CLDR: A home for the world’s newest keyboards
Today, there are many existing platform-specific implementations and keyboard definitions. This project does not intend to remove or replace existing well-established support.
The goal of this project is that, where otherwise unsupported languages are concerned, CLDR becomes the common source for keyboard data, for use by platform/operating system developers and vendors.
As a result, CLDR will also become the point of contact for keyboard authors and language communities to submit new or updated keyboard layouts to serve those user communities. CLDR has already become the definitive and publicly available source for the world's locale data.
Unicode: Enabling the world’s languages
Keyboard support is part of a multi-step, often multi-year process of enabling a new language or script.
Three critical parts of initial support for a language in content are:
Today, the vast majority of the languages of the world are already in the Unicode encoding. The open-source Noto font provides a wide range of fonts to support display, and the Unicode character properties play a vital role in display. However, input support often lags many years behind when a script is added to Unicode.
The LDML keyboard format, and the CLDR repository, will make it much easier to deliver text input.
What is the history of this effort?
In 2012, the original LDML keyboard format was designed to describe keyboards for comparative purposes. In 2018, a PRI was created soliciting further feedback.
The CLDR Keyboard Subcommittee was formed and has been meeting since mid-2020. It quickly became apparent that the existing LDML format was insufficient for implementing new keyboard layouts.
What is the current status?
Public Review Issue #476: Open May 15—July 15, 2023
Please see Public Review Issue #476 and provide your feedback on this Technical Preview of the specification. Implementations of the Technical Preview are encouraged for the purpose of providing feedback, but the data and spec should not be used for production until it is in a final CLDR release. The final specification may differ from the Technical Preview.
The specification, including DTDs, XML schemas, and sample files, continue to be under development. These are live links, and the contents are subject to change without notice. The data and spec should not be used for production until it is in a final CLDR release.
Proposed Draft Update to UTS#35 part 7: tr35-keyboards.md
Proposed DTDs, XSD schemas, and sample data/test files: keyboards
Note: this definition is not backwards compatible with the original descriptive LDML keyboard format introduced in 2012.
In-development Pull requests: [label: keyboard]
(If you have feedback on the above items, you may comment on the appropriate pull request, or on ticket CLDR-15034)
After the announced review period, the final specification is planned to be included in a future release of CLDR.
If you want to be engaged in this workgroup, please contact the CLDR Keyboard Subcommittee via the Unicode contact form.