This is an object lesson in the flexibility provided by two principles of Unix-like operating systems:
1. Everything is a file.
2. Almost every file is human-readable text.
Most important to this project was a corollary to the second point: that which can be read can be edited.
Searching Google for â€œDvorak international layoutâ€ resulted in me finding Arjen van Kol’s dvorak_intl layout.Â I liked his layout quite a bit at first, but I found myself still having to access a character map for punctuation I use oftenâ€”such as the â€œem dash.â€Â I also noticed that his key layout, at least the Linux version, doesn’t match the illustration on his site.
I began by making his layout match his illustration (I’ll send him an email tomorrow), then moved the Yen symbol, and finished up by adding a nice array of hyphen-like punctuation marks.Â This layout allows you to enter 160 different Unicode characters without having to move your hands away from the keyboard, but it certainly helps to have a Unicode font (and programs which understand Unicode, which is almost everything these days).
Please Note: The accent grave/tilde key is split into two modes. The characters on the left side, which you get by pressing the key with or without the â€œShiftâ€ key, are what XKB calls â€œgraveâ€ and â€œasciitilde.â€ The characters on the right side are combining characters which can be used with dead key (right â€œAltâ€) to apply these diacritics to any letter.
You can download my new keyboard layout by clicking on this link; installation instructions are provided in the comments at the beginning of the file. Please post in the comments if you want me to write a post detailing how I made this layout.
Version 1.1 Update:
A new version of this layout is available. Please see the release announcement for more information.