Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

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M_Mynaardt
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Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by M_Mynaardt »

Hi!

So far I'm rather enjoying LXDE. But one thing I'd like to do is have a menu to select between multiple keyboards from the main panel. I do this with Xfce easily enough, but have not been able to figure out how to do so with LXDE.

What I would like to do is have a launcher app of sorts on the main panel so I can choose between four different keyboards I use from time to time: Canadian English (Like, I'm Canadian, eh? Beauty!), Spanish (for my studies as a modern second language), Polytonic Greek (for my studies in Classics), and Esperanto (just because).

I found the keyboard selector from the configuration menu, but it doesn't have many different keyboard configurations to choose from. Is there a way of adding Polytonic Greek, Canadian English and Esperanto keyboards to that lot? And is there also a way of having a keyboard selector on the control panel like I do with Xfce?

Are there any things I should need for this from Synaptic? I had to use that to get the keyboard business working in Linux Mint 9 Xfce.

Thanks in advance!
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terdon
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by terdon »

Hi, you should be able to add new layouts from the Layouts tab in the keyboard settings. Just click on "Add...". Once you have, a button should appear on the panel.

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M_Mynaardt
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by M_Mynaardt »

terdon wrote:Hi, you should be able to add new layouts from the Layouts tab in the keyboard settings. Just click on "Add...". Once you have, a button should appear on the panel.
I can't find the "add" option for keyboard layouts, actually! Not in LXDE. I was looking in Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse -> Keyboard Layout.

Should I have looked somewhere else?

Thanks...
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ghostt
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by ghostt »

I seem to have the same problem with lxde mint8....anyone please help us ??

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by telenux »

Nope, you're doing what one would expect but they haven't bothered to offer a usable or flexible interface for it.

You need to add the layouts yourself. Good luck.

I recommend switching to xfce if you want more flexibility and still want lower resources than the other DEs.

LXDE sucks as a DE. Certain features and projects they don't bother with. It's supposedly not mature yet but that's been said forever. I guess it'll never be 'mature.' :)

Edit: If you insist on LXDE, I found this post so see if it helps:

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=175&t=58729

Considering there's no replies, I have no idea if it solves your issue.

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by M_Mynaardt »

telenux wrote:Nope, you're doing what one would expect but they haven't bothered to offer a usable or flexible interface for it.

You need to add the layouts yourself. Good luck.

I recommend switching to xfce if you want more flexibility and still want lower resources than the other DEs.

LXDE sucks as a DE. Certain features and projects they don't bother with. It's supposedly not mature yet but that's been said forever. I guess it'll never be 'mature.' :)

Edit: If you insist on LXDE, I found this post so see if it helps:

http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=175&t=58729

Considering there's no replies, I have no idea if it solves your issue.
I'll give that a go and see what happens.

Actually, the keyboard switcher is the only problem I've had with LXDE, really. Despite that, I actually am partial to Xfce. I just like to know how to use both. I have some persistent installs which I prefer to have as LXDE, so as few resources as possible are used whenever I try to use them on someone else's machines. Probably doesn't really matter that much, though, I know...
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by Losgann »

M_Mynaardt wrote:What I would like to do is have a launcher app of sorts on the main panel so I can choose between four different keyboards I use from time to time: Canadian English (Like, I'm Canadian, eh? Beauty!), Spanish (for my studies as a modern second language), Polytonic Greek (for my studies in Classics), and Esperanto (just because).
First of all, which layout are you currently using, and what sort of Canadian keyboard do you have? (i.e. general North American QWERTY, Canadian French, Canadian Multilingual?) Secondly, mi ĝojas vidi, ke vi volas povi tajpi en Esperanto. :)

AFAIK there is not a GUI app in LXDE for selecting keyboard layouts yet (these are the times I wish I knew how to program, so I could make one!) However, there is a simple command you can use in the terminal to switch layouts on a per-session basis, or if you want to make your layout selections permanent — in other words, always load certain particular layouts at boot — it's a matter of editing one configuration file. At the same time you can also set up a key combination (e.g. Alt + Shift or Ctrl + Shift) to toggle between them. If you'd like the details, just let me know. There's also a nice little app called fbxkb that places an icon in the system tray, which you can click on to click between your layouts; however it reads the layout information from the XKB configuration file, so you'd have to have that set up first.

