LOCALE COLEMAK[eD] VARIANTS
In the following I describe how to make locale layouts for many languages, remapping for the most part the bracket keys (LBr/RBr) and the "lesser/greater" key (LSGT a.k.a. VK_102). If more keys than these are needed, the HJKL keys with (Shift+)AltGr (lv3-4) are also available in my layout since they hold nonessential mappings beforehand and are placed together. This is what I call 'Unified Symbols' variants. I also provide 'Keep Local Symbols' variants where all the non-letter keys behave as locale users are used to – but at the cost of whichever nifty Colemak[eD] mappings were on those keys! This includes all dead keys as I've put those solely on symbol keys.
In the below, the 'Keep Local Symbols'/'ks' variants are shown without any Angle/Wide ergonomic mods to avoid confusion to newcomers. The 'Unified Symbols'/'us' variants however, are shown as cutouts from a WideAngle modded keyboard as all the "fluid" keys are bunched together in the middle on such a board. Both variant types may of course be used with wide or non-wide setups at your leisure.
Basic 'Unified Symbols' ('US') Colemak[eD], shown with the AngleWide ergo mod
There's quite a bunch of unified locale variants now! I can make more on request or whim. It'd be nice with feedback from local users as some design decisions are open to debate and depend on actual usage as well as personal preferences.
Here's what I've covered so far, providing both conservative 'Keep Local Symbols' and my preferred 'Unified Symbols' variants (at least on Linux/XKB):
al at ba be bg br ca cz de dk es fi fr gb gr hr hu il is it latam nl no pl pt ro rs ru se si tr us
On a side note, there are but 11 Dvorak layouts so now Colemak really has wind in its locale sails!
These non-latin (phonetic) variants are covered in the next post: bg gr il ru (and others using the same scripts)
[al] ALBANIAN (ALBANIA)
Albanian is nice and simple, needing only Ëë and Çç.
Albanian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for al:
• Çç, while also present at AltGr+Kk, can have the same key as in the local layout (LBr). I put Ëë next to it.
Albanian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[ba hr rs si] BOSNIAN (BOSNIA), CROATIAN (CROATIA), SERBIAN (SERBIA), SLOVENIAN (SLOVENIA)
The Bosnian/Serbocroatian/Slovenian layouts are almost identical, differing mostly in how they handle some dead keys (on ~/1/3/5/7/- ).
They need Đđ, Ćć, and the caron letters Čč/Šš/Žž. Some variants also include NJ, LJ and DŽ digraphs, but the default ones do not.
Bosnian/Serbian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Croatian (Hrvatska) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Slovenian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for ba hr rs si:
• A caron dead key on LBr takes care of ČŠŽ.
• Stroke D could've replaced the Ðð on AltGr+Dd, but it's too common so it gets RBr.
• As options, instead of the LBr dead key the caron letters ČŽŠ may be placed on AltGr+KHL in addition to LBr.
• Another available option is putting the DŽ/NJ/LJ digraphs on AltGr+HJL for instance.
Bosnian+Croatian+Serbian+Slovenian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD] (latin script – for kyrillic, see the next post)
[be ca fr] FRENCH (BELGIUM, CANADA and FRANCE)
The Belgian, Canadian (international) and French default QWERTY layouts are similar enough that a harmonized 'unified' variant was made for these locales.
This variant should be good for all users of the French and similar languages. One layout to rule them all...
The needed letters for French-type locales are Éé, ÀàÈèÙù, Çç, Œœ. The LBr key has cirkumflex (âêîôû) and umlaut (ëï).
Some letter frequencies for French: é 1.90%; à 0.49%; àèù 0.82%; ê 0.23%; ç 0.09% (which is still more than k at 0.05%); œ 0.02%.
Belgian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Canadian(Intl) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
French 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for be+ca+fr:
• Going by letter frequencies, é and grave merit their own keys; the other accents are of less critical importance.
• Éé gets its own key (LSGT) instead of an acute dead key since it's quite frequent and only one letter.
• A Çç key is preferable to the cedilla dead key since there's only one letter needed, but lv3-4 is acceptable since it's a rare letter.
• For the other accent needs, dead keys are the best option; some are common enough to merit a lv1-2 placement.
• LBr keeps its dead keys as in the default layout for easier access to the cirkumflex/umlaut letters even though these aren't very common.
• RBr gets the grave dead key on lv1 since àèù together are somewhat frequent.
