[kde-linux] Limit for keyboard layouts?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Fri Sep 16 03:09:52 UTC 2011

Rajko M. posted on Thu, 15 Sep 2011 18:52:46 -0500 as excerpted:

> And xkb will most likely stay as it is till keyboards will be replaced
> with voice. As it is mentioned in
> https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=19501#c5 it is protocol
> limitation. Somebody in 1987, creating keyboard support for X thought
> that 4 keyboard layouts is all one would ever need. Taking that
> developers usually speak their native and English, of human languages,
> it is hard to blame them for doubling the number and thinking that is
> enough.

Not necessarily.  If "we" (kde/linux/floss/some-other-value) were 
sticking with X, it may be true, but qt is already said to have 
experimental wayland support, and I believe I've seen at least the kwin 
dev(s) mention it in various articles as well.  Certainly, I don't expect 
kde4/qt4 to have more than experimental wayland implementations at best, 
but they're already working on qt5 and kde5, and I believe wayland 
support is planned for qt5 and expect that there will at least be an 
experimental kde5 implementation thereof, tho I don't expect it to drop a 
lot of legacy X stuff as X will still likely be at least an equal 

By kde6, it's possible that wayland will be the major platform, and that 
legacy X support and limitations may be disappearing.  That's very likely 
5-8 years out, but given that they're already working on kde5 and that 
the kde4 -> kde5 switch has as an announced goal to be rather less major 
and painful than the kde3 -> kde4 switch, if wayland has matured into a 
reasonable and common protocol of its own by then, as looks to be 
reasonable, it's quite possible that the kde6 version bump will be the 
needed excuse to start dropping legacy X compatibility and really making 
use of the new wayland technology.

Time will tell, of course.

Meanwhile, keyboards are likely to be around for awhile.  Really good 
/general/ /purpose/ voice interfacing seems to be rather like artificial 
intelligence, always out there a few years, arguably because it will 
/take/ artificial intelligence to make it a reasonably bug-free reality.  
Limited voice recognition, as we see in cell phones for dialing, etc, is 
possible today, but other than being more common in lower cost and 
smaller technology, it's /not/ particularly less "special purpose 
limited" than were the voice recognition apps of a decade and a half ago, 
in the later '90s.  Out of limited contexts in the general-purpose world, 
computer-based voice-recognition is still not particularly practical, and 
I don't expect that to change within the next decade or so unless there's 
some huge and unpredicted technological leap.  Those "limited contexts" 
where voice recognition input is useful are likely to continue gradually 
expanding, but I believe it's reasonably safe to predict that voice input 
won't be general-purpose useful for a decade or so anyway, with wayland 
very possibly being on the way to supplanting X in half that.

But as I said, time will tell.

Meanwhile, most of what I've read about wayland has been dealing with the 
computer output side.  This /does/ beg the question[1] of what wayland 
input protocol is going to be like, and what sort of limitations it might 
or might not have in regard to keyboard layouts, etc.

[1] "Beg the question":  Yes prescriptivists, I know.  But I'm a 
descriptivist and am using the phrase in its now-common literal word 
meaning sense, it invites/begs/demands that the question be asked, and 
it's my post.  Deal[ with it]!

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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