Friday, 9 August 2013

A little on keyboard layouts

Most of the time I type in English. Rest of the time I type in Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Esperanto, and Chinese. I occasionally want to type Korean, Russian, and Japanese. I have got all these keyboard layouts install on Fedora Linux. 

The keyboard layout I use most is English QWERTY. I occasionally try to learn Colemak and Dvorak, but that does not count. You are all familiar with Qwerty, so I will not talk about it. 

Next comes Gurumukhi (Punjabi). I use Inscript. Some people use a phonetic layout. Inscript is more efficient. Here is what it looks like:

I forgot to add Inscript has a big advantage over any other typing method for Indic scripts. Because I can type Punjabi, learning how to type in other Indic script languages is easy, because they all use the same layout with minor changes. Adjustment is as easy, as it is for an English speaker to learn how to type German. The umlaut characters are a nuisance at first, but never a big problem.

Here is the Inscript Devnagari layout.

I have beginning to like the National Language Authority (NLA) Pakistan's Urdu layout because of its efficiency. It is better than the phonetic layout that some other agencies in India and Pakistan support.

I do not know what it is called. Try pronounce "Ŝĝertŭ" and I can excuse you for thinking Esperanto is unlearnable. 

Chinese has a ton of keyboard layouts. Let me name a few - Pinyin (qwerty), Bopomofo, Cangjie, Wubi, Array, Boshiamy, Erbi, and Dayi. This is just the tip of a massive iceberg. I use Cangjie. It is the oldest layout. Chu Bong-Foo created Cangjie in 1976 and made it open source a few years latter. It is popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Unfortunately, as I discovered, many people in China may not even be aware of its existence. What a pity!