Can Keyman for OS X accept .KMX files?

I’m trying out Keyman on a Mac using MacOS 10.13.3 (High Sierra).
My first attempt to install a keyboard failed because I attempted to drag a .kmx file onto the keyboard configuration dialog. It seemed ready to accept this, there was a + sign that appeared, but when I’d drop the file it didn’t stay.

When I read the documentation, I saw I needed to install a .KMP file. When I tried that it worked.

This is going to be annoying for us Windows power users who for years have been used to circulating KMX files to new users to get them installed. Is it possible to make Keyman in MacOS accept kmx files?

I can’t speak for the Keyman team, but I think we have a pretty strong view that keyboards should come with documentation so to be distributing just .kmx files and leaving the user to be confused about how to type isn’t something I would recommend.

Yes, as Lorna says. .kmx files have a certain level of convenience for the keyboard developer but others pay for the convenience, due to lack of documentation, on screen keyboard, and often fonts. We made a decision early on to only support .kmp files for installation in macOS for this reason. The website now only distributes .kmp packages as well; plain .kmx files were a continual headache for us to support as in many cases the original developer was no longer available and we had to reverse engineer them in order to help users.

It is very simple to create a package for a keyboard in Keyman Developer, and using a .kpj project file in Developer, you can build both keyboard and package in a single step. You can build keyboards and packages within Keyman Developer IDE or from the command line with kmcomp, on Windows, macOS and Linux. So I really feel there is no real blocker for power users such as yourself to start using .kmp files.

One last thing. Keyman 10 will support installation of .kmp files on iOS and Android as well as on Windows and macOS. These packages will need to contain the compiled .js file, in order to be compatible with mobile devices, but this means a keyboard developer can distribute a single file for all platforms. This, I think, is a pretty good reason to start getting used to sharing .kmp instead of .kmx files.

Lorna and Marc,

Your reasoning does makes sense.

I would add this logic to the developer documentation – it was not rapidly obvious to me that I needed to package the keyboard as a kmp file, and I certainly didn’t know why that was so until I asked this question.

Yes, the documentation is in need work here. Good news is that we are currently working on that so your feedback there is timely.