Log in

No account? Create an account
brad's life [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Brad Fitzpatrick

[ website | bradfitz.com ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Russian Keyboard Layouts [Jan. 25th, 2007|10:09 am]
Brad Fitzpatrick
[Tags|, ]

So, it turns out that Linux, Mac, and Windows all have slightly different Russian keyboard layouts for phonetic mode.

Linux is shown in black here, Mac in red (where it differs). Windows isn't shown because there's no built-in phonetic mode... it's all "go download or make your own! fun fun!". So there exists about a dozen different variations on the net to download. Fortunately I don't use Windows.

But the Mac/Linux variation drives me crazy:

I suppose I could change Linux to match Mac, or vice-versa. Also need to switch the key binding to mode switch, but the built-in GNOME GUI for it doesn't give me any overlapping set of choices that the Mac does. More fun!

It's all enough to make me wonder if I should just learn the actual Russian keyboard layout.

P.S. What's with the two-level language/layout distinction in Windows that neither Mac nor Linux makes? I don't understand the difference. Does it actually inform the underlying application what language you're in? I guess I could see Word (spell checkers) using that data. But it seems that language+layout could be stored together as two properties of items in one list, rather than having a two level list... "Pick your language! Now pick your layout!" Which would be fine in a one-time admin GUI, but having two hotkeys to switch language vs. switch layout... wtf? I'm not seeing the use case. Multi-lingual people with 2 physical keyboards plugged in?

[User Picture]From: ezhenya
2007-01-25 06:18 pm (UTC)
This guy here's got some neat tips on russification.
I don't know if you'll find what you're looking for here..but he might be the expert to ask.

(Reply) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: pne
2007-01-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
Windows uses the system locale/user locale (which are named in the typical creative MS fashion in XP) for the "spell checker" case, not the input settings.

I've had Word change its recognised language on me when I switched keyboards, though.

(For example, I once had English/US set up as an alternate language, because I know the keyboard layout from back in the Good Old Days when DOS would come up without a keyboard driver for some reason, but found that it caused Word to spell-check some things incorrectly, until I switched the language to English/UK -- I kept the layout as English/US, though. So that's possible.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: olgana
2007-01-25 06:28 pm (UTC)
I am using Cyrillic Keyboard application to type in russian in phonetic mode. It allows to change layout or use different layouts.
But application sometimes conflicts with the system and makes me crazy.
I would rather to use something more stable.
What are you using to type in phonetic mode?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-01-25 06:33 pm (UTC)
Linux and Mac have phonetic mode built-in.

Windows doesn't seem to have it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2007-06-22 07:28 pm (UTC)
How do I get it for Linux? I've been looking everywhere?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: butaka
2007-01-25 06:32 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem, I have no fuc.. idea what's the difference between layout and language switchers))))

by the way, here's my keyboard layout, and it's basic variant for russian language:
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-01-25 06:37 pm (UTC)
I totally love how Russian keyboards have a № symbol on the keyboard.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: butaka
2007-01-25 06:44 pm (UTC)


That's because we are special!!!))) And we like to write, that we are are №1 !!! )))))
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mart
2007-01-25 07:05 pm (UTC)

Interesting that it replaces the # symbol on the US-English layout, which can sometimes mean “number”, with a different abbreviation for it. I can't say I've ever used # to mean “number”, so why someone thought it was common enough to deserve to be on the keyboard I have no idea. Can't help but wonder how Russian Perl programmers write their comments.

Of course, on UK keyboards they decided to replace the # symbol with the £ symbol, and added a whole new key for # to live on… so clearly the # was important to someone.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: breqwas
2007-01-25 08:25 pm (UTC)
Russian perl programmers write in perl, not in Russain :) We use the same # sign for comments.

