Subject: Re: new console driver code
To: Ty Sarna <>
From: CyberPeasant <>
List: current-users
Date: 03/23/1998 22:20:15
> In article <sp5i21y6LiYE411FQa@zelux6> you write:
> > A keymap per virtual terminal... interesting idea, I didn't think about it
> > yet. As the code is laid out, it seems possible to implement.
> Great!
> > Sdrawsdvui towarishtsh (or so:-)
> Prevyet :-)
> > Isn't that more like the ALTGR on european keyboards - something
> > which changes the meaning of the keyboard completely?
> > (OK, the ALTGR is not locking normally.)
> I think so (but I've never uset an ALTGR keyboard).  I think in this
> case it makes sense for it to be locking.  For European languages,
> mostly the regular ASCII letters are used, and once in a while a special
> one.  Similar to capital letters -- mostly lowercase, once in a while
> uppercase.  So for those it makes sense to have the modifier be
> momentary. 
> But for the Cyrillic alphabet, one might switch back and forth (switch
> to ASCII, type command to start editor, switch to cyrillic, write
> message and save, switch back), but there will be long blocks of one
> alphabet and then the other, so I think a locking modifier makes more
> sense. One wouldn't switch on a letter-by-letter basis. 
> (Hmm, just realizes emacs will be a pain in such a system... control
> keys will work OK, but commands that use Meta-<letter> or ^X-<letter>
> will require a shift. Fortunately those are less common...)
> > Perhaps it would be acceptable to switch the complete keymap
> > when a special key is pressed (eg F1 -- ever used ChiWriter)?
> That would be pretty much the same thing from the user's perspective, I
> think. Sounds like a good idea.
> Maybe there should just be 'N' keboard map slots (needn't be to many... 
> maybe 4 or 8), and each vt can just have a current keymap slot number,
> rather than loading the complete keymap.  Then allow keys to be defined
> that switch the current vt to the Nth keymap slot. Should be easier to
> implement and allow sharing without so much work.

Несколько замечаний о цириллизации:  My two kopeks worth:

There are "usual" ways of doing this under X:  One key becomes a
lock-key (typically CapsLock), and another (RightAlt or somesuch),
a shift key. There is no good reason to do a console differently...
the Linux Cyrillic console works this way, too.  Alas, there are flavors
of Cyrillic -- according to most sources, one used in Russia and among
'serious' users, namely KOI8-R, another invented for X and not used by
anyone except for embedding an occasional Cyrillic word into Latin text,
(this is ISO-something) and one which the Famous Slavophile and East
European Expert Bill Gates invented without consulting, apparently,
a single Russian (except for, possibly, the ghost of Rasputin)
-- the so called Alt system. Russian Windoze chajniki use it sometimes,
out of harsh necessity. So does TeX, although I believe that KOI8-R is
now available for TeX. Hmmph. There is yet another MicroSoft abomination
specific to Windoze, too. (Lest anyone stumbling into this thread think
I'm exagerating M$'s stupidity: what they have done is ignore a govt
standard (GOST), and invent their own thing, the equivalent of inventing
a new Latin ordering that is neither ASCII nor EBCDIC.)

Bear in mind that not all machines (the dreaded Pmax, for instance) have
a Right Alt key, or RightCtrl, for that matter. So the mode/shift keys
need to be kept flexible. (I don't know how MI you are planning on going
with this).

For fonts, it might be convenient to use one of the bitmapped fonts
from X, namely the widespread cronyx ones. The ones called Courier are
probably more eye-pleasing than the "fixed" series, although none of
them will ever win design awards. There are some Linux console fonts
to crib, too. (They might be of cronyx origin.)

For editors of the vi flavor, vim has the interesting ability to
magically remap your Cyrillic (or Greek or ...) to ASCII when not in
INSERT mode, i.e. you can enter some Cyrillic, hit escape and do hjkl
etc without exiting Cyrillic.

Isn't there a special emacs Cyrillic environment? I'm not an emacs user,
so don't know.

Ukrainians, I'm old, use a KOI8 variant. (The Russian version won't
work -- no letter "i" for starters.)  Byelorussian? Who knows?
A Bulgarian informs me that "they don't use KOI8". I'm fairly
sure that the non-Slavic languages that use Cyrillic will be happy with
KOI8-R. The Ukrainians, at least, should be catered to--there are
plenty of them to be drawn from the darkness of Windoze and the twilight
world of Linux... {Blush, most Linux distributions come with the hooks
for Cyrillization...}

Oh yeah, the two keymappings are "jcuken" and "yawerty" -- both are
needed. (jcuken is the 'real' one, but I'll be darned if I can touch
type in it... yawerty is much easier for the Latin-alphabet native.)

Some URLS:

on Cyrillization in general:
	    (and nearby directories)

   Linkname: SovInformBureau: Russify Everything                                

I think the mother of archives is  ftp:

Off-topic, but an interesting site for Cyrillic e-text:

   Linkname: Russkaya Literatura v Internete / Gazety i Zhurnaly

Lynx seems to handle KOI8-R with a minimum of fuss.

A temptation exhibited on Bugtraq:
  "This not only crashes MSIE4 but also Eudora4.0 (yes the mail reader...)
  I can't read this mail with out a crash. I had to read it in pine on a
  unix system."