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Bug#466384: The change of default Finnish keyboard

On 2/23/08, Teemu Likonen <tlikonen@iki.fi> wrote:
> Martin-Éric Racine kirjoitti:
> My point is that this really is not about you and me. This Kotoistus
>  keyboard is about Finnish people in general.

The average Finn won't notice much. However, Finns who need to
frequently write in a foreign language (a common case inside EU)
definitely will, because writing anything but Scandinavian languages
has become harder than before.

>  > For everything else, it breaks what little
>  > compatibility there was was with other neighboring countries'
>  > keyboard maps and it makes it *more*difficult* to get some glyphs
>  > that fi(Classic) makes a breeze to get.
> I do believe you. No doubt you find some letters/characters more
>  difficult to write than before and of course you are right in your
>  opinion. There is fi(classic) available for people like you. But I
>  think it really is not an argument for not making fi(kotoistus) the
>  default because in general fi(kotoistus) makes it easier--and now first
>  time even possible--to write correct Finnish and international text.
>  This means accented characters and punctuation.

That was already possible with fi(Classic) and the choices there made
a lot more sense, overall. As much as I try, to many of the Kotoistus
defaults simply make things more tedious than before.

>  Do you find writing more difficult
>  because dead_caron and dead_macron are in different place? Or that now
>  łŁħĦšŠžŽñÑ (which were behind AltGr) need dead key?

Yes, to both items.

For someone who often needs to switch between Estonian and Finnish
keyboards, having šŠžŽ as AltGr keys on S and Z made a lot of sense.
It also kept the typing consistent between both keyboard maps.

Likewise, having dead_macron on the - key made a lot of sense, because
it too is some sort of dash.

Having the cédille as an AltGr deadkey on the comma also made sense,
because it looks like a comma and goes under the letter.

Kotoistus' choice of moving those away defies logic. In the case of
the cédille, it also requires a shift, in addition to a dead key. In
other words, it makes writing in French using a Finnish keyboard
*much* slower than before.

When the Kotoistus keymap was announced, I was initially thrilled but,
as soon as I tried it, I learned to *hate* it, because it clearly
shows a lack of usability. The committee behind the new standard also
blatantly ignored memos by fellow multilinguists on what would be a
*usable* new keyboard map. All they were interested in was following
whatever standard the other Scandinavian countries would implement.

At least one computer manufacturer had the brains to at least try to
find a compromise: recent Fujitsu-Semens keyboards have Estonian
glyphs in blue, in addition to green for Norwegian and red for Danish
(or was it red for Norwegian and green for Danish?) variants to the
Finnish-Swedish keyboard map. There, you can clearly what *would* have
been a usable compromise by all countries. The differences aren't that
big, but they are annoying enough to make the basic keyboard map
slightly incompatible between Nordic countries and they ignore the
Estonian map completely.

Martin-Éric Racine

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