• The numerosign (RBr lv2) is hardly in use generally (some use an N and the masculine ordinal to produce 'Nº') but in French locales it's used.
• The letter K is very rare in French, but lv1-2 mappings should not be changed unless absolutely necessary!
Belgian+Canadian(Intl)+French 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[br pt] PORTUGUESE (BRAZIL and PORTUGAL)
Portuguese (Brazil) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Portuguese (Portugal) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for br+pt:
• The two Portuguese locales' default layouts have the acute/grave key on different keys (br on LBr and pt on RBr); that's messy.
• I think that the acute is the more common accent? At any rate, it feels logical to place it on the LBr.
• Tilde is also important and used for more than just ñ in Portuguese (ã and õ at least), and circumflex is also provided.
• The Çç has a prominent placement in the default locale layouts so it gets its own key (not really sure if that's necessary though?).
• The Brazilian ABNT-2 keyboard's extra key gets the ordinal markers º/ª. These are also placed on AltGr+o/O.
Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal) 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[cz pl] CZECH (CZECH REPUBLIC) and POLISH (POLAND)
Czech 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The Polish layout has special letters on AltGr+letter mappings; unfortunately, this messes up the Cmk[eD] consistency quite a bit. The 'Unified symbols' variant is recommended.
Polish 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for cz and pl:
• These two locales ended up very similar, with one acute key and one other accent (hacek for cz, ogonek for pl) for commonly accented letters.
• The ů in Czech is hardly ever capitalized in normal text but the Ů is sometimes needed for caps and letter referrals so it's provided (also for consistency).
• The Żż in Polish is the only letter using the dot-above accent so it gets a key for itself. The AltGr+period dead key is also quite easy to hit.
• The Łł in Polish is only available on lv3-4 but I think AltGr+L is an easy reach.
• For Polish, you may still want Ąą/Ęę on AltGr+Aa/Ee, I guess? The 'us' image doesn't show those but they can still be there.
Czech 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Polish 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[de at] DEUTSCH/GERMAN (DEUTSCHLAND/GERMANY, ÖSTERRREICH/AUSTRIA)
German (Germany and Austria) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for at de:
• The German layout conserves the Üü position from the default layout.
• Ää and Öö are harmonized with the Scandinavian layouts.
• For ß only AltGr+s is provided; I think that's very easy to hit though. The capitalized version is there as an option but I hear it's hardly ever used.
German (Germany and Austria) 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[dk fi no se] DANISH (DENMARK), NORWEGIAN (NORWAY), FINNISH (FINLAND) and SWEDISH (SWEDEN)
The Scandinavian languages use the same special letters albeit written differently: Åå Ææ Øø for Danish and Norwegian, and Åå Ää Öö for Finnish and Swedish. Their default layouts are quite similar too, apart from some stupid differences in punctuation placement which fortunately won't cause us any trouble.
Danish 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Norwegian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Finnish 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Swedish 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for dk+no and fi+se:
• These locales use the same special letters. The Åå is kept in place; the same position for all the Scandinavian default layouts.
• The Ææ is somewhat more common in Danish and the Øø in Norwegian, but that shouldn't matter much here! Both positions are decent enough.
• The Ää and Öö are placed in harmony with the other Scandinavian (and German!) layouts.
Danish+Norwegian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Finnish+Swedish 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[es latam] SPANISH (SPAIN and most of LATIN AMERICA)
Spanish (Spain) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
Spanish (Latin America) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for es+latam:
• For writing Spanish, the tilde is important but only used for Ññ so that letter gets a key for itself.
• Both acute and grave are important accents so they get lv1 placement in a logical fashion on the brackets ("up then down").
• Unfortunately, the Spain and LatAm default layouts have different placement of the acute accent key. That's silly I think!
• The necessary but less common umlaut and circumflex accents are given lv2 placements.
• (One alternative idea from user javix for standard Spanish is to make a single dead key for acute and tilde on the <LSGT> key!)
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[gb] ENGLISH (GREAT BRITAIN aka UNITED KINGDOM)
English (UK) 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for gb:
• The US (English) layout serves the needs of all English-speaking locales to my knowledge (the £ sign is there).
• To avoid national pride issues, please do think of that 'US' moniker as "Unified Symbols" and not as "US of A". ;-)
• Using the 'Keep Local Symbols' layout, conservative Brits may find all symbols where they're accustomed to – at the cost of dead keys etc.
