Friday, January 5, 2018

Unicode LDML Keyboard Enhancements

keyboardThe Unicode CLDR Technical Committee is planning to enhance the Unicode LDML keyboard specifications. The goal is to be able to represent all the keyboard features necessary to support keyboard layouts from all major providers, allowing the CLDR repository of keyboard layouts to support not only languages in widespread use, but also digitally disadvantaged languages.  As a part of this work, keyboards add support for more complex scripts, add capabilities for virtual keyboards (especially mobile phones), incorporate features needed on specific platforms, and provide better layouts overall. Keyboards would also be able to import files, reducing maintenance by allowing common features to be shared. For complex scripts, the transform elements are made more powerful, and reorder and backspace transforms are added.

The plan is to incorporate the changes specified in the PRI #367 background document into CLDR v33 (ca. March 2018), and to work thereafter to improve the tooling for the new specification, and streamline the process for submitting new keyboards into CLDR.

The committee is soliciting feedback on the proposal so that it can make any necessary improvements. The closing date for providing feedback is February 1, 2018.

Please see the PRI #367 page for complete details.

Over 130,000 characters are available for adoption, to help the Unicode Consortium’s work on digitally disadvantaged languages.

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