Canadian_ms is deprecated in favor of basic_kbdcan but the layouts are different

Hi !

My understanding is that canadian_ms is deprecated in favor of basic_kbdcan but it turns out the layouts are different and the one I’m looking for is, in fact, the deprecated version.

Does anyone know if it’s possible to use the deprecated layout with a recent version of keyman or if it could be ported as-is ?

Thanks !

I had understood that deprecated keyboards could still be selected, but I’m not finding a way to do that with this keyboard. Perhaps someone on the Keyman team can comment.

I will note that this is a mobile-only keyboard (no support for Windows, Linux, Mac).

Welcome to the community, @rfc2549.

Can you give us a reason(s) why the obsolete version is better than the latest version of the keyboard? The more specific and detailed, the better.

Thanks for the welcome :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t say one layout is better than the other (which is probably subjective) but the thing is: they are different.

I’ve been using Fedora Linux and it provides a keyboard layout called “Canadian (international)” which looks like this:

Unless mistaken, this is the same layout as canadian_ms but not the same as basic_kbdcan.

I would have included other screenshots for the sake of comparison but it won’t let me because I’m a new user so see:

The most obvious difference is probably the [ key near the enter key.

Edit: I should have mentioned that my interest in keyman is that this particular layout does not exist on MacOS – they have two different Canadian layouts but neither are the Canadian International from Fedora.

I have located the source of the canadian_ms keyboard, which is from 2007. I can see that it does have a number of differences, but the base keys should be the same. So, yes, you are right in that they are different, and there are some bugs with basic_kbdcan.


  • I see the [ key is blank on the on-screen keyboard on basic_kbdcan. It is a deadkey, so it does function correctly. Nevertheless, this is a bug with basic_kbdcan so we’ll get that fixed: it should show the ^ symbol. The on-screen keyboard Shift and Right Alt states for this key and also ] are not completely correct either:
    [ => ^
    Shift+[ => ¨
    RAlt+[ => `
    RAlt+] => ~
  • canadian_ms has a large number of additional marks accessible with Ctrl and Ctrl+Shift. These are listed in the source code for basic_kbdcan, but disabled. They should be enabled under Right Ctrl and Right Ctrl+Shift (Left Ctrl is reserved for system shortcuts) on basic_kbdcan. The disabled rules are listed with the modifier key XXXX, which should be changed RCTRL.
  • I think apart from those issues listed above, the only other difference is what appears to be two bugs in canadian_ms with the Ctrl+. deadkey, which emits the wrong character U+02D9 instead of U+00B7 for its default output (with Spacebar), and worse, the control character U+0017 instead of U+017C for its output with z.
  • Once the additional keys are enabled for basic_kbdcan, we’ll need to update the on-screen keyboard accordingly.
  • I have included a (23.5 KB) of the source of canadian_ms, in case you wanted to play with it.

I’ve opened this as an issue on the keyboards repository.

canadian_ms was actually just a KeymanWeb keyboard, which was never repackaged for distribution outside of KeymanWeb. This is why it is not listed for download.

In fact, it was for desktop-only KeymanWeb, and did not target mobile devices :slight_smile: From the compiled file view, it would not be easy to tell the difference, so no blame there – but looking at the source shows the indended target pretty clearly.