Bug 371 - Romanian keyboard layout is broken in xorg-x11
Summary: Romanian keyboard layout is broken in xorg-x11
Alias: None
Product: xorg
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Server/General (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: x86 (IA32) Linux (All)
: high critical
Assignee: Xorg Project Team
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2004-03-23 23:18 UTC by Alin Osan
Modified: 2007-08-19 05:56 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
i915 platform:
i915 features:

Unified patch for the Romanian layout (includes updated descriptions for base.xml.in) (14.42 KB, patch)
2005-09-04 11:55 UTC, dumol
no flags Details | Splinter Review

Description Alin Osan 2004-03-23 23:18:22 UTC
After upgrading to xorg-x11, the Romanian keyboard layout is totally
messed up. The previous layout activated the combination of AltGr with
A, S, T, I and Q to use specific Romanian characters. With xorg-x11 the
layout is the same used with Windows OS, which is broken for two major
reasons: it completly changes the position of some keys, which are not
related to Romanian characters, in a weird manner. Second, there are
NO Romanian layout keyboards, this means that all Romanians use
english layout keyboard. Linux users change to the Romanian layout
that adds the AltGr functionality. The Windows users do something very
funny, they stick small pieces of papers on the keyboard in order to
recognize the placement of the remapped layout by MS Windows. 
All Windows users that have been converted to Linux were so happy with
the function of AltGr key. They can write in Romanian in a more
natural fashion and they don't have to "remap" the characters on the keys.
Comment 1 Ariszlo 2004-05-10 20:17:48 UTC
AltGr is broken in the Hungarian keyboard layout, too. Please, fix it as soon 
as possible. I couldn't even type my email address to create a new account 
because @ is on AltGr+V. I could only paste it in the form by copying it from 
a web page. 
Comment 2 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2004-06-13 10:47:40 UTC
Yes it is broken. Just try to copy xkb/symbols/ro and xkb/symbols/ro2 to
xkb/symbols/pc/ - will it work?
Comment 3 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2004-06-13 11:14:40 UTC
Sorry, my advise was lame - the Romanian is already in pc/subdirectory. Actually
I am not really sure what should be the right Romanian layout - could you please
think about some kind of patch to existing xkb/symbols/pc/ro - so it would be
Comment 4 Alin Osan 2004-06-13 11:54:57 UTC
The only change that I can recommend is to load the layout with the symbols
"us_ro" that are defined in xkb/symbols/pc/ro. With Option "XkbLayout" "ro"
and Option "XkbVariant" "us_ro" things work perfect.
Comment 5 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2004-06-13 15:14:15 UTC
Well, probably if ro(us_ro) solves your problem - there is no problem at all -
and this bug can be closed?
Comment 6 Alin Osan 2004-06-13 22:23:32 UTC
Well, yes, the bug can be closed, but the layout still needs to be banned... ;-)
Comment 7 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2004-06-14 02:59:12 UTC
Well, if someone added it - probably someone needs it?...
Comment 8 Eddy Petrişor 2005-07-28 20:07:10 UTC
Created attachment 3177 [details] [review]
Comment 9 Eddy Petrişor 2005-07-28 20:12:23 UTC
There is a complete set of Romanian keyboards as described in the new Romanian
standard SR 13392:2004 adopted in December 2004 by ASRO, "Asociatia de
Standardizare din Romania" - "Romanian Standardization Association". The
complete set is implemented and is available at the Files section of the project
diacritice.sf.net: http://www.sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=124877

The current version is 1.1, and is attached.

The default layout is US with Romanian letters, because there are no real
keyboards with Romanian letters and this is the most used layout currently in

As for the layout's history (quote):
// Created by Cristian Gafton, <gafton@redhat.com> (C) 2000
// Modified by Marius Andreiana, <mandreiana@yahoo.com> (C) 2001
// Completed by Misu Moldovan, <dumol@gnome.ro> (C) 2001, 2004, 2005. 

Comment 10 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2005-07-29 09:45:38 UTC
Eddi, could you please have a look at the romanian keyboard in xkeyboard-config?
Is it fixed, from your POV - or not? There were some changes already done... I
would actually appreciate the patch for xkeyboard-config as well. If you need, I
can send you (or attach here) the most current version of it.
Comment 11 dumol 2005-08-03 04:27:48 UTC
I'm one of the authors of the Romanian xkb layout currently included in X.Org /
XFree86. I was actively involved in defining the new Romanian standard for
computer keyboards mentioned above by Eddy. I have also updated and completed
the Romanian xkb layout as part of the project Diacritice hosted at
http://diacritice.sourceforge.net . This project aims to encourage and
facilitate the use of Romanian diacritcs in free software programs (we,
Romanians, are sooo lazy that we don't care much about those five Romanian
diacritics when using computers.)

