Hey nerds - preferably white privileged ones:

Do free labour for a Itázipčho person who wants to reconnect to the culture your culture stole me from:

I want to be able to use the lakotayapi keyboard layout from Linux (Peppermint, a Debian flavor):

How do I do it?

Don't @ me with "have you tried...?" or similar: I want a tested-by-you step-by-step of exactly what to do to add an equivalent layout to Linux, please.


(boosts welcomed)

@emacsomancer @melissasage @lightdark

Thanks for your help all - I'll have to learn the composition combos but I've got access to the letters now! (And much more!)

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@emacsomancer @melissasage @lightdark

Yooo this "Ralt, t, r, a, n, s" to insert ⚧ is real clever!

If y'all don't mind, how do I do a <dead_greek>?

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@emsenn I'm not on my Linux half atm but I have some ideas and I'm going to hunt them down for you. i have a custom Yiddish keyboard layout on Linux, and the way I did that will *probably* work, but I gotta know a bit more.

Q1: is this a standard keyboard layout for Lakota, if there is such a thing? (I have no idea if there is.)
Q2: do you use ibus, fcitx, or something else? if you have no idea I can help you find out


Check the other subthread to this one; I think I'm going to be able to solve this myself now, but if you have a better way I'm open to it. (Surprised there isn't like a webtool to make a custom hacker layout y'know?)

1) it's the most standard one, if not the only one
2) no clue!

@emsenn I'm actually on the hunt for a file that might make your life easier, based on that subthread.

It looks like all of these are standard glyphs that might be covered by the extremely exhaustive and intuitive .Xcompose file I use, which would let you continue to use your normal keyboard, except you would be able to e.g. hold down alt and type '+e to get é, and so on, for basically all diacritics

I just gotta double-check that they're all there and you should literally just be able to copy-paste the file and be good to go

@emsenn feast your eyes:

you can find nearly any non-CJK unicode glyph in there, including all of the ones in the Lakota keyboard. also works great with, which lets you find the actual unicode characters you want (sometimes, including in the site you just sent me, they're actually combined glyphs that just *look* like a Unicode character, but aren't the character itself). If you're ever confused, just `grep` the file for the character you want and you'll see the way to get it, which is usually pretty intuitive.

You essentially just have to set a compose key using setxkbmap. Also, restart your X session after you've saved this file as .XCompose. You can even edit and alter the definitions if you don't like where they are- you can see I added a few up top, but those don't always work tbh, I think because of length? I haven't really tested much.

@emsenn also it has a few nice easter eggs in it. be sure to test <multi_key> <C> <C> <C> <P>

@emsenn how to get all the Lakota glyphs with this layout is pretty obvious- it maps caron to c, so <Multi_key> <s> <c> to š, but you could change that if you want to something more intuitive like v or u.

the only non-immediately intuitive one is ŋ, which is <Multi_key> <n> <g>, which makes sense phonetically

@emsenn I don't use keyboard layouts, so I can't actually help with that, but I wanted to suggest a possible alternative, which is using XCompose (which I use a lot). A caveat: this is a X-only solution, as far as I know, so I don't *think* it works on Wayland.

This wouldn't be a viable alternative for something like Cherokee, but the Lakota orthography is largely standard Roman with a few modified roman characters, so it's not dissimilar to writing IPA or transliterating non-roman-based orthographies.

As far as I can tell, the only symbols Lakota needs that don't appear on a normal English ANSI/ISO keyboard are:


I don't know what WM/DE you're using, so there are different ways of setting your XCompose key (if you're using a DE, the 'keyboard settings' may have an option; if you're using a WM, you might set it via `xmodmap` as per the link at the end of this paragraph) . It may already be set to RightAlt, or, if, not, this is perhaps a good key to choose. See further:

I don't remember if these are part of the 'standard' XCompose bindings, but the nice thing about XCompose is that it's customisable, so you can set whatever you want. But here's how my XCompose works (I just use as my ~/.XCompose file ):

ŋ = <MultiKey> n g
Č/č = <MultiKey> c C / <MultiKey> c c
Ǧ/ǧ = <MultiKey> c G / <MultiKey> c g
Ȟ/ȟ = <MultiKey> c H / <MultiKey> c h
Š/š = <MultiKey> c S / <MultiKey> c s
Ž/ž = <MultiKey> c Z / <MultiKey> c z
á = <MultiKey> ' a
é = <MultiKey> ' e
í = <MultiKey> ' i
ó = <MultiKey> ' o
ú = <MultiKey> ' u

That is, for ŋ, press <RightAlt> (release) <n> (release) <g> (release); for š, press <RightAlt> (release) <c> (release) s (release). &c. &c.

Just as a possible alternate solution if you can't get or don't like the keyboard layout solution.

@emacsomancer hold up why the fuck is there just no compose key set by default in peppermint that seems...

...gosh I mean even windows yo ucan just hold the right alt and use the numpad to do special characters

@emsenn For whatever reason, the compose key is often unset in distros.

There are multiple ways of setting it. I don't know if it's the 'best' way, but I do something like:

xmodmap -e "keysym Alt_R = Multi_key"

(And you could set up a .Xmodmap file with various configurations and have `xmodmap ~/.Xmodmap` as a startup action.)

@emacsomancer There was a GUI option for it just... why... woudln't that be set?!?!