Incidentally, in case you didn't know, keyboard layouts in Linux are simply text files, so it's a fairly trivial matter to create your own custom layouts. I mention this because you say you want to have Canadian English, Spanish, and Esperanto; you could have one single keyboard layout for all of those (I could make you one today, if you want) and then a second one for the Greek.
telenux wrote:they haven't bothered to offer a usable or flexible interface for it.
telenux wrote:You need to add the layouts yourself. Good luck.
telenux wrote:LXDE sucks as a DE. Certain features and projects they don't bother with.
telenux wrote:If you insist on LXDE
These sorts of comments are unhelpful and, frankly, childish. LXDE is a fine, lightweight DE. It's evolved and improved tremendously over the last two years that I've been using it, and it continues to do so. If it doesn't meet your needs or suit your personal preferences, then use whatever you like better (I'm mostly an XFCE guy, myself, but I enjoy LXDE too). But going around making rude comments like "it sucks" and "they don't bother with X" don't help anything. Why not suggest on the LXDE forum that hey, here's a feature I'd really like to see in LXDE, I'm sure a lot of other users would like to see it too? For all we know, they're working on it already — for example the last version of LXAppearance didn't offer any way to select a mouse cursor theme — you had to set it manually by editing config files. I saw lots of posts in various forums from folks saying how they wished there was an easier way to do it (and I was going, "boy, I wish I knew how to program so that I could make an app for that!" :D) and then lo and behold, the current version of LXAppearance appeared, and it had a "cursor theme" tab. I'm confident a GUI keyboard layout app is on the way, but in the meantime, doing it "the hard way" is in fact not hard at all; quite painless, actually.

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by AlbertP »

You could also say: LXDE is still in development at some points.
Registered Linux User #528502
Image
Feel free to correct me if I'm trying to write in Spanish, French or German.

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M_Mynaardt
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by M_Mynaardt »

AlbertP wrote:You could also say: LXDE is still in development at some points.
I kind of like LXDE. Granted, it's not as easy to set some things up as with Xfce or Gnome. But it works just fine once you've got things set up.

The only real difficulty I've had, that I still haven't sorted out, is getting a way to type Polytonic Greek. Granted, that's not something a lot of users would want, but it would be nice...
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by M_Mynaardt »

Crunnluath wrote:
First of all, which layout are you currently using, and what sort of Canadian keyboard do you have? (i.e. general North American QWERTY, Canadian French, Canadian Multilingual?) Secondly, mi ĝojas vidi, ke vi volas povi tajpi en Esperanto. :)

AFAIK there is not a GUI app in LXDE for selecting keyboard layouts yet (these are the times I wish I knew how to program, so I could make one!) However, there is a simple command you can use in the terminal to switch layouts on a per-session basis, or if you want to make your layout selections permanent — in other words, always load certain particular layouts at boot — it's a matter of editing one configuration file. At the same time you can also set up a key combination (e.g. Alt + Shift or Ctrl + Shift) to toggle between them. If you'd like the details, just let me know. There's also a nice little app called fbxkb that places an icon in the system tray, which you can click on to click between your layouts; however it reads the layout information from the XKB configuration file, so you'd have to have that set up first.

Incidentally, in case you didn't know, keyboard layouts in Linux are simply text files, so it's a fairly trivial matter to create your own custom layouts. I mention this because you say you want to have Canadian English, Spanish, and Esperanto; you could have one single keyboard layout for all of those (I could make you one today, if you want) and then a second one for the Greek.

[snip, snip, snip]

These sorts of comments are unhelpful and, frankly, childish. LXDE is a fine, lightweight DE. It's evolved and improved tremendously over the last two years that I've been using it, and it continues to do so. If it doesn't meet your needs or suit your personal preferences, then use whatever you like better (I'm mostly an XFCE guy, myself, but I enjoy LXDE too). But going around making rude comments like "it sucks" and "they don't bother with X" don't help anything. Why not suggest on the LXDE forum that hey, here's a feature I'd really like to see in LXDE, I'm sure a lot of other users would like to see it too? For all we know, they're working on it already — for example the last version of LXAppearance didn't offer any way to select a mouse cursor theme — you had to set it manually by editing config files. I saw lots of posts in various forums from folks saying how they wished there was an easier way to do it (and I was going, "boy, I wish I knew how to program so that I could make an app for that!" :D) and then lo and behold, the current version of LXAppearance appeared, and it had a "cursor theme" tab. I'm confident a GUI keyboard layout app is on the way, but in the meantime, doing it "the hard way" is in fact not hard at all; quite painless, actually.
My excuse for being slow to respond is working nights... :shock:

Anyway, I mostly use my LXDE persistent installs on my Toshiba A100.

