[Ubuntu-PH] Philippines National Keyboard Layout

JC 施洗 John ᜑᜓᜏᜈ᜔ Sese 謝 Cuneta ᜃᜓᜈᜒᜆ jcjohn.sesecuneta at laibcoms.com
Sun Oct 10 09:54:32 UTC 2010

Hi everyone,

Attached is the X Keyboard file that you can use to try out v2 of the
Philippines National Keyboard Layout, hopefully will become the official
one down the road.  Before the long explanation, here's a HowTo install:


* Just put the "ph" file in: /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols

Step 1.0: Open these two files
    gksu gedit /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/evdev.lst
    gksu gedit /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst (xfree86.lst)

Step 1.1 Search for: ! variant
Step 1.2 before it, add
  ph              Philippines

Step 2.0: Open these two files
    gksu gedit /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/evdev.xml
    gksu gedit /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.xml (xfree86.xml)

Step 2.1 Search for: </layoutList>
Step 2.2 before it, add


Now for the long explanation:
First of all, I decided to base this new National keyboard layout on the
(soon-to-be standard) ISO/IEC 9995-3:2009 keyboard layout.  This is to
make sure that if ever this becomes the official or /de facto/ keyboard
for Filipinos, the characters will not change much if we bought a
different keyboard or we're in another country (well, that was the idea
of ISO but only Canada and some other country uses the ISO layout, we
might become the third).

Secondly, I only "activated" the characters that I have personally seen
in used by Filipinos here in the Philippines (regular citizens to
businesses).  That means this is only a partial ISO-based keyboard.  My
guideline is, if there is no valid reason to add a character, then do
not add it.

Third, I added the ₱eso sign and enye Ññ both of which are not part of
ISO/IEC 9995-3:2009 keyboard layout.  The reason is simple, this is a
"National" keyboard for us, it is only appropriate to add these two
characters since we use these.

The guidelines I used:
a) Prioritized the layout of ISO/IEC 9995-3
b) Next, prioritized the keys that Filipinos actually use
c) Next, do not deviate away from the methods used by ISO in typing
similar characters (eg: ¥ and ₱, as explained below)

Next, I'm going to run down the characters I added
1) ₱eso sign - to type press: AltGr+Shift+P
-- Why?  The Japanese ¥en / Chinese ¥uan sign is typed as:
AltGr+Shift+Y.  I do not want to deviate away from that method.
-- Why not 3, 4 or 5?  3 have #³£; 4 already have $¼€; 5 have %½↑
-- And Guideline letter C above.

2) Ññ - to type press: AltGr+Shift+N for uppercase; AltGr+n for lowercase
3) Number keys from 1 to 0 have the following: Level 3 (AltGr) -->
¹²³¼½¾⅛⅜⅝⅞; Level 4 (AltGr+Shift) --> ¡¤£€↑↓←→±™

From hereon, it is always: Level 3 (AltGr) first then followed by Level
4 (AltGr+Shift)
4) e: œ Œ - "oe", still being used in English today.  fœderal; diarrhœa
5) r: ¶ ® - "¶" signifies end of paragraph; and Registered Trademark sign
6) y: ɼ ¥ - I have to add ɼ (AltGr+y) so AltGr+Shift+Y (¥) will work.
7) p: þ ₱ - I have to add þ (AltGr+p) so AltGr+Shift+P (₱) will work. 
The þ character looks like the emoticon :p anyway.
8) a: æ Æ - "ae", still being used in English today.  Archœology; Æon Flux
9) ;: ° (degrees sign), so we can now type easily: It's too hot today! 
Ubuntu weather reports 28°C T_T
10) \: ə Ə (schwa, usually used in text books and by linguists)
11) z: « - double-left arrow
12) x: » - double-right arrow
13) c: ¢ © - cents and Copyright
14) v: “ ‘ - a stylish double quote and single quote; Office suites and
WYSIWYG's actually use these ones
15) b: “ ‘ - a stylish double quote and single quote; Office suites and
WYSIWYG's actually use these ones
16) n: ñ Ñ
17) m: µ º - micro symbol, example: µblog.  º means an "ordinal number",
so if I put 1º it reads as "1st"; 2º it reads as 2nd.  We don't really
use this, maybe mathematicians and physicists do.  Besides, there's a
space for AltGr+Shift+M if I don't add it, might as well use it.
18) ,: … × - "…" is a *single* character "..." (ellipsis). Useful for
microbloggers, saves you two characters.  Next is the Multiplication
sign "×", compare that to lowercase letter 'x': ×x×x
19) .: · ÷ - middle dot and division sign
20) ]: a combining tilde - example g with a tilde: g then AltGr+]  = g̃ 
historically, Philippine languages puts a tilde above the letter g. 
Read: http://laibcoms.com/the-history-of-mr-nang-and-ms-ng  Educators,
historists, linguists may need this ability.

So far, I'm cool with this version (v2).  I'm looking for feedbacks
specially if there are experts out there or if there is a "committee" of
sorts that handles this type of "National" things (DOST?)  If not, then
it is up to us to decide on which format the first "Philippines National
Keyboard Layout" will take form.

Feel free to pass this to the rest of the Philippine Linux community and
any other lists that might be interested in this project.  If the
feedback is good, then I'll start creating a Windows7 version, then we
can start spreading this new layout and submit to X.org too.

Thank you very much.

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