English(UK) 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD] is identical to the basic 'US' layout
[hu] HUNGARIAN (HUNGARY)
Hungarian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for hu:
• The common acute and less common double-acute accents are provided as lv1-2 dead keys
• The Öö/Üü umlaut letters are provided directly on LSGT (and also an umlaut dead key on RBr)
Hungarian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[is] ICELANDIC (ICELAND)
Iceland managed to stick with the Þþ and Ðð letters when for instance English lost them and stupidly started writing 'th' instead. ;)
Other than that, they need the Ææ and Öö letters like the other Nordic countries do, but make do without the Åå (as they use Áá instead).
Icelandic uses the acute accent far more than the other Nordic countries (nearly 6% of all letter strokes).
Some letter frequencies for Icelandic are: ð 5.01%; þ 1.59%; á 1.55%; í 1.34%.
Icelandic 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for is:
• As the letter frequencies show, the Þþ and especially Ðð are so common that they shouldn't be kept on lv3-4 mappings for this locale.
• Ææ and Öö however, are less common and hopefully AltGr+Aa and AltGr+Tt respectively are easy enough to hit.
• There are several accented letters (Áá Éé Íí Óó Úú Ýý) and some are quite frequent, so a good acute dead key is needed.
• Icelanders tend to write some Danish and Norwegian, so they'll want accessible Øø and Åå (on AltGr+Dd).
Icelandic 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[it] ITALIAN (ITALY)
Some letter frequencies for Italian: àèìòù 0.89% (è 0.42%; à 0.15%; ù 0.12%; ò 0.11%; ì 0.09%); é 0.06%.
If this is accurate, the accented letters are quite rare all in all.
(Note that Wikipedia reported quite different frequencies with àèù far more common than ìò?)
Italian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for it:
• For the Italian layout, several different accented letters are needed but capitalized letters weren't in the default layout.
• Thus, the letters were provided directly as in the default layout. The éè key was kept on LBr and the rest put together.
• The letters çłñ may be used (for Ligurian and Venetian script for instance) but they're rare so they're on lv3-4 mappings.
• As an alternative to this direct approach, I'd recommend the Spanish/LatAm layout! It does the same using dead keys.
Italian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[nl] DUTCH (NETHERLAND)
Dutch 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for nl:
• The Dutch layout is similar to Belgian and other French-type ones but has more use of the umlaut than the circumflex.
• Therefore I didn't harmonize it fully with the French-type layouts but kept the LBr key the way it is in the default layout.
• The acute letter Éé is somewhat common as is Óó; the acute dead key on RBr should be good enough for that.
• The IJ ligature isn't provided in the default layout so it isn't here either; I think it's falling into disuse? The Compose method has it.
Dutch 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[ro] ROMANIAN (ROMANIA)
The Romanian locale letters are on AltGr+letter mappings in the default layout.
Thus, some Colemak[eD] letter mappings (notably, π and typographic quotes) were lost for the "Keep Local Symbols" variant.
Romanian 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for ro:
• Proper comma-below Ss and Tt are provided on AltGr+Ss/Tt (cedilla versions are on the cedilla dead key as before)
• Circumflex A/I; breve A/I (I for Crimean Tatars) and stroke D are given separate, suitable positions
Romanian 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]
[tr] TURKISH (TURKEY)
The letters ıİ (3.9%) üÜ (1.8%) şŞ (1.6%) çÇ (1.4%) ğĞ (0.9%) öÖ (0.7%) are needed.
In both my variants, the Ii is changed to Iı (dotless i) as in the default Turkish layout.
Turkish 'Keep Local Symbols' Colemak[eD]
The '[eD] unified symbols' solution for tr:
• Turkish doesn't use QWX and J is rare, but they need to be kept in place because of English etc!
• The needed special letters are provided directly according to frequencies.
• An option for a more accessible circumflex dead key is an alternative variant.
• If you type much English, there's an option for putting İı on LBr so Ii may be left on the I key.
Turkish 'Unified Symbols' Colemak[eD]; the Iı key (on Cmk Ii) isn't shown here
[DISCLAIMER: The above may still be subject to (hopefully small!) changes.]
Some variants aren't documented here yet even though they have been implemented in my xkb files
Some images are from older Colemak[eD] versions so the grayed-out keys will show strange mappings
Last edited by DreymaR (24-Mar-2017 21:57:05)