--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Michael Everson <everson@...> wrote:

> I have devised a QWERTY-based Vai keyboard which
> seems to work very well. A non-QWERTY-based Vai
> keyboard would be hard pressed to give users
> access to 294 characters plus digits and ASCII
> punctuation without deadkeys (since 48 x 4 =
> 192). Moreover, Vai speakers (who number 105,000)
> live in a country whose official language is
> English, so it's not as though the Latin script
> is unknown to them. A QWERTY-based keyboard for
> Vai would hardly be a curse upon them.

I agree, Michael, that a QWERTY based keyboard is essential.
However, I doubt very much that in many countries where English or
French is the official langauge, this means that most people are
actually literate in the official language. I have heard that 10% of
India is literate in English and English is an official langauge of

I guess it seems too much to suggest that non-alphabetic scripts
should have more than one input method. However, I am learning
something from this discussion. Maybe I will get access to a Mac
some day. I am still curious about the traditional Cherokee
keyboard. Or did you describe it and I missed it.

> >Shift was devised for a particular quirk of
> >contemporary roman, cyrillic, and greek.
> Shift was long used in other traditions. For
> Arabic shaping fragments, for instance. The 1962
> Standard Hindi Typewriter used shift states to
> access half-forms in some instances (MA, M-) and
> different letters in others (U, TTA; DA, DDA).
> >Option isn't used for any ordinary English
> >characters, and Shift-Option is an immense
> >imposition on the typist.
> Façade, naïve, résumé. All English words
> correctly spelled with diacritical marks. In
> Ireland we use option for áéíóú and shift-option
> for ÁÉÍÓÚ and this causes no particular hardship.
> (I say this as one who typesets books in Irish
> regularly.)
> --
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com