It would be nice to have a keyboard layout for Polytonic Greek I could switch too. I was able to get that easily enough in Gnome or Xfce. And incidentally, I did not know that keyboard layouts are simply text files. I was kind of hoping there's one out there that I could just conveniently insert into an appropriate directory and have it up and running. If you could show me where/how to get such a file, that would be cool!

Thanks!
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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by telenux »

AlbertP wrote:You could also say: LXDE is still in development at some points.
Yeah, right.

You mean it's forever in development. And common tasks like switching keyboard layouts are ignored. LXDE = epic fail.

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by Losgann »

M_Mynaardt wrote:My excuse for being slow to respond is working nights... :shock:
Same here, I work nights too... I just remembered to check this thread and saw your post is from a week and a half ago! :lol:
M_Mynaardt wrote:It would be nice to have a keyboard layout for Polytonic Greek I could switch too. I was able to get that easily enough in Gnome or Xfce. And incidentally, I did not know that keyboard layouts are simply text files. I was kind of hoping there's one out there that I could just conveniently insert into an appropriate directory and have it up and running. If you could show me where/how to get such a file, that would be cool!
Give me a few days and I'll whip up an English-Spanish-Esperanto layout for you and show you how to install it and such. I'll have to look into the polytonic Greek for you as I'm not familiar with any of the Greek keyboard layouts, but if you can get it on GNOME or XFCE then it should be no problem in LXDE. I'll check back in here after the weekend and hopefully get you sorted.
telenux wrote:Yeah, right.
You mean it's forever in development.
Of course it is, just like GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and everything else in the world of open source software. Everything's always in development, that's the nature of the beast.
telenux wrote: And common tasks like switching keyboard layouts are ignored.
Where's your proof? Can you show me some evidence, perhaps a blog or forum post by one of the LXDE developers stating that they do not intend to provide a keyboard layout switching app? If you can't back it up, then you should retract your false assertion. I will gladly grant you that the LXDE developers may not prioritize certain things the way you think they should — perhaps an app for switching keyboard layouts is low on their priority list, compared to improving PCManFM's desktop management funtionality, or what have you — but that's hardly the same thing as insisting that they "ignore common tasks" and "don't bother with certain features" therefore it "sucks as a DE" and similar nonsense.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with having personal preferences for certain DEs or apps or whatever; for example, given a choice I would pick XFCE or LXDE over KDE because I've tried them all and I find the first two suit me better. For a more minimalist, window manager only type setup, I'd pick Openbox over Fluxbox. But I'd never go around saying that KDE or Fluxbox "suck" or whatever, because (a) it's not true, the fact is simply that they don't suit my personal preferences as well as certain other options, but they will suit other users' needs better than what works for me; and (b) it's rude (and gratuitously so).
telenux wrote:LXDE = epic WIN!
Fixed for accuracy. :D

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by telenux »

Obviously, they do some good things and it's a promising DE (even if it doesn't end up getting bloated like the other DEs) but keyboard selection options and development doesn't look to be a priority right now. I read on a year-old post in the LXDE forum that keyboard inputs/layouts is a bit complicated? I thought they were mostly text files? A collection of files that have character maps of your language? Anyway, my point is the priority is low although other low-resource DEs such as xfce have the feature. Even using these as guides, I thought they could offer a more intuitive and even user friendly gui keyboard selector program.

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by pmav99 »

In case you haven't found how to do it yet, it involves the following steps

1. Open as root, the following file:

Code: Select all

 /etc/xdg/lxsession/LXDE/autostart
2. Add a line like this one (obviously change the locales at the appopriate ones :

Code: Select all

@setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,gr
3. Log out.

I haven't tried it on mint, but it should work on all distros.

Propably you could just add it at the corresponding file at your home if you don't want the settings to be global.

with regards,
panos

edit
For greek polytonic the following should be added

Code: Select all

@setxkbmap -option grp:switch,grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll us,gr polytonic
Have a look at this one too: https://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dccdrjqk_4cqjn9zcj

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Re: Multiple Keyboard Selection in LXDE

Post by prog123 »

You can type polytonic Greek with Vim: http://www.vim.org
and the script:
http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=2743
You may need to add the lines:

Code: Select all

Option      "XkbLayout" "us,el"
Option      "XkbOptions" "grp:alt_shift_toggle,grp_led:scroll"
to the keyboard section of xorg.conf.

There is also a polytonic Greek spellchecker for Vim:
http://www.vim.org/scripts/script.php?script_id=3388

I use Vim all the time to type polytonic Greek.
I then use Latex/Xetex to typeset beautifull
Greek text. A lot better than any word processor.

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