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Coder Keymaps closed

I started Coder Keymaps a while back to create my ideal keymap. The original idea is to map Hungarian characters via the Windows key more sensibly than the standard Hungarian keymap. To do this, take the standard US layout, hold a Windows (Super) key, and press an alphanumeric key to produce a relevant Hungarian accented character. This way, Super + a becomes á, for example.

I extended the project substantially about two years ago to minimize hand travel distance. When writing code, one’s right hand must often move between the alphanumeric and navigation blocks. To alleviate this problem, I mapped the entire navigation block to the alphanumeric block via the Windows key. This way, Super + {I, J, K, L} becomes {up, left, down, right}.

I’ve used the above keymap with great pleasure, improving my efficiency for almost two years. Unfortunately, the X11 keyboard drivers must have changed in the last two Ubuntu releases because my xmodmap keymaps stopped working. I knew from the onset that xmodmap was outdated, and XKB was the future, but it wasn’t urgent to port Coder Keymaps to XKB, so I didn’t do that.

Due to the pressing need to use my beloved mapping, I’ve made some efforts and chatted with Sergey Udaltsov, who is very knowledgeable about XKB.

Long story short, it seems that it’s impossible to create such an exotic keymap on Linux. Not that it’s not possible at all to create it with XKB, but various GUI toolkits, such as GTK+, interpret the mappings in strange ways, and they wouldn’t be consistent across toolkits. I’m sure this can be solved by modifying the X11 keyboard driver or the toolkits, but as you may suppose, it’d be heroic work. Not only that, but this is an OS-specific problem, and I want a general solution.

I finally decided to attack the problem differently by creating keyboard hardware with limitless remapping potential. It’s a two-year-old idea of mine. The prototype is in development, and it’s very innovative in many ways. I’ve gathered a small but knowledgeable team that is progressing rapidly. I wanted to have a working prototype by the end of this year, but I’m not sure we get there in time because prototyping is expensive, and the delivery of rare electronic components takes time to arrive in Hungary. But no matter how long it will take, we’ll never give up.

As a result of the above, I don’t want to devote more time to Coder Keymaps. The project has been closed.

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