Re: Māori Macrons & olpc keyboard

Gonzalo Odiard gonzalo at
Tue Jun 25 21:13:52 EDT 2013

Maybe the font used is related to this issue?
You can test using abiword from gnome or the terminal,
and try different fonts.


On Mon, Jun 24, 2013 at 7:53 AM, Tom Parker <tom at> wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm looking at how you enter a macron for Māori language users.
> It seems that the olpc us international keyboard binds a ̄  COMBINING
> MACRON (unicode U+0304) to algr + hyphan. When typed after the letter a you
> get ā which is similar to but not the same as ā LATIN SMALL LETTER A WITH
> MACRON (unicode U+0101).
> Issues I've noted with a small amount of testing:
> On older builds, Write does not correctly load files containing the
> combining macron.
> The combining macron is not rendered at the correct height for lower case
> letters. (on older builds this seems to be the case all the time, on newer
> builds, it is rendered correctly after loading a file until you delete a
> following character the on the same line, then it jumps up)
> You can have more than one combining macron, they stack.
> You have to delete twice, once to delete the macron and again to delete
> the character.
> Have these issues come up before? I don't see any. I will raise tickets
> for the bugs rendering the macron in the latest version of write shortly.
> I'm not sure if anyone wants a ticket for older builds? Obviously stacking
> macrons is by-design when using the combining macron character (see
> for more improbable outcomes of combining
> characters, perhaps your browser will crash).
> I haven't yet experimented with entering the ā U+0101 characters into
> sugar (tomorrow!)
> Apparently on Windows, the Māori keyboard is set up such that when you hit
> the grave (apparently this is what I have always called the backtick) key
> and then one of the vowels, you get the macron version of the vowel. I
> haven't seen this in action but Māori typists claim it is very efficient.
> Gnome on Ubuntu on my laptop binds right-alt-a to ā U+0101 when using the
> Māori keyboard layout. I'm not sure how Maori typists feel about this
> inconsistency with windows.
> When you choose the language in sugar, can this change the keyboard layout
> too? If not, what is the recommended way to configure this?
> How complex is it to change the localization of the keyboard for the Maori
> language? The xkb files don't look too complicated. Is the grave - vowel =
> macron vowel possible while still preserving the backtick for shell
> scripting? I haven't seen the laptops in question but I'm told they have
> the Australian simplified key caps, so changing the existing alt-gr
> mappings to render macron vowels (ie to mimic the Maori keyboard option on
> Gnome-Ubuntu) instead of the existing mappings won't confuse the key caps.
> Obviously touching all the laptops to change how the keyboard works is a
> pain and the change is potentially erased by future updates.
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