I just discovered that I couldn't add more than 4 layouts for my keyboard. Googling revealed that it was a universal limit (at least for GNU/Linux) and the only way(s) to get around it was to use some hackish way with scripts. Is there really a technical reason behind this? If yes, what is it?
Quoting Peter Hutterer (Red Hat employee working on X.Org):
Why we don't have a hack above this layer - I don't know... this must be the lamest limitation ever. :D
The protocol sets aside two bits for keyboard switching. This is two more than many people need. Most of the users I have seen switching keyboard layouts use two; a local layout and and international layout. The international layout usually handles composition of all require keys. This leaves one excess bit. I have seen users with three layouts, but usually one is never used.
I would be interested in what you are doing that requires more than four layouts, and how you work with constantly changing keymapping. I find it difficult to get users used to two layouts, even when it solved problems they have with internationalization.
I frequently write in English, German, Swedish and Chinese. This is four, but I am learning Russian as well and would appreciate the extra toggle via the GUI. Scripts is a workable resolution in the meantime:
One might note that with Russian, one has the option of either the 'standard' Russian keyboard layout, or a much more convenient (for those of us learning) phonetic layout paired to QWERTY.
Also, many of us use some form of Dvorak, which also takes a position.
Hence, my computer looks like this:
USA Dvorak (programmer) Swedish German Russian Russian phonetic
and there is an additional keyboard icon with an ibus toggle for Chinese Pinyin.
protected by jokerdino♦ May 5 '13 at 15:08
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