1647: Diacritics

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 5480
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 1647: Diacritics

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:58 am UTC

Apple's "keyboard software" (what a weird turn of phrase) is no more proprietary than is Microsoft's, which is my whole point. One proprietary system is no more standard than another proprietary system, and the shortcomings you're talking about are not American shortcomings, but Microsoft shortcomings (which, I'm inferring, some Linux desktop environments have also copied).

And the only difference between this generic 3rd party keyboard I'm using right now and the Apple keyboard it replaced is that there's a Windows icon in place of an Apple icon on one key (both equally proprietary), and that key's location is swapped with Alt/Option (which is easily reversed in software). Other than that everything is exactly the same.
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

User avatar
Copper Bezel
Posts: 2426
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:35 am UTC
Location: Web exclusive!

Re: 1647: Diacritics

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:12 pm UTC

I can type the symbol for pi on my Android tablet's keyboard. I don't see that that's differently relevant. Apple's entire thing is being "different" from apparent standards. It's like saying "Mac or PC", where a PC is any PC not built by Apple, and a Mac is a PC built by Apple. The PCs don't have to be IBM machines running PC DOS to count as such.

In your case, you're not using an Apple keyboard, but the software is written to make sense with Apple keyboards first. "Keyboard software" is an entirely appropriate term, as that is the thing that it in fact is. Which part of what software varies with the operating system in question.

Microsoft doesn't have a lot of competition for OS vendors now, but they certainly did at the time that the generic physical keyboard layout more or less standardized, while Apple opted to do its own thing. Microsoft had nothing to do with the physical layout's development (with the exception of stamping it with the flag key after attaining complete market dominance, obviously.)

FYI, keyboard layout in Linux DEs happens ... well, not as any part of the DE, it's an X11 thing, so it's not "some Linux desktop environments", it's any Linux that isn't Android, including ones without a DE installed. DEs control which input method is used and when, obviously.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

she / her / her

User avatar
Soupspoon
You have done something you shouldn't. Or are about to.
Posts: 4060
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:00 pm UTC
Location: 53-1

Re: 1647: Diacritics

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:38 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:The PCs don't have to be IBM machines running PC DOS to count as such.
It was several years after they had started to be subverted by "100% IBM-PC Compatible" clones before I actually used a genuine IBM machine of that kind (rather than something with the MS-DOS (unre-)branded OS, or even DR-DOS). My own first experience with any variation of that kind of DOS was on the BBC Model B microcomputer, via a 'small peripheral device'. (Last time I saw it, mine was in a better condition that the one on that page seems to be! I'll have to check the loft for it.) Although a "personal computer", I don't think I ever called it a PC, though. ;)


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 98 guests