Updates for OLPC English Keyboard mappings table

Paul Fox pgf at laptop.org
Wed Jun 29 09:58:03 EDT 2011

sridhar wrote:
 > On 27 June 2011 00:11, Sridhar Dhanapalan <sridhar at laptop.org.au> wrote:
 > > I have been consulting http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_English_Keyboard
 > > and performing some of my own tests with an external US-style keyboard
 > > (Logitech Internet 350) on an XO-1.5 running XO-AU OS 10.1.3-au2.
 > >

sorry, i missed this the first time around.

i'm not sure that the table you're referring to is really pertinent --
external keyboards are treated in a relatively "raw" manner, when
compared to the internal keyboards.

this is trickey topic.  the problem is that there are many layers of
mapping going on (keyboard driver, olpc-kbdshim, X, sugar), and
expressing them all in a table describing the keyboard is incomplete.

there are many types of keyboard as well (membrane, clickety,
external).  couple that with newer releases that run sugar (which
wants to "own" neighborhood/ friends/home/activity/frame) as well as
gnome (which wants those keys to generate F1...F12), and it's all
pretty complicated.

 > > So far I have determined that:
 > >
 > >  * F1-F4 changes views (Neighbourhood/Friends/Home/Activity)
 > >  * F5 switches to the journal
 > >  * F6 shows the frame
on an external keyboard, i think those all work because sugar catches
the literal function keys.  the table you linked to contains things
like "XK_ViewMesh" -- while sugar might catch that too, it's not why
an external keyboard works.  (i'm not even sure it's why an internal
keyboard works anymore, but it might be.  running xev would tell you.)

 > >  * F11/F12 controls volume (also, volume controls on most keyboards work)
 > >  * my additional volume keys also work

this one is tricky.  olpc-kbdshim is involved here for internal
keyboards, but not for external.  (internal are hard, because the
labeling on the membrane and mechanical keyboards are quite different --
see http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_English_Non-membrane_Keyboard)
in any case, sugar must be catching both F11/F12 and the "media" key values.
for both to work from your external keyboard.  but note that if you
were running gnome, and an application took over F11 (for "Full Screen",
say), then it would no longer control volume.  on an internal keyboard
volume control would still be available via fn-F11.

you asked later about the brightness keys and an external keyboard: 
the same comments should apply for F9 and F10, but i guess sugar
doesn't handles those anymore?  i can never remember where to find
this code in sugar anymore -- perhaps someone else can look.  (by
"same", i mean that olpc-kbdshim will do nothing for an external
keyboard, and therefore it's all up to sugar.)

 > >  * right Alt behaves as AltGr

don't know about that one, or where the distinction happens.

 > >  * Windows key acts as Hand/Grab (hold this button and move on the
 > > track pad to scroll)

olpc-kbdshim does that, and intentionally does it whether the
keyboard is internal or external.

 > >
 > > It looks to me that the function/modifier keys for frame, volume and
 > > grab are not mapped in the table on that wiki page. I didn't want to
 > > edit it unless I was sure about it. Can someone knowledgeable please
 > > confirm and/or update the page?

again, that's a table describing the internal membrane keyboard -- one
that i'm not even sure is still accurate.  i don't think it should contain
information for external keyboards.

perhaps a new page is needed.


 > Also, is there a way to change the screen brightness via an external keyboard?
 > Thanks,
 > Sridhar
 > Sridhar Dhanapalan
 > Technical Manager
 > One Laptop per Child Australia
 > M: +61 425 239 701
 > E: sridhar at laptop.org.au
 > A: G.P.O. Box 731
 >      Sydney, NSW 2001
 > W: www.laptop.org.au
 > _______________________________________________
 > Devel mailing list
 > Devel at lists.laptop.org
 > http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/devel

 paul fox, pgf at laptop.org

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