Māori Macrons & olpc keyboard

Barry Vercoe barry at laptop.org.au
Tue Jun 25 08:22:10 EDT 2013

Tom, it's not correct to say the laptops will remain in Maori.  Many 
schools have both Maori and English classes, and the ability of these 
machines to cross the boundary, to have a child work either in their 
first language or (with a simple switch in Settings->Language) to gain 
experience in another, is one of our strong features.  Having the switch 
relatively easy is a great, and I've seen some kids do it while I'm 
supposedly talking to them.

Incidentally, there's a _bug _when declaring the second language 
second.  It seems that whichever language is _last declared_ becomes the 
current language in which alternative languages are expressed -- as for 
instance for the list within _Speak_. Since I don't yet have a Maori 
version of the ESPEAK voice engine (takers anyone?), and since English 
pronunciation and prosody is a poor substitute, I routinely tell the 
children typing in Maori to set the _Speak _language to Vietnamese.  
This is a surprisingly good substitute.  But it becomes hard to find if 
someone has last set the login 2nd language to Arabic.  This bug 
shouldn't be hard to fix.  Until then, declare your #2 language first, 
and your #1 language last.

-- barry

On 25/06/2013 10:51 p.m., Tom Parker wrote:
> On 24/06/13 23:43, Walter Bender wrote:
>> Which build are you running? In the latest Sugar builds, there is a
>> keyboard settings control panel section. We could probably backport it
>> to your build if it is reasonably recent.
> I don't know which build they are running. I've tried
> One Education OS 1.2 (build au889) with Sugar 0.94.1
> 13.2.0 for XO-4 (build 10) with Sugar 0.98.7
> XO-system 1a for XO-4 (build 34) with Sugar 0.98.7
> and none of them have a keyboard settings thing.
> I don't think a keyboard settings control panel is immediately 
> necessary as the laptops will remain in Maori. It would be good in a 
> future release if we could say "after reflashing, set your language 
> and keyboard to maori" without having to resort to customizations.
>> Meanwhile, we may have to make a new X keyboard symbols file for you
>> that does the right thing. Not impossible to get upstreamed.
> I wasn't really able understand the /usr/share/X11/xkb directory, but 
> using xkbcomp to retrieve the current config, modify it and return it 
> to the X server does the trick.
> Is there a document that describes the "right" way to add a keyboard 
> and select it? Using xkbcomp in a startup script might work but is 
> obviously a hack. 
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Creating_A_New_Keyboard_Layout seems to 
> cover this but appears to be out of date.
> Until we get feedback from the actual users about what they want their 
> keyboards to do, I think it's best to customize the build they have 
> rather than upstream something and get a new build.

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