The Romanian keyboard currently included in X.Org / XFree86 was broken (or
fixed, it all depends on your view) by Martin Poehler in 2003, please see
http://bugs.xfree86.org/show_bug.cgi?id=300 for details. Basically he included a
Microsoft-like Romanian layout and defined it as default, which has annoyed all
X users that I know of (and also the reporter of this bug). 

However, the MS-like layout is not a standardized one and is broken in several
ways that any Romanian that had to use Windows to type proper Romanian will tell
you. That's how the immensely popular alternative layout hosted at
http://www.secarica.ro was born (besides other not-relevant alternatives). And
it was this layout that led to the creation of the dual-layout SR 13392:2004
standard for Romanian keyboards, adopted in December 2004. This standard is
available at a small cost from ASRO, http://www.asro.ro , the Romanian Authority
for Standards.

Although I don't agree with this bug report or with Eddy's hasted reopening of
this bug, I'd like to take the oportunity of building a proper patch to
xkeyboard-config which adds the primary layout defined in the new Romanian
standard, improves the existing US-based layout to match the secondary layout
defined in the said standard and defines as the default layout the one used most
in the world of Romanian free software users, the old us-based one. The MS-like
layout defined by Manfred Poehler will be left untouched for compatibility sake
with Windows users that use the broken MS layout. 

This is exactly what I've already achieved with the layout available at
http://www.sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=124877 , I only have
to build a patch for what's now in xkeyboard-config and see what else needs to
be done. For now, besides the patch to the "ro" xkb layout, it looks like there
is a need for a ro.po translation in po/ . Anything else, Sergey? 
Comment 12 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2005-08-03 06:16:44 UTC
Misu, you're right. Just fixing the Romanian layout - and Romanian translation -
would make me "Romanian-happy":). Unfortunately, Translation Project is not very
fast in translating our project :( - so any help would be great to have. Thanks
a lot.
Comment 13 dumol 2005-09-04 11:55:24 UTC
Created attachment 3166 [details] [review]
Unified patch for the Romanian layout (includes updated descriptions for base.xml.in)

Well, it took me longer that I thought (I was on vacation and out of town), but
here it is. This layout works exactly as described in comment #11 and is the
xkeyboard-config counterpart of the layout already available for months at
http://diacritice.sourceforge.net/ . This patch also includes the required
update to the base.xml.in file. Eddy Petrisor (a Debian translator, also in the
CC list) will provide a ro.po translation in the near future.

The new layout was tested in Ubuntu breezy (thanks to Dan Damian).
Comment 14 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2005-09-04 14:31:09 UTC
Misu, I appreciate your great work. Thanks a lot. It is committed to
xkeyboard-config now.
Comment 15 dumol 2005-09-04 14:58:52 UTC
Thanks a lot Serghey for commiting and also for the fix seen at
http://cvs.freedesktop.org/xlibs/xkbdesc/rules/base.xml.in?r1=1.81&r2=1.82 , we
were aware of the inconsistency, but awaiting further testing before proposing a
new patch.

I would also like to know if this layout will propagate into X.Org / XFree86
automatically or there's something more we (the community of Romanian
localizers) should do before we'll enjoy this by default in the standard
Comment 16 Sergey V. Udaltsov 2005-09-04 15:08:02 UTC
Actually, for the consistency, I put the names 'std' and 'winkeys' - because it
is a common practice in xkeyboard-config, using the standard descriptions
'Standard' and 'Winkeys' - which may use existing translations. Don't you mind?
Also, I added corresponding compatibility rules.

The changes in xkeyboard-config are NOT propagated to xorg. But some
distromakers already using xkeyboard-config instead of standard xorg stuff - so
people may use it.
Comment 17 dumol 2005-09-04 15:24:46 UTC
Less is more. The group names are shorter now and the change to "std" &
"winkeys" is not much of a trouble, I'll respect the same conventions in the
layout available at http://diacritice.sf.net and when promoting it in X.Org /

Thanks for everything Sergey!
Comment 18 dumol 2007-08-19 05:56:37 UTC
I took the liberty to close this bug as it only pollutes relevant searches. Alin, I hope you don't mind, the problem reported by you has been fixed a long time ago in xkeyboard-config. Thank you for the report.

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