Y'know maybe later today I'll hit you up with a second question because (maybe now it'll work right) but I had to use like, sometimes the right-hand keys to make emacs stuff work, like to do M-:

I have to press left alt, right shift, ;

Any other combo fails.


(It's been so long since I've used a computer as more than a terminal to get to my editor and browser)

@emsenn Peppermint uses some sort of modified LXDE, I believe, so I think there are also GUI options for setting the keyboard layout toggle if you want to toggle between XKB layouts as per @willghatch 's solution.

The keyboard thing sounds really strange. Unless you have your left shift set up to do something weird, I don't know why this would happen. Could there be a mechanical fault in the keyboard itself?

@emacsomancer Maybe but it works as a shift key: I think it's probably some thinkpad-y weirdness like how I struggle to get the trackpoint to work right

@emsenn I haven't experienced anything like that on any of my ThinkPads, so I dunno. Is it specific to Emacs, or do you experience it everywhere?

(What are your trackpoint woes?)


I've never had an occasion to type M-: outside of Emacs but lshift+; gets me :


If I turn off the touchpad in the bios it turns off even the ability to CLICK with the touchpad, not just use it as a mouse, so I had to, if I remember, leave it turned on but set the sensitivity and acceleration to null so that it doesn't actually move the mouse around.

@emsenn Ah, I think I remember you mentioning this before. I never use the touchpad at all, even for clicking, so I just physically unplug it (which definitely removes its clicking ability, so not a solution for your use case obviously).

That's a clever hack (sen, acc to 0)!
@emsenn I can imagine that there could be a physical fault such that pressing certain keys flexs the board in such a way that a connection fails, though it's a bit suspicious that it only affects very particular combinations.

Sometime, you could try something like screenkey ( ) to see if in general LeftShift+LeftAlt is not being detected or if it's something particular to Emacs.

@emacsomancer That's a good notion, thanks!

I honestly haven't mucked with it much since I've been in DrRacket since I got this laptop, but it's becoming more and more my daily driver and it has... more than a few things I dislike about it.

@emsenn If it is a physical fault, the good news is that, assuming it's an older ThinkPad, you can pick up a new keyboard really cheaply and about 5 minutes with a regular screwdriver will have it swapped in.

What else is problematic with the laptop? (In case there are possible fixes/workarounds for your issues.)


Oh, I wanna put a divider on my desk because rn the fan blows right on my fingers, and there's a bruise on the screen, and the other things are mostly to do with modern operating systems being giant confusing things I don't understand.

Nothing with a quick fix, unfortunately!

@emacsomancer My plan is tbh to just buy any thinkpads I find at the scrap exchange and slowly use them to improve my partner's and I's and re-donate the remains, but so far haven't found any

@emsenn I'm sure you know, but ebay is a place where you can find lots of ThinkPad parts, and also lots of broken/partially-working thinkpads, some of which are sold by goodwill's or 'green exchanges'/recyclers or the like. of course, unless it happens to be local, there's still waste produced by the transportation from the shipper to you, but at least the bits are getting re-used rather than thrown away. (in case the thinkpad pickings at your local scrap exchange don't improve.)

@emacsomancer I did not know that part about 'green exchanges' listing on ebay, actually!

I'll maybe set up an alert for stuff like keyboards and screens!

(While I'd definitely prefer to avoid the transportation, if it's a choice between burning fuel to bring it to my door or burning a little less fuel to throw it away forever, I'm willing to do the former.)

@emsenn (there certainly are lots of screens (though for screens you can use certain screen other than the OEM ones, and even when they're the OEM ones, you sometimes need to know the manufacturer/part no. as they're won't always say 'thinkpad') and keyboards, but sometimes it's cheaper just to get broken/partially working thinkpads and salvage the parts.

@emacsomancer My probably biggest gripe is "If I run my totally unoptimized MUD engine that pegs the cpu at 25% and makes the fan go nonstop, my battery life goes down so quickly!"

And well.

That's just entirely my fault :D :D :D

@emsenn Ah, that's too bad.

(Though screens aren't hard to swap either. And an IPS panel will be much nicer on your eyes anyway, as most older non-tablet ThinkPads come with the not-very-good TN panels.)

@emsenn There doesn't seem to be something like this in the default XKB distribution. I just made this:

It matches the ones you linked to. Let me know how it works for you.

@emsenn Fair warning: sometimes `xkbcomp` crashes the X-server. Some day I should try to debug that, but instead I just live with my display crashing every so often.

@emsenn Also, I decided to write this before I saw any of the other replies. Frankly, just using the compose key as suggested by @emacsomancer is probably a simpler solution.

@willghatch That's probably what I'll do in practice since it's more generally useful, but yours is still a resource for lakotayapi writers that did not previously exist and I'm quite thankful for it!

@emsenn @emacsomancer @lightdark I don't actually know! you might need to set a dead key, or have your keyboard set to Greek.

you might be able to use xmodmap or something to set a key to it, or else just edit the compose sequence

@melissasage @emsenn @lightdark

In the .XCompose I use (linked to previously), I can access Greek symbols via:

Ralt, *, <roman letter equivalent>, e.g. Ralt, *, p produces π; Ralt, *, P produces Π; &c.

You might also try something like this:

@emsenn This sounds like an interesting project, I'm interested in keyboard layouts and porting one to xconfig would allow me to learn how to do it, I'll give it a shot

@emsenn seems you guy it sorted out, but I'll take a look as to what others have done

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