And note that our keyboards have BOTH layouts: http://breqwas.homeip.net:8000/img/misc/keyb.jpg

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: selfmade
2007-01-25 07:43 pm (UTC)
So called ЙЦУКЕН.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: krow
2007-01-25 06:39 pm (UTC)
I don't know if this is relevant or not, but I find that most of our Russian developers use English keyboards and just put stickers on the keys for their own language.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: breqwas
2007-01-25 08:27 pm (UTC)
Yes, that is how it is done when you cannot buy keyboard with both layouts.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: selfmade
2007-01-25 10:00 pm (UTC)
Or if you don't blind type which is quite often among Russians.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: avva
2007-01-25 06:44 pm (UTC)
Suckage, isn't it. I always use the layout shown as Linux on your pic, whatever OS and machine I'm using. As I mostly use Win as desktop these days, I have this as a custom layout. And if I'm in an internet cafe or something like that, I use this awesome page and select the яВерты2 layout in it.

The Mac way is based on visual analogies rather than phonetics - W kinda looks like Ш, H а бит like Ч. Utterly hateful.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brad
2007-01-25 06:54 pm (UTC)
Oh, neat!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: pavelusa
2007-01-25 08:04 pm (UTC)
> Oh, neat!

Had to buy a domain because people complained that it's hard to remember such long URL while in an Internet-cafe, so here it is:


> I am using Cyrillic Keyboard application to type in
> russian in phonetic mode.
> ...But application sometimes conflicts with the system
> and makes me crazy.
> I would rather to use something more stable.
> What are you using to type in phonetic mode?

There is 100 times safer (and 100 times simpler) way to the _the same_ - takes (one time job) 19 minutes to tune-up regular _system_ keyboard to the same Phonetic mode -
htere is nothing better, simpler and troublefree than regular system input!
And while using Phonetic layout with system keyboard, you also can easily modify it to your liking.

All that is described on the site already listed above, but here is the direct link:
http://Phon.RusWin.net (in Russian)
or in English the same: http://Phonetic.RusWin.net


(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: olgana
2007-01-26 06:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll try.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: olgana
2007-01-25 07:23 pm (UTC)
Perfect! Thanks.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: selfmade
2007-01-25 07:41 pm (UTC)
It makes sense to use default Windows (or rather traditional) layout for Russian for ergonomics sake. Often used symbols are located under pointing fingers, seldom used symbols are under little fingers. Surely there are some misplaced symbols like , or ё Microsoft located in funny places.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: dimrub
2007-01-25 09:27 pm (UTC)
AFAIK, the traditional (aka typewriter) layout was designed with another goal in mind entirely (one may go as far as to say that it is anything BUT ergonomic), namely - to move the frequently subsequent letters as far apart as possible, so that the little arms with letters on them that do the actual printing on a typewriter do not get stuck together (which didn't help me much back in the days of typewriters - they used to get stuck together ALL THE TIME, the fucking morons). But hey, I'm used to it, I blind type it (the йцукен, that is), and every computer in Russia probaly has it, so yes, Brad, go for it!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: synthetic_girl
2007-01-25 07:48 pm (UTC)
OMG, what kind of keyboard is this?? In origin the keys are all in other places! But the idea is good, phonetic mode might be really useful for learning languages.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jojobear99
2007-01-25 08:17 pm (UTC)
Language settings in windows are wonky. You change the language and suddenly some but not all applications decide to use the new language to display dialogs and menu options. Trying to keep straight which of the numerous "Regional and Language Options" is the one you need to change to make applications show the date in Spanish or to make applications show menus in English or make internet explorer stop defaulting to showing google in spanish cuz I'm tired and don't want foriegn language practice at that moment and so on is confusing and often trial and error to say the least. There does seem to be some bit of notifying the underlying apps what the language settings are...Somehow "I want to see dates and google in Russian" is completely unrelated to "I want to type Russian on my keyboard". More likely use case would be someone who wants to read in one language but type in a different (eg. always type with an english key layout)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: taral
2007-01-25 11:47 pm (UTC)
Windows distinguishes language vs. layout due to old charset issues.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: troworld
2007-01-26 03:34 pm (UTC)
The v->ж correspondence in Linux's layout is driving me crazy. "v" does not look nor sound anything like "ж".

I like Gnome's multi-key entry method, so "ч" is just "ch" :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: 240888
2007-01-26 09:45 pm (UTC)
they did it to make letters "х" "у" and "й" closer to each other:))

(Reply) (Thread)