters (Ϡ Ϝ Ͼ Ͽ Ϟ ...) and some symbols (®, © and arrows), moved together with the corresponding main letters.

    Last edited by ghen (01-Mar-2018 21:33:32)
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    ghen said:

    It is just the standard Qwerty-based Greek layout rearranged to Colemak, with no further modifications.

    AltGr combinations, mostly alternative or archaic letters (Ϡ Ϝ Ͼ Ͽ Ϟ ...) and some symbols (®, © and arrows), moved together with the corresponding main letters.

    By replacing each letter with the nearest Greek equivalent, does this still match up OK with Greek letter frequencies and bigrams?

    I can't imagine what these archaic letters  Ͼ Ͽ  represent!!  :-O

    Using Colemak Mod-DH with some additional ergonomic keyboard mods.

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    Some choices still have to be made though. But it seems they ended up with the same as I did, which is nice!

    Cmk-X-phon-gr-awide-sl_mask.png?raw=1

    The Greek phonetic layout in Linux is one of the better thought-out ones in my opinion.

    Last edited by DreymaR (02-Mar-2018 12:45:31)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    Some choices still have to be made though. But it seems they ended up with the same as I did, which is nice!

    I submitted it. ;-)  I created it independently and later saw you did exactly the same.  It's just a 100% Qwerty-to-Colemak remap, I see no choices to be made?


    DreymaR said:

    The Greek phonetic layout in Linux is one of the better thought-out ones in my opinion.

    This is not just the phonetic layout in Linux, but the Greek national standard layout.


    stevep99 said:

    By replacing each letter with the nearest Greek equivalent, does this still match up OK with Greek letter frequencies and bigrams?

    Letter frequencies are OK at first sight, with the 8 most frequent letters (Α Ο Ε Ι Τ Σ Ν Η) on the home row, but I didn't look further than that.  It's probably (much) better than the standard layout though, which, being derived form Qwerty, MUST be bad. :-)

    Surely the layout could be optimised further for Greek, but then it wouldn't be intuitive for Colemak users anymore, which was the goal.  Same story as with Rulemak, but we actually have native Russian users here using Rulemak.  It's very nice for them to have corresponding Latin/Cyrillic layouts, too (the Russian standard layout is completely different).  Greek users have the additional benefit they can switch their Greek AND Latin layout from Qwerty to Colemak at the same time.

    Last edited by ghen (02-Mar-2018 19:10:48)
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    Ah, yes Ghen, I realize it now. I'm silly. ^_^

    An important factor about locale layouts these days is the prevalence of English on the net and pretty much everywhere I go at least.

    So even though you may have a need to write your own language, you'll almost certainly also face the need to write English, for some quite a lot too. For me, the coding I do means I'm also much better off with standard US layout symbol mappings (for instance, @ and $ on AltGr in the standard locale layout isn't so great, and accent symbols only on dead keys breaks many things, etc etc).

    Therefore, I advocate a "universal symbols" Colemak layout with only a few things changed to adapt it to various locales. Then it'll be good for English and all sorts of applications, and quite decent for the language in question.

    Of course, if something about Colemak makes it horrible for a given language then something may have to be done about it. As an example, a Curl-like mod bringing J to a better key position is recommended for Dutch.

    Last edited by DreymaR (03-Mar-2018 19:13:13)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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    I just noticed XKB has a "dead_greek" key definition, which can form all the Greek letters using the "corresponding" (more or less) Latin letter.

    Very useful if you need to type single Greek letters only (not words/phrases), eg. in mathematics.

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    Indeed. It's on AltGr+5 in Colemak[eD].

    I'm not confident it works to make all sorts of diacritics though, does it? Like, e.g., ῷ or ᾯ (omega with circumflex, dasia and iota) from polytonic greek. (Note that confusingly enough, that circumflex has the shape of a tilde or inverted breve.)

    Last edited by DreymaR (04-Mar-2018 21:14:27)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
    *** Check out my Big Bag of Keyboard Tricks for Win/Linux/TMK... ***

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    DreymaR said:

    Therefore, I advocate a "universal symbols" Colemak layout with only a few things changed to adapt it to various locales. Then it'll be good for English and all sorts of applications, and quite decent for the language in question.

    @ and $ I don't find that bad the worst are the placement of [ ] { and } those are really troublesome while coding, and it was actually one of the main reasons I went for python as my scripting language of choice. Allthough that was pretty nullified when I find out how much I like list comprehensions :p

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    That too, yeah. And <> irked me. I actually kept forgetting which was which, and the <> bigram was tricky.

    Last edited by DreymaR (07-Mar-2018 11:18:29)

    *** Learn Colemak in 2–5 steps with Tarmak! ***
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